Water changes everything. It helps to right gender imbalances and improves access to education. It’s key to fighting food insecurity, disease and poverty. But nearly one billion people lack reliable access to it—and with climate change and rapid population growth that number could reach three billion by 2050.
Sustainable land use, especially in agriculture, is a huge part of the solution. But you can also make a difference with a few small changes to your daily routine.
- Eat less meat and dairy. It takes anywhere from 90 to 300 gallons of water to produce a single serving of chicken, pork or beef.
- Choose food raised closer to home to minimize the water expenditure required to transport your meal.
- When you buy a tropical product (like coffee or a banana), be sure it features the Rainforest Alliance Certified seal. Farms that earn our certified mark prioritize water conservation and the protection of streams and waterways.
- Buy less, shop at vintage or used clothing stores, or swap clothing.
- Skip baths in favor of short showers, and turn off the faucet when shaving or lathering.
- Do laundry only when you have a full load, apply water-saving settings, and upgrade to energy- and water-efficient washers and dryers.
- Check your house for leaks, which can result in the loss of up to 10,000 gallons of water a year. That’s enough water to fill a swimming pool.
- Recycle. You can save up to 3.5 gallons of water by recycling a single newspaper.
- Minimize your energy use. Americans use some 670 gallons of water a day to support their energy habits.
- Calculate your water use with this handy tool from National Geographic, and challenge yourself to lower your water footprint.