Make this One Change to Conserve Water this Earth Day (and every day!)

Small changes, like shorter showers, can certainly conserve water, but there is one single change we can all make that dwarfs most other home water-saving measures.

Earth Day is only a few days away. Living a greener lifestyle should obviously be our daily M.O., but it’s still pretty cool to have an entire day dedicated to celebrating the planet we call home.

The theme for Earth Day 2018 is End Plastic Pollution. But while breaking free from plastic is certainly a cause worth getting behind, of even greater urgency is the need to preserve our planet’s most precious resource: water.

Especially with the UN recently reporting that water shortages could affect over five billion people worldwide by year 2050. When faced with a problem of such magnitude, our immediate reaction is to stick our heads in the sand and hope it will fix itself.

In this case, even though it seems like an impossible challenge to tackle, there is actually a lot we can do to save water. At home we can institute small changes like switching to a reusable water bottle, using gray water in our gardens and only flushing when it’s absolutely necessary.

But there’s one big change we can make that saves more water than all of these small ones.

Switch to a Plant-Based Diet to Conserve Water

Every little bit helps, so I’m definitely not knocking the smaller, more obvious changes we can make. But studies have shown that there’s no greater way to conserve water and generally preserve our planet than by making sustainable food choices – even if it’s just eating plant-based meals a few times a week.

It seems like a ridiculously simple solution, but in fact a plant-based lifestyle has been proven time and time again to be less water intensive than the Standard American Diet.

You only have to watch a documentary like Cowspiracy to see just how detrimental animal agriculture is to the environment and how much water the industry requires to stay in business.

5 Reasons a Plant-Based Lifestyle Conserves Water

Here are five reasons why a plant-based lifestyle is the best way to reduce your water consumption this Earth Day:

1. According to, you could save 219,000 gallons of water a year by going vegan. Even if you decided to follow in Graham Hill’s footsteps and become a weekday vegetarian, you’d still drastically reduce the size of your water footprint.

2. A single pound of beef takes 100 to 200 times more water to produce compared to a plant-based alternative, such as tofu or kale. Another thing to consider (while you wrap your head around the idea of a delicious BLT without bacon) is that the livestock sector is probably the largest source of water pollution.

3. For the majority of us first worlders, skipping showers is a pretty big deal, but we’re prepared to do it if it will benefit the planet. One for all and all that. But consider this for a moment: skipping that winner winner chicken dinner will save more water than not showering for six months.

4. Livestock and their byproducts account for at least 51 percent of all worldwide greenhouse gas emissions. Put another way, animal agriculture is responsible for more greenhouse gas emissions than the combined exhaust from all transportation.

5. Animal agriculture is responsible for 20-33 percent of all freshwater consumption in the world today. It’s also the leading cause of global warming, water depletion, deforestation, species extinction and ocean ‘dead zones.’

The environmental benefits to eating a plant-based diet or even a plant-heavy diet are huge, but it’s also good for our health. Among many other things, eating mostly plants can transform your weight and heart health, improve your mood and productivity, help with rheumatoid arthritis and – in the case of Purple Carrot founder Andy Levitt - cure Crohn’s disease.

If you need some guidance with vegan meal prep, there are plant-based meal delivery services like Fresh ‘n Lean, Purple Carrot and The Vegan Garden.

You’ve got nothing to lose (except excess weight) and everything to gain by eating more veggies and less meat and dairy, so why not give it a try this Earth Day and beyond?

Photo Credit: Thinkstock


Marie W
Marie W9 months ago

Thank you for posting.

JoAnn P
JoAnn Parisabout a year ago

Thank you for this very interesting article.

Jaime J
Jaime Jabout a year ago

Thank you!!

Paola M
Past Member about a year ago

Thank you for posting

Leo C
Leo Cabout a year ago

Thank you for sharing!

Maureen G
Maureen Gabout a year ago

I feel I have done my bit towards water conservation by having an indoor compst toilet.

Olga N
Olga Nycz-Shirleyabout a year ago

TY Noted

John W
John Wabout a year ago


Roxana Saez
Roxana Saezabout a year ago


Tabot T
Tabot Tabout a year ago

Happy Earth day!