It’s no secret that water is one of the most important resources on this planet. Over 30 million people rely on the Colorado River for food, water, recreation, energy, and work. And unfortunately, we’re using water so rapidly that the Colorado doesn’t even reach the sea anymore. The good news: sustainability starts with you! By reducing our water usage, we can start to set the Colorado back on track, one drop at a time. This doesn’t mean you can never shower again— small changes in consumption go a long way. And eventually you’ll notice green habits coming second nature!

What You Can Do:

  • Turn the faucet off if you’re not actively using the water, like when cooking, lathering up in the shower, or brushing your teeth. Turning off the tap when brushing your teeth can save 4 gallons of water a minute

  • Look for WaterSense label to find water effiecent products that help reduce water consumption and save money. 

  • The average bath can use up to 50 gallons of water, while a ten minute shower uses only 25. When possible, shower often and only use your bathtub as a special treat. 

  • Use a washing machine only when it’s full of clothes and dry your clothes on a drying rack or clothes line. Running your washer and dryer less saves both water and energy! 

  • Did you know that one six ounce steak uses 674 gallons of water to get to your table? Meat, specifically pork and beef, requires the highest amount of water to produce of any food. Additionally, cow’s milk has a much higher water footprint than dairy-free alternatives such as soy milk and almond milk. Consider limiting your meat consumption or eating vegetarian or vegan one day a week. 

  • Processed foods use up a lot of water in production, while fruits, vegetables, and whole grains use much less. Not only is it healthier, but eating fewer processed foods can reduce your water consumption!

  • Believe it or not, reducing our shopping habits can also save water! It takes hundreds of gallons of water to create American’s favorite clothes, electronics, and household items- for example, the fashion industry alone uses 10% of all water used industrially. Buying less and buying second hand can reduce your water waste. There are many thrift stores in the Boulder area where you can practice shopping sustainably! And if you’ve grown out or grown tired of old clothes or goods, donate them so that others can put them to good use. 

  • Water is used to create nearly everything we use in everyday life- including paper and plastic. Recycling these items can lower our water waste as well. More information on recycling can be found in the ‘Zero Waste’ section of the guide.

  • Water and energy are linked: it takes water to create electricity and transportation fuels, and it takes energy to treat water. When you conserve one, you’re also conserving the other! Following the ‘Energy’ section of the guide is another great way to save water. 

  • If you live off campus, schedule a free water consultation through Center for Resource Conservations Slow the Flow to learn how to decrease water waste in your home! 

What CU is Doing: