The average person in Hong Kong consumes 130 litres of fresh water each day, making Hong Kong people some of the highest urban consumers of water in the world. If we continue to use water at the same rate, supplies will dwindle, and we might have to live on less than 100 litres of water per day by 2050. Hong Kong’s supply from the Dongjiang River Basin is limited and expensive, factors that will only worsen if we don’t act fast to reduce our consumption.
Not just taking shorter showers and turning off the tap when brushing your teeth. There are many more ways to reduce your water use to sustainable levels, and thus benefit people and nature in Hong Kong and around the world. Here are eight ways to reduce your water footprints:
Save a litre per litre you drink: It takes at least twice as much water to produce per bottle of off-the-rack bottle water as the amount of water it contains. Bring a reusable bottle when you are out and fill it with filtered water from home or office. This will help to reduce plastic waste too.
Use paper frugally: It takes lots of water to produce paper. Waste not, save the forest too as paper is mostly made from pulp of wood.
Group your laundry: Most washing machines use around 50 litres of water per load. Group your loads for maximum energy and water efficiency.
Save your leftovers: 70% of the world’s water consumption goes into agriculture. Even a simple cheese sandwich takes lots of water to produce. Save leftover for another meal or give it to others who want it.
Buy fewer new clothing: Lots of water are used to produce fabric. Think about that.
Eat less meat: It takes 2,400 litres to produce just one hamburger — that’s the amount of water used by the average person in Hong Kong over 18 days. Say, goes meatless at least one day in a week. Healthy too.
Don’t pour leftover cooking oil down the drain: Just one litre of oil can pollute 250,000 litres of fresh water (that is 3,500 litres of fresh water for every tablespoon of oil) when wastewater is returned to the environment.
Plant a tree: Forests and grasslands keep soil and pollutants from running into water sources and dirtying them, especially in urban areas. Clean water in nature makes for healthier global communities.
Source: The Nature Conservancy