Meaghan Weeden | March 20, 2020 | 4 min read

In 1993, the UN established March 22nd as World Water Day to celebrate water and raise awareness of the 2.2 billion people living without access to safe water. In an effort to tackle the global water crisis and support the 6th UN Sustainable Development Goal (water and sanitation for all by 2030), UN-Water sets yearly themes and educates millions of people around the world about how to reduce their water consumption.

The UN World Water Day 2020 theme is all about the link between water and climate change. The campaign aims to help humanity reduce water waste and, by extension, improving health and saving lives. While most World Water Day events have been cancelled due to the coronavirus, there are still plenty of ways that you can participate from the safety of your home.


1. Take a 5 minute shower

Taking shorter showers is a great way to preserve water, and it should save you money, too. Not ready to give up your 15 minute morning karaoke session? Consider this: the average showerhead uses 2 1/2 gallons of water every minute. Multiply that by 15 and you’ve wasted about 38 gallons of water before you’ve even stepped out your front door! But your water takes a while to heat up you say? Consider keeping a special bucket in your bathroom and filling it up until the water reaches a comfortable temperature. Use what you’ve collected to water your plants or for cleaning projects.

Meatless Monday

2. Give Meatless Monday a chance

Terrified of tofu? Fear not: it’s 2020 and the options are endless. Legumes like lentils and chickpeas are delicious, planet-friendly alternatives to meat. Consider swapping out the ground meat for lentils in your tacos or bolognese, or whipping up a big batch of chickpea masala. Do this just 1 day each week and you’ll be saving the approximately 350 gallons of water used to produce the average meat-based meal. 

Electronic Devices

3. Unplug your electronics

You already know that the generation of electricity is fossil-fuel intensive, but did you know that a whopping 90% of power generation is also highly water intensive? Thankfully, there’s a simple solution to lower your impact right now: unplug and turn off electronic devices that are not being used. That’s it! The impacts could show up on your next electricity bill: phantom power usage accounts for 1/4 of usage in the average household.

Don't waste food

4. Don’t waste food

As you might imagine, industrial agriculture requires a LOT of water. But did you know that around 1/3 of all food produced is lost or wasted? The good news is that wasting less food can have a real impact on water waste, too. Consider starting a compost, meal planning, or even growing more food from veggie scraps. You can also check out our blog post on how to reduce waste for more zero-waste living tips.

Shop sustainably

5. Shop sustainably

1 pair of jeans produced the conventional way eats up approximately 10,000 liters of water. Consider that 1 person would need 10 years to drink that much—and that 5.7 billion people will experience water scarcity by 2050—and you see the problem. So consider doing a hands-off clothing swap, supporting recycled or sustainable brands, or treating yourself to a thrift-store shopping spree once it is safe to do so. You’ll likely find that you end up with unique, high-quality items for a fraction of the price you’d normally pay. 

Break bad habits

6. Break bad habits

While we 100% advocate for washing your hands thoroughly and often, we don’t recommend letting your faucet run while you’re lathering up. So grab the soap, sing a song, and follow CDC guidelines to your hearts content, but switch off the water faucet until you’re ready to rinse! The same goes for washing dishes, brushing your teeth, shaving, or washing your face. Doing this will save hundreds of gallons a month. And if you have to rinse veggies in a colander, consider placing a bowl underneath and reusing the water on your houseplants or for cleaning projects.

plant trees with One Tree Planted

7. Consider planting trees with us! 

Trees are vital partners in the face of water scarcity and climate change: they protect against storm surges, absorb flow of water, slow-release water vapor, retain soil moisture, and hold the soil together. What’s not to love?

We hope that these tips will leave you feeling confident in your ability to reduce your water usage.

Curious about how we’re addressing water scarcity and climate change by planting trees in impacted regions? Check out our current tree planting projects!

Plant Trees Where They're Needed Most
Plant Trees Where They're Needed Most
Plant Trees Where They're Needed Most
Plant Trees Where They're Needed Most
Plant Trees Where They're Needed Most
Plant Trees Where They're Needed Most
Plant Trees Where They're Needed Most
Plant Trees Where They're Needed Most
Plant Trees Where They're Needed Most
Plant Trees Where They're Needed Most
Plant Trees Where They're Needed Most
Plant Trees Where They're Needed Most
Plant Trees Where They're Needed Most
Plant Trees Where They're Needed Most

Plant Trees Where They're Needed Most

As the need for reforestation is global and ever-changing, we feature where trees are most needed now. Today, we're raising funds to jumpstart forest fire recovery in British Columbia. Learn more

With your help, we will:

  • Restore landscapes damaged by a historic season of wildfires
  • Create habitat for iconic biodiversity like the moose and grizzly bear
  • Support old-growth management areas to maintain complex ecosystems
  • This reforestation initiative is helping to restore the landscape in British Columbia after the Hanceville fire burned over 590,000 acres in 2017 and natural regeneration has not occurred. The fire has impacted the forest, soils, riparian ecosystems, wildlife, and water quality. Local indigenous communities have seen their ability to hunt and gather food drastically altered. But your support will go a long way! The goal of planting trees here is to not only re-establish a healthy forest, but also to plant species that will be resilient in the face of climate change. Thank you so much for your support of healthy forests! 🌲
  • Planting trees will catalyze the process of returning the area to a forested state. Newly planted trees will begin the process of sequestering atmospheric carbon, and over time improve the hydrological benefits of the forest. The ecosystems that have been greatly simplified by extreme fire conditions will once again become complex ecosystems, This project will also create habitat for many local wildlife species including mule deer, moose, black and grizzly bear, wolves, sandhill cranes, various raptors, songbirds, and small mammals.
  • A personalized tree certificate (see gallery) to say thanks for your donation. We'll also send you updates about this project, so you can track the impact your trees are having on the community and environment.
  • B.C.'s rich forest diversity includes more than 40 different species of native trees, with some of Canada’s most interesting and valuable tree species. In this project, we made efforts to maximize species diversity, including the following species: Douglas-fir, lodgepole pine, hybrid spruce, ponderosa pine, trembling aspen.


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We plant trees IN 6 REGIONS around the world. Want to choose where yours are planted?