Why? Only 1% of Earth’s water is suitable for drinking, yet the average American consumes more than twice as much water and energy as people in other nations. An average family of 4 uses ~400 gallons of water per day. Princeton uses over 200 million gallons a year. Most students don’t even know who supplies Princeton’s water (New Jersey-American Water Co.) and where it comes from (the Canal and local aquifers). All that water needs to be processed, using up energy and chemicals. When it rains, water treatment systems can overflow, releasing waste directly into our waterways.
TIPS to conserve water
Washing dishes. Instead of running the faucet while scrubbing dishes, fill the sink with warm water and use this to clean with. Once the dishes are scrubbed, they simply need a light rinse of cold water.
Don’t run the water. Leaving the showerhead on before you get into the shower or leaving a faucet running while you brush your teeth can waste 2 gallons/min!
Don’t wash harmful chemicals down the drain in laboratories.
Take fewer and shorter showers. 25 gallons of water are used in the average 5-min. shower.
Shower in bursts. Turn off the water in the shower when lathering your hair and/or body.
Report that leak! Leaky faucets that drip at a rate of 1 drip/second can waste more than 3,000 gallons a year. A leaky toilet can waste ~200 gallons/day. Call 8-8000 or visit our resources page to find out how to report online.
Make it a full load. Each washer load uses ~40 gallons.
Use front loading washers and dryers. They’re more efficient than top-loading. Use Energy-Star appliances. Full-sized Energy Star washers use 18-25 gallons of water/load (vs. 40 gallons with standard machines).
Toilet ≠ Garbage Bin. Toss tissues and waste into trashcans to avoid unnecessary flushes.
Join Your Peers:
Water Watch is a student organization that works to improve the water quality in New Jersey by empowering students and community members through education and service. Projects include: Cleanups of the local waterways, environmental education lessons for younger students, and stream monitoring the water quality of Princeton’s waterways. Refer to the Sustainability at Princeton for more information.