Hello, Lebanon. It’s me, your friendly Green Patriot. I’m sure you’ve all seen the environmental advocacy commercials on TV, stating that we should conserve water. They’re great! However, they do not discuss the facts about water, how we use it, and what we can do to conserve it.

My fellow Lebanese, water that we can use is a rare scarcity. Indeed, less than 2% of the Earth’s water supply is fresh water. Only 1% of the earth’s water is available for drinking water.  To make matters worse for us, a 2010 report from the Arab Forum for Environment and Development found that the Arab region will face water shortages as early as 2015. As such, it is time for us to find out about how we use water, and what we can do to conserve it. Did you know that on average, you use 140-170 gallons of water per day? The question is…how?

Showering and bathing alone make up 27% of indoor water use.  A ten minute shower requires 40 gallons of water!  A single flush of the toilet uses 6 ½ gallons of water. An average family of four uses 881 gallons of water per week just by flushing the toilet!

My fellow Lebanese, there is no doubt that we need water to service our needs. However, we waste a lot of it without noticing, and this has severe consequences. An average of 8% of all home water use is wasted through leaks. A leaky faucet can waste up to 100 gallons a day.  A leaking toilet can use 90,000 gallons of water in a month.

Fortunately, there are small things we can do that will make a huge difference. Turning off the water while you brush your teeth can save 4 gallons of water a minute. For a family of four, that’s roughly 200 gallons weekly.  Turning off the water while you shave can save more than 100 gallons of water a week. Fixing a leak can save 500 gallons of water each month.  Keeping the time you spend in the shower under 5 minutes can save up to 1000 gallons a month. Turning off water while shampooing and conditioning hair can save 50 gallons a week! Think about the differences these minute changes and the huge impact that they could have on your environment, home, and bills. After all, do you want to pay for water you don’t use?

As I’m sure you know, there are even water-saving appliances you can install in your home. Using a water-saving showerhead can save you 45 gallons out the average 260 gallons of water used daily by a family of four. Weekly, this could mean saving up to 500 gallons a week.  Running your dishwasher and washing machine only when they are filled can save 1,000 gallons a month. A water-saving model when replacing a washing machine can save up to 20 gallons of water per load in comparison to a non-water saving model. An eco-friendly toilet could save you 50-80 gallons of water a day. Finding these appliances is easy, as they are available in every home appliance and improvement store all over Lebanon. These changes will allow you to save substantially; indeed, you could easily cut your water bill in half by being environmentally friendly.

So come on, Lebanon. Let’s do it. Let’s think of the environment, our future, and our bills, and conserve water. We can do it, Lebanon!!!