WATER & SUSTAINABILITY
Water is one of the most essential natural resources for life yet, it is becoming scarce due to increasing consumption and continuous pollution. While new technologies for water reuse are being implemented to existing ones, change in our perception towards water is a key concept for a better, sustainable future.
The word “sustainability” has become quite popular recently, although it seems like a challenging goal. To me, sustainability simply means balance between demand in natural resources and their long-term management. Individuals caring about our living planet and future generations have already started to take action. In this article, I would like to emphasize the value of water in our life and tips on water sustainability.
We start our lives in water and throughout life our health and well-being depend on water. It is not just a resource for being physically alive but one that brings calm and joy to us spiritually or psychologically with a sea breeze, while fishing in a river or swimming in a lake. In fact, it is the only thing that we are desperate to find in outer space! Despite its significance, we use it relentlessly, like it is an infinite source. Unfortunately, only 2.5 % of the water on Earth is freshwater which is being consumed in almost every industry including petroleum-refining, fashion, agriculture and animal-based products. As if it wasn’t enough, we continuously contaminate it with pharmaceuticals, plastics, heavy metals, toxic chemicals. In the end, water pollution impacts our own health and wellbeing as the current technologies are not sufficient for treating some of these contaminants or the available technologies haven’t reached every part of the globe yet. The way we use water is not sustainable at all and we should change our perception on water usage.
TIPS ON WATER SUSTAINABILITY
If you don’t know where to start here’s a list of easy tips that you can try to reduce your impact on water:
1. Think global
Feel responsible for every living thing. Our actions on water impacts almost everyone from blue whales to polar bears. Don’t assume that a problem in a different part of the world won’t affect you. As an example, a pollutant in water might reach you through agricultural products, meat or fish from that part of the world!
2. Reduce your water footprint
A t-shirt requires 2700 L of water during the manufacturing process according to the World Wildlife Fund. Do you really need that last shirt you bought? Instead, you can buy second hand or change clothes with your friends!
3. Stop polluting
We are not aware that we pollute water in our daily lives. You can start by reducing plastic consumption or materials that use toxic chemicals during their manufacturing process (such as leather). Oh, and don’t flush any pharmaceuticals down the toilet or through the sink!
4. Try reusing water
Water is directly consumed mostly during baths and cleaning (washing dishes/ clothes). Learn about water reuse systems for your home: you can collect rainwater and use it in your garden or you can have a grey water system, where the water from your washing machine can be used in the toilet.
5. Buy local
It is true that meat production requires a lot of water and a plant-based diet is a better option. When purchasing vegetables and fruits, don’t forget to buy local or seasonal ones; otherwise, there is a chance that it used more energy and water than necessary.
Water is life and it will become more significant in future due to climate change, pollution and increasing population. So be the change. It’s not about being perfect. A small step will make all the difference for a better future!