There are few issues that come right in to the kitchen and bathroom more than water conservation. In the Cupboards households, we've committed to high-efficiency toilets, low-flow shower heads and faucets, eliminating bottled water and letting the grass turn brown.
Locally, we've not been on a water restriction for quite some time(unlike many other places in the United States). The truly startling fact is that we often feel that a water restriction prohibiting washing our cars and watering our lawn is silly and inconvenient. While we wallow in our American excess, millions of people around the world go without something I've never been faced with, no clean water for drinking. Forget bathing, forget washing your laundry- think about not having fit water to drink.
There are lots of ways to conserve water, and it's not just by turning off the faucet while you brush your teeth(that helps though). Did you realize the notorious Pacific Garbage Patch is widely regarded as being about the size of Texas? Texas- the whole state. The Patch is largely plastics, many of which could have been recycled. Now they circulate in an ever growing landfill in the water. Remember that the next time you toss a plastic bottle.
Specifically in our homes, there are some small things that we can do to improve our water consumption. Think you're doing a lot already? You might be, but you should do some self-evaluation. The Water Footprint Calculator is a pretty telling way to see just how your household is doing. I did mine and was alarmed at the results. (In case you were wondering, my house came in just slightly below the national average, and that's with no bottled water, a brown lawn and dirty cars).
There are many municipalities that are doing shower head exchanges, giving free faucet aerators and offering other unique(cheap or free) ways to help you conserve water at home.
Or you can just use some common sense...
The next time you turn on your faucet at work or home, have a cold drink of water, hot morning coffee or take a nice relaxing shower(alone or otherwise)- remember those who are less fortunate than we are. Conserve where you can and make a difference!