Don’t just be careful to turn off the water tap when brushing your teeth or taking a shower. There are many small daily gestures that can be taught to children to start all of them to consume less water. Which? Eat less red meat or use recycled paper.
Tips for not wasting water
We brush our teeth, cook, take a shower or a bath, wet the plants, clean the car, toys, clothes, dishes. We use it from when we wake up in the morning to before going to sleep at night and we don’t even notice it sometimes.
Yet water is a very important primary asset. A primary good that in our latitudes is often taken for granted, just like food (which instead is connected to the debate on food waste).
In everyday life, every Italian consumes an average of 130 to 140 liters of drinking water per day with peaks that even reach 300 l / d (source Arpae, (Regional Agency for the prevention, environment and energy of Emilia-Romagna) The average consumption per family is about 200 m3 per year (source Altroconsumo).
Minimal part of what we consume is for food use. The rest goes between the kitchen, the garden, the bathroom and more.
Here are some numbers from the Arpae website:
IN THE KITCHEN
- washing dishes by hand: from 10 to 12 l per wash;
- dishwasher safe: from 25 to 40 l per wash (20 to 25 l for the most efficient ones).
IN THE BATHROOM
- WC flush: from 10 to 12 l for each flush with traditional cisterns, from 3 to 6 l for each flush in the case of double button flush cisterns;
- shower (in private accommodation): from 30 to 60 l;
- bathroom (in private accommodation): from 60 to 120 l.
IN THE GARDEN
- bathroom (in private accommodation): from 60 to 120 l;
- car wash: from 150 to 200 l;
- garden irrigation: from 15 to 20 l per m2.
Teach a child to consume less water it is not only equivalent to respecting the environment and having a civic sense, but it can also represent one source of economic savings.
What can you do in your own small way to make such a big choice and consume a little less water every day? How to teach your children to be more aware?
Here are some tips:
Pay attention to the choice of paper
The production of paper and paper products is one of the most water-demanding production segments. Teach to draw or write on both sides of a paper before throwing it away, not to use too many handkerchiefs to dry hands in public restrooms and to use recycled paper, even for school supplies.
This last piece of advice is given by both Pefc Italia, the body promoting the correct and sustainable management of forest heritage, and FSC® – Forest Stewardship Council, an international non-profit NGO. The choice can range from recycled paper diaries, diaries and notebooks, but also, why not, to the choice of wooden pastels in which the sustainable origin of the same is certified.
Eat less red meat
The water footprint of different foods is different. How much water is consumed to produce 1 kg of meat? In this case it includes not only the water that the animal drinks, but all that is needed for the production cycle.
How much instead to produce 1 kg of legumes? How much for 1 kg of rice?
We are helped by a project, the Virtual Water Project, created to raise public awareness on the amount of water needed to produce certain products.
In particular, it takes:
- 4,650 liters of water to produce 300 grams of beef;
- 1,410 for 300 grams of pork;
- 1,170 liters for 300 grams of chicken.
Instead (pay attention, we are talking about 1 kg and not just 300 g as for meat):
- 500 liters of water for 1 kg of potatoes;
- 900 liters of water per 1 kg of wheat;
- 1,400 liters of water for 1 kg of corn;
- 1,900 liters of water for 1 kg of rice.
Teach your child to turn off the tap while brushing his teeth or showering
It is a good habit to consume much less water in the bathroom. To prefer the shower to the bath in the tub.
Still in the bathroom, you can flush the toilet, if possible, using the button that empties only half of the cistern.
In the kitchen, wash fruit and vegetables in a basin of water
And not under running water. Reuse that water to wet house plants.
Teach to use a sponge to wash the bike (or to help wash mom and dad’s car)
Using a sponge instead of the water barrel directly is a useful tip to consume much less water.
Check for water leaks together
It can become a fun game: put a few drops of food coloring in the toilet cistern. If the water turns color without pulling the water, there is a leak!
Grow a seedling together with the child
A seed needs light to grow, but above all water. In this way the child will make the virtuous association that food requires water.
Wet the seedlings and the garden early in the morning or in the evening
This will optimize the use of water, preventing it from evaporating in the hottest hours and in the meantime being absorbed by the ground.
Another tip: use pebbles, leaves or other to cover the soil around your plants to delay the evaporation of water.
Read a children’s book about water together
Why is water so important? How can you not waste it? Who better than a book or a fable can explain it to a child?
Children’s books about water
Here are some titles of water themed children’s books.
- Let’s turn off the tap! To save water, Kite editions, for children from 3 to 5 years;
- Panta Rei, Riciclaudio! Water Stories in Head down – by Agnese Baruzzi, Coccole Books, for children aged 6 to 9;
- L ‘Acqua di Bumba – by Roberto Piumini, Le Rane interlinea, for 7 years in …