Thinking About New Year’s Resolutions? Being a Good Water Steward is Easy and Important!
Nearly three in four Americans start out their new year by setting resolutions that typically run the gamut from reading more and eating healthier to starting an exercise regimen or learning a new language.
Whether you’re still trying to figure out your goals for the year ahead or you simply want to tack on a few more, there are a number of things you can do to improve our local waterways and become a water transformer in your community.
Here are a few water-related resolutions to get you started:
- Abide by the Three Ps (Pee, Poop, Paper): The biggest impact you can have is knowing what should and shouldn’t go down your drains. It’s easier than you think to keep track of it all: only pee, poop and toilet paper should go down the drain. That’s it. Everything else – medications, food waste, grease, tissues, and yes, flushable wipes – should be disposed of elsewhere.
- Save water where you can: The average American uses 100 gallons of water every day – approximately the size of a bath tub. When you consider how many people that accounts for, that is A LOT of water. Fortunately, there’s a lot you can do to help reduce your water usage.
Some great first steps can include:
- installing low-flow showerheads,
- turn off the water while you brush your teeth,
- only running your dishwasher and washing machine when you have a full load, and
- installing a rain barrel at your house to use for watering plants and shrubs.
- Be mindful of water scarcity: In places like Alexandria, where we are surrounded by water, it’s easy to take access to clean and safe water for granted. But did you know more people around the world have access to the internet than an adequate toilet? Even in the United States, our nation's water system only received a D+ in the last report card from the American Society of Civil Engineers. Taking time throughout the year to appreciate all the water amenities we have in our region and our homes is a phenomenal first step to becoming a better water steward.
- Avoid spilling FOG down the drain: FOG stands for Fats, Oils, and Grease. Remember that FOG doesn’t go down your drain because it can damage your pipes. Keep an empty jar or can near your sink so that when you’re cleaning up from an oily meal, you can pour any fats, oils, or grease into the jar/can, and dispose of it with your other garbage.
Even a few small changes in our day-to-day routines and mindsets can lead to healthier and more vibrant waterways throughout our region. Which of these can you tackle in the new year?