residential water use and water footprints

[Hooray!  I have a working laptop again, and most of my data from my previous laptop has been restored.  That means that this week I can finally publish a post that I started writing back when effectivism only existed as the idea of a blog. :) ]

I try not to waste too much water.  In the past two living arrangements I had, my roommates and I didn’t flush the toilet after we peed, so as to save water.  I also turn off the water while brushing my teeth and as much as possible when washing dishes by hand.  At the same time, I love to take longer showers than I need, and I can’t bring myself to turn off the water while soaping — the “sailor shower” that some of my friends advocate.  At some point, I started wondering how all this balances out.  How much water does it save to flush the toilet relatively infrequently?  Just how guilty should I be feeling about standing under the shower a minute or two longer than I really need?  Are there other relatively easy ways to save water that I’m not thinking of?  I decided to do some poking around.

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