Wasting Water

Everyone is told to turn off the water while brushing their teeth.  I remember teachers in elementary school always discussing the issue, and people are prone to telling others to turn off the water.  It seems like such a minor issue compared to other environmental concerns, considering brushing teeth only takes about two minutes.  However, it is still an issue that many people aren’t educated well enough on.  According to Yougov.com  around 40% of Americans still don’t shut off the faucet when brushing their teeth.  This accounts for eight gallons of water wasted every day.  The population of the U.S. is around 325 million.  40% of that number is 130 million.  Assuming that everyone brushes their teeth once a day, 130 million people waste eight gallons of water a day.  So, 1,040,000,000 gallons of water are wasted every day in the U.S. because people don’t turn off the faucet.

The fact that some countries don’t have clean drinking water, or have severe water shortages makes the U.S. look irresponsible with all our wasted water.  Solving the faucet waste problem probably won’t be easy, as its a topic many are already aware of.   Telling kids in school to turn of the water when brushing their teeth is one step.  Another possible idea is to have a specific button on a faucet that dispenses a certain amount of water needed to brush teeth.  Another option could be to have some sort of number tracker on faucets that shows how much water has been used.  I think if people actually knew how much water they were wasting, they would be more prudent about shutting off the faucet.

4 thoughts on “Wasting Water

  1. Your post proves that a significant portion of water is wasted everyday from brushing your teeth. If eight gallons are wasted from brushing your teeth, even more water is probably wasted from showering and flushing the toilet. I think it is important that we consider more sustainable options for these everyday tasks to conserve more water. I think you present a good option in that their should be a way for faucets to only let out a certain amount of water. The same could be done for washing your hands and the shower.

  2. The fact that 1,040,000,000 gallons of water are wasted every day from 40% of the country not turning the water off while brushing their teeth is incredibly disturbing. If this is the amount of water wasted on only two minutes of brushing teeth, I can’t even imagine how much water people waste on other activities, especially washing dishes. How do you best think people can be educated on the severity of this issue? Do you see more areas where people can improve on conserving water during daily activities?

  3. Leaving the water on while brushing teeth, to me, is an indication of laziness which is clearly harbored in the United States given the statistics you provided. Like Emily, I too am curious about the water waste from washing dishes and wonder if it’s more sustainable to wash dishes by hand or run the dishwasher. What do you think?

  4. I agree, the solution to the water waste of our society could be in the simple things. The numbers speak to the notion that with everyone playing a small role, like turning the off the water while brushing their teeth is important. If we all help reduce the waste by a small percent in our daily lives it would make a huge change overall.

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