I’ve spent quite a lot of time living in both California and Texas. Most of those years have been drought years so conserving water has always been drilled into my head.
Even though I didn’t grow up in the most eco-conscious household, turning off the lights and shutting off the water were discussed frequently.
One of my most vivid memories from childhood was being at my grandma’s house when an ice cube fell on the ground. Instead of picking it up and putting it in the sink, she placed it in a gorgeous hand-painted pitcher. She kept that pitcher near the sink to collect any rogue water which she’d later use to water the plants.
I remember thinking how clever she was - that even something as small as a single ice cube didn’t go to waste. And, I mean, we all know our grandparents were the original zero wasters.
Nebia’s mission is to fundamentally change the way we interact with water. The Nebia Spa Shower 2.0 saves 65% of water compared to conventional showerheads.
Instead of a stream of water like with traditional shower heads, Nebia has developed a superior shower experience through atomization, the process of breaking up water into tiny droplets. This solution creates the sensation of more water while actually using much less.
I’m from the south, and cannot abide by flat hair. When I first learned about Nebia , I was intrigued but a bit worried about hair volume.
Low flow tends to = low volume, but Nebia’s engineers have figured out a way to save water while keeping my hair as bouncy as ever!
I’ve been using the second-generation of Nebia’s award-winning shower system, the Nebia Spa Shower 2.0, for a little over a month now and am so happy with its performance. Nebia is a bit different from other showers. Because the billions of water droplets are spread out over a greater area, the shower head provides 2X fuller coverage than a standard shower. Add some eucalyptus to the shower, let the steam build up, and boom - instant spa. (Also great for cold season!)
According to Nebia's Calculator , between Justin and I, we’ll be saving $177.13 as well as the equivalent of 102,200 glasses of drinking water and 23.6 days of heat for the average home each year!
My favorite part about the Nebia 2.0, besides the massive water savings, is it’s designed to be used by people of different heights. Its arm glides 25 inches up and down so you can always position it at the perfect height for you. As a bonus, this means it’s SO easy to jump in the shower for a quick rinse without having to worry about getting my hair wet.
The Nebia Spa Shower 2.0 is currently available with free shipping on North American orders through November 1.
Now, I know we’ve all heard that we should conserve water, but have you ever thought about why? Water is a renewable resource so what’s the big deal?
71% of the Earth’s surface is covered in water, but only 3% of that is fresh water. And, of that 3% most of it is locked under the Earth’s surface, in ice, the atmosphere, and the soil.
Only .007% of the water on our planet is available to fuel and feed its 6.8 billion people. (source) As our population rates climb this water is spread out among more people. As our climate changes, droughts and water scarcity are becoming more common so we’ll have even less water to split among us.
Average daily indoor water use in the US is around 60 gallons per person per day, but our virtual water use, in other words, how much water goes into the food we eat, the clothes we wear, and the products we use every day, is in the thousands of gallons.
Don't believe me? Check out the Water Footprint Calculator - it's very eye-opening. The US Average is 2,220 Gallons/Day think you can beat it?
My water footprint came 1,262 Gallons/Day which is still a lot. I would love to try and cut it down.
Seeing how much actual water and virtual water I use each day has inspired me to re-think my water usage. Here are 10 easy ways to reduce your water footprint.
1. turn off the tap:
Whether you're brushing your teeth, your hands, or the dishes. Turn the water off when you’re not using it. Keep a basin in your sink to catch excess water or to rinse dishes.
2. shower better:
Hate the idea of low-flow showerheads but want to dramatically reduce your water usage? Consider switching out your old shower head with the Nebia Spa Shower 2.0.
I rent and the two things I always do when moving into a new rental is change the lightbulbs to LEDs and switch out the shower head. It only took about 15 minutes to install Nebia and the uninstallation is even easier so it will be really easy to put the original shower head back once we move out.
These two simple swaps can save you hundreds of dollars and lots of water!
Beyond switching your shower head, you should also try showering less frequently.
Most people shower WAY too much. You shouldn't shower daily unless you're very sweaty or very dirty. It's not good for your skin so if you're prone to getting stinky just wash your body and skip washing your hair.
3. shower with a bucket:
Even if you have an amazing water-saving showerhead like Nebia, you probably still spend a minute or two waiting for the shower to heat up. Keep a bucket in the shower so you can catch the extra water. You can use it to water your plants or flush the toilet.
4. run it full:
When it comes to washing dishes or a load of clothes, run it full! It’s the most efficient way to run your appliances.
5. change your landscape:
Unlike these other swaps, this isn’t a quick change. It will take some time to update your landscaping but if you’re up for the challenge you can make a huge impact in this area.
Try to reduce the amount of grass you have. Manicured lawns aren’t the most sustainable choice. Instead opt for drought-friendly lawn space or convert it into an edible garden so you're able to grow local food!
6. keep it real:
Now, the majority of the water we use, we don’t even see. It’s called virtual water and it’s used mostly on the industry side of things. The next half of my tips are going to focus on the other side of water use.
Use real plates and cloth napkins. You might think more water is used to wash these items, but it actually takes 8 gallons of water to make one paper plate whereas the average dishwasher only uses 6 gallons of water.
7. watch what you eat:
Agriculture accounts for 65% of the world's freshwater. It takes 1,910 gallons to produce just ONE pound of beef. (BCRC) One of the best things you can do is to limit the number of animal products that you consume.
If you’re just starting out on your eco-friendly journey start small. Try incorporating one or two meatless meals a week or start with vegan breakfasts and lunches.
Here are a few other low water crops you can incorporate in your diet: corn, sweet potatoes, amaranth, and black-eyed peas.
8. watch what you wear:
Did you know it takes A LOT of water to grow cotton? According to National Geographic, it takes 2,700 gallons of water to make ONE cotton t-shirt.
One of the most eco-friendly things you can do is shop for clothing second hand, be happy with what you already own, or host a clothing swap with friends. Not only will you save $$ but you’ll also save lots of water!
9. opt for recycled:
Did you know it takes 37 gallons of water to create ONE roll of toilet paper? (source) When it comes to toilet paper, opt for recycled content instead of virgin paper.
Another great way to reduce the amount of toilet paper you use is to get a bidet attachment. They're fairly inexpensive starting around $35 and will pay for themselves in a month or two. They're really easy to install at home, and it's honestly been one of my favorite zero-waste swaps!
10. choose reusables:
I know this sounds similar to keepin' it real, and it is, but I want to emphasize disposable "convenience" products like water bottles and paper coffee cups.
It takes 3 liters of water to create ONE liter of bottled water. (Academy of Sciences) Instead of choosing disposables, invest in one nice reusable bottle that's insulated. You can carry your water and get a coffee when you’re out.
Since it’s insulated, it’s perfect for keeping hot drinks hot and cold drinks cold so you only have to carry one bottle with you.
How many of these tips have you implemented in your life?