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5 Simple Ways to Conserve Water in Your Home

Adopting just one of these fixes can bring about a huge change to your life that goes far beyond your home

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Mother Nature and your monthly budget will thank you for your effort. Pixabay
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Water is one of the most abundant substances on earth, but that doesn’t mean it’s free or endless. Not only can practicing simple water conservation techniques help the planet out in the long run, but they can also put more money back in your pocket. Here are five water-saving techniques that you can do every day from the comfort of your home.

Repair Any Leaks or Running Toilets

Even a slightly leaking or constantly running toilet can waste up to 2 gallons of water a minute. In a month’s time, that number can climb to a grand total of 6,000 gallons of water lost and an increase of about $70 to your water bill. Repairing just one seeping flapper could save you hundreds of dollars over the next few years.

ALSO READ: 5 Traditional Water Conservation Methods In India

Turn off the Ice Maker

Most people don’t consume 4 pounds of ice a day, which is what the average refrigerator can produce in 24 hours. Investing in refillable ice trays can help you save gallons of water per week. You also won’t be spooked when the fridge drops ice into a plastic bin late at night.

Don’t Overwater Your Plants, and Embrace Watering Bulbs

Knowing the exact watering needs of both your house and garden plants can be pleasantly welcoming. Buying and using watering bulbs can take the guesswork out of watering your plants while also making sure you don’t overdo it.

Wash Your Clothes and Dishes in Larger Loads

When possible, do your laundry in larger loads as opposed to doing several smaller loads throughout the week. Most washing machines use the same cycle lengths and nearly 75 percent of the same amount of water in all load sizes. By simply eliminating small laundry loads for single larger loads, you can save time, money, and water in one fell swoop. Also, check that you’re only running the dishwasher on a full load to maximize your home’s efficiency.

ALSO READ: Worlds Day for Water: 5 water conservation ways that are ideal for Indian conditions

Wash up and Brush Your Teeth Without Running the Water

Leaving the tap running while cleaning your teeth and scrubbing your face is a common source of water waste in almost every household. If you were to turn off the faucet while doing either of those activities, you could save dozens of gallons of water daily. On average, brushing your teeth with the water running uses 4 gallons of water, while showering uses roughly 17. Turn the water off in between washing and rinsing can cut those numbers in half.

Water conservation, especially in the home, is a win-win situation for your wallet, our planet, and your spare time. Adopting just one of these fixes can bring about a huge change to your life that goes far beyond your home. Mother Nature and your monthly budget will thank you for your effort.

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Conservation Win: Population Of Mountain Gorilla Goes Up

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Mountain Gorilla
A male silverback mountain gorilla from the family of mountain gorillas named Amahoro sits in the dense forest on the slopes of Mount Bisoke volcano in Volcanoes National Park, northern Rwanda. VOA

There are more gorillas in the mist — a rare conservation success story, scientists say.

After facing near-extinction, mountain gorillas are slowly rebounding. On Wednesday, the Switzerland-based International Union for Conservation of Nature updated mountain gorillas’ status from “critically endangered” to “endangered,” a more promising, if still precarious, designation. There are now just over 1,000 of the animals in the wild, up from an estimated population of 680 a decade ago.

“In the context of crashing populations of wildlife around the world, this is a remarkable conservation success,” said Tara Stoinski, president and chief scientist of the Dian Fossey Gorilla Fund.

The Atlanta-based nonprofit is named for the primate researcher whose work helped draw international attention to mountain gorillas and whose memoir became the basis for the 1988 Sigourney Weaver film “Gorillas in the Mist.”

Mountain Gorilla
Not…singing in the rain.
International Year of our Friends 2009

“This is a beacon of hope — and it’s happened in recently war-torn and still very poor countries,” said Stoinski, who is also a member of the IUCN’s primate specialist group, which recommended the status change.

Mountain gorillas live in lush and misty forests along a range of dormant volcanoes in east Africa. Their habitat falls inside national parks spanning parts of Rwanda, Uganda and the Democratic Republic of the Congo.

Fossey, who died in 1985, had projected that the primates may be extinct by 2000. Instead, their populations have been slowly increasing thanks to sustained and well-funded international conservation efforts.

“We have made progress in terms of their protection, in terms of allowing an environment where mountain gorillas can continue to thrive and grow,” said Anna Behm Masozera, director of the International Gorilla Conservation Program, based in Kigali, Rwanda. “But it’s important to note that mountain gorillas’ numbers could still slip back very quickly. We still have just two fragile and small populations,” split between two national park areas.

Gorilla
A male mountain gorilla from the Mukiza group is seen in the forest within the Bwindi National Park near the town of Kisoro, Uganda. VOA

Several factors have enabled mountain gorillas’ modest rebound, said Masozera.

The three governments have stepped up enforcement of national park boundaries — areas where hunting, logging and paved roads are illegal.

Tourism helps too: Visitors pay up to $1,500 an hour to watch gorillas, money that helps pay for park rangers.

“Primate ecotourism, done right, can be a really significant force for funding conservation,” said Russ Mittermeier, chief conservation officer at Global Wildlife Conservation. “It gives local governments and communities a tangible economic incentive to protect these habitats and species.”

There’s also health care. Gorilla Doctors, a nongovernmental group, has trained veterinary staff in each of the countries where the mountain gorillas live.

A male mountain gorilla from the Mukiza group is seen in the forest within the Bwindi National Park near the town of Kisoro, Uganda
How long do i have to hold this pose? Flickr

Hunting in the national parks is illegal, but nearby residents still set traps to catch other animals, such as antelopes. Those traps can also grab gorillas’ arms and legs.

When gorillas are found struggling with snares, the vets are called in to clean wounds. Kirsten Gilardi, U.S. director for the organization, called it “extreme conservation.”

Other experts said the emergency vet interventions play a significant role in maintaining mountain gorilla populations.

Also Read: India To Release 8 Endangered White-Backed Vultures in The Wild

“It’s a total conservation win, and there aren’t that many of them,” said Gilardi.

On Wednesday, the IUCN also announced that bans on commercial whaling in the North Pacific Ocean and elsewhere had allowed some whale populations to rebound. The fin whale’s status was updated from “endangered” to “vulnerable,” a less critical designation. (VOA)