an image of footprints photoshopped onto water

5 quick ways to reduce your water footprint without transforming your lifestyle

Do you love your daily routine? Waking up at the same time. Habitually making your bed. The same coffee to go with the same breakfast. It doesn’t make you strange, humans are creatures of habit. It’s why stopping kids from biting their nails or sucking their thumbs is so difficult. It’s a habit! This is why we know that when you try to make a difference to the environment by reducing your water footprint, it can be difficult to change old habits or create new ones. So, in this week’s blog, we’re going to show you 7 ways to reduce your water footprint that won’t heavily impact your routine. Easy, simple, and small actions that will add up to a big water-saving difference.

Reducing your water footprint with meat 

If you’ve read our carbon footprint blogs, you’ll know that meat has a high carbon footprint simply because it comes from living creatures. Think of it this way. Humans have high carbon footprints because they consume plants that remove CO2 from the atmosphere, they produce it by breathing, and they consume a lot. While humans consume far more than they need with material things, animals as a broad term also consume a lot because they need to eat, drink, and breathe.  

When trying to reduce your water footprint, think of eating meat like this. The more water the animals consume over a lifetime, the higher the impact. Beef needs around 15,000 litres of water per kg. Smaller animals like chickens have smaller water footprints but of course, a vegetarian diet has a lesser impact altogether. 

Remove chocolate from your diet 

Did you just gasp? We did too when we discovered that 1kg of chocolate uses over 17,000 litres of water. Chocolate has one of the highest water footprints across all types of foods. Its water footprint is higher than any meat. We’re gutted, but at Greenredeem you know we’re not about removing all the fun from our lifestyle. This is why kicking the sweet stuff altogether simply isn’t an option (for us anyway, we don’t have that kind of willpower). However, we could probably reduce it. 

If you purchase a meal deal at lunch, try to avoid a chocolate chip cookie or chocolate bar. If you’re opting for a sweet treat in the evening, could you perhaps have fruit and yoghurt instead? Chocolate is often a secondary ingredient so removing it completely might remove a lot of other treats. Perhaps a healthy middle-ground is to manage your consumption instead. 

Be more British and drink tea 

It may come as a surprise but coffee has grown in popularity year on year since 2012. It might have something to do with the millions of coffee shops in the UK, but it means grabbing a coffee on the go is more likely than tea these days. Although nothing can compete with a cup of tea on the sofa at home, more brits than ever are drinking coffee. 

So how is this related to your water footprint? Coffee beans are more water-intensive to grow than tea leaves are. While the amount of water used in a mug is relatively similar, the growing process is different. 140 litres to make a cup of coffee and 34 litres for a tea. You’ll dramatically reduce your water footprint with each mug. It’s a simple and easy swap to make, and one that we can certainly get on board with – more tea! 

Ditch fast-fashion and buy quality items 

It’s no surprise that fast fashion is bad for the environment, we’ve talked about it before in this blog. But a larger issue that you probably hadn’t considered is the water footprint attached to fast fashion. Cotton being the largest culprit, just one t-shirt can use 2,700 litres of water! 

So, what’s the answer? There’s plenty of less water-intensive fashion items, but it’s a very complex area to tackle. With multiple sustainable and ethical hurdles to overcome, we go back to basics with this tip. Buy less, buy more sustainable, and buy good quality items. You don’t need a new summer wardrobe every year. There’s nothing wrong with using an old t-shirt as a pyjama top or even cutting it up to make cleaning rags in your home. Remember the best thing you can buy to help save the planet, is nothing at all. 

Reducing your water footprint by consuming less 

Of course, a direct way to minimise your water footprint is to simply use less. There are so many ways to do this, and we’ve looked at plenty on our blog. So, here are some of our most popular blogs for directly reducing your water consumption: 

Just like carbon footprints, it is possible to manage a water footprint. It doesn’t mean you have to transform your way of life and it doesn’t require a huge financial investment to make a difference. Have a meat-free Monday, have a chocolate-free dessert, drink a cuppa and don’t go clothes shopping every weekend. That all seems manageable – right? Over time, these small actions will make a big difference and you can add more new habits to your repertoire. How will you start to reduce your water footprint? 

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