ahorrar-aguaWater, water everywhere – in the literally thousands of cenotes in Yucatán and the enormous Gulf of Mexico. But, will it last? There are things you, the simple citizen of the world, can do to help save water. The following room-by-room and outdoor guide will give you some tips for saving agua. YOU can make a difference. Be proud to say you are part of the solution – not part of the problem.

In tourism:
 Conserve water because it is the right thing to do. Don’t waste water just because someone else is footing the bill such as when you are staying at a hotel or a beachfront private home rental. 
 Re-use your sheets and towels – don’t request a fresh change daily.
 Support efforts and programs to create a concern for water conservation among tourists and visitors. Understand the need for, and benefits of, water conservation in the places you visit around the world.

 Capture warm-up shower water in a bucket for plants. Turn the shower off while you lather up.
 Turn the water off while brushing your teeth, shaving and/or lathering your hands. Lather your hands for as long as it takes to sing “Happy Birthday” twice.
 Use a tumbler of water for rinsing your mouth while brushing your teeth.
 If you have a traditional toilet, put a bottle filled with water in the tank to reduce the amount of water used with each flush.
 As they say, “if it’s yellow, let it mellow, if it’s brown flush it down.” This will save on flushes.
 Check for toilet tank leaks by adding food coloring to the tank. If the toilet is leaking, color will appear within 30 minutes. Check the toilet for worn out, corroded or bent parts. Most replacement parts are inexpensive, readily available and easily installed. (Flush as soon as test is done, since food coloring may stain tank.) 
 Avoid flushing the toilet unnecessarily. 
 Dispose of tissues, insects and other such waste in the trash rather than the toilet.

 When washing dishes by hand, use a sink of water rather than running the water – a very Yucatecan way to wash dishes. 
 Use the water you soak the beans in for watering house plants.
 Every time you boil an egg save the cooled water for your houseplants. They’ll benefit from the nutrients released from the shell.
 Start a compost pile as an alternate method of disposing of food waste, instead of using a garbage disposal. Garbage disposals also can add 50 percent to the volume of solids in a septic tank, which can lead to malfunctions and maintenance problems. 
 Do not thaw meat or poultry with running water. 
Replace an old dishwasher with an efficient energy saver model.
 Operate a dishwasher fully loaded or on the appropriate setting for the size of the load.

 Replace your top-loaded washing machine with a front-load one. This not only saves water but also treats your clothing more gently.
 Operate washing machine fully loaded or on the appropriate setting for the size of the load.
 Insulate water heater and pipes according to manufacturer’s directions.

 Check for leaks. Mark the pool edge with a grease pencil. A pool should lose only a half inch of water per day.

In the yard:
 Landscape and plant native and/or drought-tolerant grasses, ground covers, shrubs and trees. Once established, they do not need water as frequently, and usually will survive a dry period without watering. Group plants together based on similar water needs.
 Water in the early morning and only when necessary.
 Hand water beds and lawn with a hose when possible.
 Use mulch on flower beds to retain moisture.
 Leave clippings on the lawn.
 Do not hose down your driveway or sidewalk. Use a broom to clean leaves and other debris from these areas. Using a hose to clean a driveway can waste hundreds of gallons of water.

In general:
 Never put water down the drain when there may be another use for it such as watering a plant or garden, or cleaning. 
 Wash your car on the grass.
 Fix leaky faucets.
 Use porous material for driveways and sidewalks to discourage runoff.
 Track your water usage on your bill and meter.
 Try to do one thing each day that will result in a savings of water. Don’t worry if the savings is minimal. Every drop counts. YOU can make a difference. Tell your friends, neighbors and co-workers to “Turn it Off” and “Keep it Off”. 
 Create an awareness of the need for water conservation among your children and household help (cooks, gardeners, housekeepers, nannies). 
 Avoid the purchase of recreational water toys which require a constant stream of water.
 Patronize businesses which practice and promote water conservation. 
 Google “water saving tips” to learn more.

Wasted Water numbers:
 1400 to 2400 liters (350 – 600 gallons) of water are wasted by a leaking toilet per month.
 5 minutes: the ideal time a shower should take. 16 liters (4 gallons) is the amount of water per minute saved if you turn off the water while brushing your teeth.
 20 gallons (80 liters) is the amount of water saved per load by a new front loading washing machine.
 2,700 gallons (10,800 liters) is the amount of water wasted in one year if your faucet is dripping at the rate of one drop per second.


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