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New Climate for Action: Be an H2O Hero

2008 November 3

About the author: Ashley Sims, a senior at Indiana University, is a fall intern with EPA’s Office of Children’s Health Protection and Environmental Education through the Washington Leadership Program.

Last month EPA launched the climate change and children’s health education campaign. In an effort to promote action among middle and high school students, this campaign focuses on daily action steps we can take to address global climate change.

Let’s get started on our weekly discussion. Today, many teenagers brush their teeth or shave while leaving the water on rather than turning it off. This increases energy use and greenhouse gas emissions into our environment. Public water systems require a lot of energy to purify and distribute water to people’s homes. Saving water, particularly hot water, can cut energy use and greenhouse gas emissions.

Choosing to turn off the water when you’re brushing your teeth or taking a shower instead of a bath, can cut energy use and reduce greenhouse gases. Turning off the water while you brush your teeth can save up to 8 gallons of water each day. The same is true when you wash dishes. If you take a shower instead of a bath, you can save about 50 gallons of water! As you can see, saving water at home is an easy thing to do.

Another thing you can do to conserve water is encourage your parents to inspect your house for leaky faucets or toilets. You could be wasting up to 200 gallons of water each day. I bet this information will motivate your parents to repair any leaks right away! Also, washing your bike or car with a bucket instead of a hose is another way to conserve water.

Remember these tips:

  • Turn off the water when you are brushing your teeth or shaving.
  • Take a shower instead of a bath; doing so can save about 50 gallons of water!
  • Inspect your house for leaky faucets or toilets
  • Use a watering can instead of a hose in the garden.

Let’s do our part for climate change and reduce the energy we use where we live, learn and play! It is good for our health and the health of the planet. And don’t forget to let me know what you do to conserve water.

To learn more information on water usage, visit and

Editor's Note: The opinions expressed here are those of the author. They do not reflect EPA policy, endorsement, or action, and EPA does not verify the accuracy or science of the contents of the blog.

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5 Responses leave one →
  1. Joanne permalink
    November 3, 2008

    Yes I think this is the time to save water. Maybe using rain harvesting system can alternative saving water. Especially for drain garden, wash car, etc.

  2. Ashley-EPA permalink
    November 4, 2008

    Joanne-I read the link and thought rain harvesting system was indeed fascinating. I haven’t even heard of it until now. Thanks for sharing that with us. I encourage others to read it as well. It’s quite interesting.

  3. Lina-EPA permalink*
    November 4, 2008

    Updated all the toilets at home with watersense certified ones. Encouraging shorter showers is still an uphill battle with my daughters at home.

  4. Alicia permalink
    November 5, 2008

    With the ever-changing green options in today’s society and global warming hunting us what other options are their to make a dramatic effect on issues in the environment? Barack Obama now elected president promises to “Deploy the Cheapest, Cleanest, Fastest Energy Source,” ( do you think he will follow through with this and in what ways? Do you think it is good for the president to promise to us the nation that he will give us the cleanest energy source? Improving our energy sources will make a huge impact, it’s exactly what we need for our environment.

  5. Ashley-EPA permalink
    November 10, 2008

    I know a great way how to get your daughters to take a shorter shower. Get them to listen to EPA’s global climate change rap song located on our website. It was created to get middle and high school students involved and address this issue. In the song, it mentions taking a shower for 5 minutes. It’s really cute. It made me as well as other people I know laugh really hard. Check it out at and tell me what you and your daughters think.

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