Water and forests are among the most precious natural resources on the planet. Unfortunately, they are consumed at an increasingly fast pace. Learning to reduce our consumption is crucial to the preservation of these vital resources. Here are a few simple tips to help you save on water and paper daily.
Take a shower instead of a bath. If you don’t linger in the shower for a half hour, it is the most ecological option. A five-minute showers will use between 30 and 80 liters of water, while a bath needs about 175.
Don’t leave the water running when you wash your hands or your teeth. If you brush your teeth for three minutes with the water running, that’s at least 15 liters of wasted water!
Fill a water bottle and place it in the tank of your toilet. That way, you’ll reduce the amount of water used for flushing, without making the process any less effective. DO NOT place bricks, as you may have heard. Bricks could slowly disintegrate and clog you plumbing.
Drink tap water. There is no point in buying bottled water when drinkable water is available in all our homes. If you do not like the taste of tap water, there are many different water filtering systems that you can buy.
80% of the forests that were once flourishing on Earth are now destroyed. About 200 square km (about 125 square miles) of forest are cut down everyday, for an approximate total of 140 000 square km (87 000 miles) a year… 42% of that wood is used for making paper.
Buy recycled toilet paper. 27,000 trees are cut down EVERY DAY just to make toilet paper. That fact alone should convince you!
Subscribe to electronic billing services. Your credit card bill, your electricity bill, your telephone bill, all of them: there’s no point in having them on paper. Subscribe to electronic billing and help save tens of thousands of tons of paper.
Print all your documents on both sides of the paper you use. It won’t make the document any less readable and it will reduce your paper consumption by half.
Print only when necessary. Take the habit of proofing your documents on the screen and loose the habit of printing small emails, short documents, etc. In other words, think before you print.
Reuse. There are many ways you can reuse paper. Just be imaginative! Use your mail’s envelopes as little note pads, clean your windows with newspaper, create a unique gift wrappings, etc. The possibilities are endless!
Recycle. Producing paper is extremely polluting. Among other things, this industries uses up and pollutes dozens of liters of water. Recycling paper could help reduce by 35% the amount of water used to produce paper. So contribute and don’t throw your paper in the trash! Also, when given the chance, buy recycled paper.
Mireille is a travel, music and theater enthusiast. She wrote for the stage and television, and is now working as a freelance blogger for Via Rail, a Canadian railroad transporter helping travelers find the most unique Toronto packages. Via Rail sponsored the publication of this post.
Image credit: K. W. Sanders via photopin cc