Chelsea Green Publishing

Chelsea Green Blog

Ten Facts About the Water We Waste

As the globe’s temperature rises and the earth’s weather patterns go haywire, water is quickly becoming a hot topic in the US and elsewhere. Floods are sweeping through new areas, while others are drying out faster than ever. We’ve long had the luxury of holding a cavalier attitude about the water we use, and more often than not that attitude has led us to unnecessary waste and pollution of our water.

Jon Clift and Amanda Cuthbert, authors of Water: Use Less—Save More, have assembled some facts about our water use that may surprise you.

From Water: Use Less—Save More:

  1. Americans now use 127 percent more water than we did in 1950.

  2. About 95 percent of the water entering our homes goes down the drain.

  3. Running the tap while brushing your teeth can waste 4 gallons of water.

  4. Older toilets can use 3 gallons of clean water with every flush, while new toilets use as little as 1 gallon.

  5. Leaky faucets that drip at the rate of one drop per second can waste up to 2,700 gallons of water each year.

  6. A garden hose or sprinkler can use almost as much water in an hour as an average family of four uses in one day.

  7. A water-efficient dishwasher will use as little a 4 gallons per wash cycle, whereas some older models use up to 13 gallons per cycle.

  8. Some experts estimate that more than 50 percent of landscape water use goes to waste due to evaporation or runoff caused by over-watering.

  9. Many people in the world exist on 3 gallons of water per day or less. We can use that amount in one flush of the toilet.

  10. Over a quarter of all the clean, drinkable water you use in your home is used to flush the toilets.


For tips on how to reduce the amount of water you use and waste, see Water: Use Less—Save More, by Jon Clift and Amanda Cuthbert.


Dear Humans: Listen to Ben Kilham. Signed, The Bears.

When it comes to fatal human-bear encounters, too often it’s the bear who ends up on the losing end. The most recent story occurred in Thetford, Vt., where a hungry bear with slim pickings began seeking out food in town. After unsuccessful attempts to thwart the bear – known to bear rehab specialist and author […] Read More

Reimagining Restoration as a Radical Act

Finding ways to manage “invasive” species as we’ve come to know them has sparked a vigorous debate within conservation and restoration communities, as well as farmers, gardeners, and permaculturalists.In her thought-provoking book Beyond the War on Invasive Species, author Tao Orion urges us to rethink and reimagine restoration as a way to break out of […] Read More

Trust Your Unconsciousness: Elizabeth Marshall Thomas on Writing

Elizabeth Marshall Thomas is a New York Times-bestelling author, traveler, and astute observer of the natural world. In Dreaming of Lions, a paperback edition of her memoir, Thomas pens a powerful new afterword and a selection of photos from her extraordinary life is included. Below is an excerpt from her chapter about writing, and her […] Read More

Ask the Experts: Submit Your Permaculture Questions Now

Attention all growers, food-lovers, and green-living enthusiasts, we are once again celebrating Permaculture Month by putting our pioneering permaculture authors to work for you.Chelsea Green is proud to publish and distribute some of the most recognized, and award-winning, names in permaculture, and we’re making several of them available to our readers to answer any and all […] Read More

Recipe: Pascal Baudar’s Basic Wild Kimchi

Experiment with what you have, anything from the mustard family will work extremely well. Read More
Follow us
Get every new post delivered to your inbox
Join millions of other followers
Powered By WPFruits.com