Clothing’s Virtual Water

Turn off the water while brushing your teeth. Take shorter showers. Only wash your clothes if they are dirty. Buy low flow shower faucets and dual flush toilets. Make sure the dishwasher is full before running it.

The list goes on and on for ways that you can reduce the amount of water that you consume. Did you know that it takes approximately 700 gallons of water to produce the cotton needed to make a t-shirt? Did you know that the UN Conference on Trade and Development listed the fast fashion industry is the second-largest polluter behind oil?

Sometimes making a difference for our water resources include making conscious purchases. Before deciding to purchase a new shirt, check-in by asking yourself: “Do I need a new shirt?” “Can I get it second hand?” “How long will that be a part of your wardrobe?” Remembering virtual water-or the water not seen to make the product- is a leading contributor to our global water shortages, especially in the years to come.

Water conservation isn’t a simple one solution fits all. Each individual can take actions that can protect our rivers and the water quality in our watershed. What will you do to make a difference?

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