Why waste water? It’s a simple question with a not-so-simple answer. For those of us in the developed world, wasting water is something we don’t think twice about — because we know that there’s more water at our disposal. But what about the rest of the world?

That’s the question that World Water Day is asking you to consider this year on March 22. This year’s theme is “Why waste water?”, with the global message focused on reducing and reusing wastewater (aka used water, like the leftover water in your glass water container that you dump down the sink, or dirty water from your dishwasher).

According to the World Water Day website, over 80% of wastewater generated by society flows back into the ecosystem without being treated or reused — yet 1.8 billion people around the world use a source of contaminated drinking water, and 663 million people still lack improved drinking water sources.

One way to remedy this lack of access to clean water is by focusing our efforts on wastewater management and treatment, and that’s what World Water Day wants you to think about this year. Here’s how we’re going to celebrate World Water Day with a focus on wastewater this year.

Capture Warm-Up Water

We’re all guilty of letting the sink or shower run for a couple of minutes so it warms up for us before use. And you know what? That’s fine. We’re not going to shame anyone for doing that. But this time, while you let the water run, use a small pot or bucket to capture that extra water and reuse it later to water your houseplants.

Save Pasta Water

When you’re making your famous homemade fettuccini alfredo, stop yourself right before you drain all the pasta water into the sink. Instead, reuse that water to wash your side-dish vegetables before cooking.

Reuse Extra Drinking Water

If you’re like us, you leave half-filled water containers and glasses all over your house, and at some point, you don’t want to drink that old water. At the same time, you don’t want to waste it. Collect all that leftover water in a big water container, and use it throughout the week for watering your garden.

 

In addition to reusing water around your house, don’t forget to keep your reusable water container by your side. By filling a reusable water bottle, you’ll positively impact the environment while hitting your daily hydration goals. Happy World Water Day!

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