Water Conservation at Church: Saving Water Indoors

[Ed. note: This article is part of our weekly series of church activities, called Cultivating Community, published on Thursdays.]

Leaky sink faucet.

A leaky faucet is more than a nuisance. It also costs your church a lot of money and the world a lot of water! (cc image courtesy MoShotz via flickr)

Christians are really good at digging wells. We recognize that people around the world (even in the United States) lack clean and abundant water for drinking, washing, and farming, and we are moved to help them since water is the one thing we can’t live without. So organizations like Blood:Water Mission, Living Water International, and Charity: Water have developed to bring clean drinking water to those who need it. Many of us have even been on mission teams that dig wells or set up gravity-fed water systems in some of the poorest and most forgotten communities in the world.

But that’s only half of the equation. Do we also spend time and energy conserving water at home or in our churches? Less than one percent of the world’s water is drinkable—a statistic that won’t change, no matter how many wells we dig. The work of providing water must be complemented by the work of conserving water.

In the next two weeks, we will provide you with instructions and tips for saving water and creating a culture of water stewardship at your church. This week we’ll focus on conserving water inside the church building:

1. Educate and Empower
The best way to save water is to encourage church members to take matters into their own hands. Showing folks how they can easily save water not only makes your job as water-saving advocate easier, but it empowers others to see their own important role in water conservation.

  • Posters – Create simple signs advocating good water usage (turning the faucet off while you soap up your hands, not running the dishwasher unless it’s full, not running the water until it gets warm, etc.) near bathroom, kitchen, and classroom sinks in your church building. Include some simple facts about how important every last drop of water is.
  • Bulletin inserts – In a handout or bulletin insert church members will receive in the worship service, explain, from a perspective of compassionate stewardship, why it is important for Christians to conserve water, and include some water use facts and tips to help others save water in church and at home.

2. The Leaky Faucet Gets the Fix
Finding and fixing leaks is a simple way to save water. Although a leak may seem like a small problem, fixing even a leaky faucet can save 140 gallons of water a week.

  • Toilets – Put a few drops of food coloring in the tank of your toilets. If it seeps into the water in the bowl, you have a leak that needs to be fixed.
  • Faucets – Leaky faucets are easy to find and easy to fix. Encourage church members to alert the building’s facility manager if they notice a leak in the church’s bathroom or kitchen faucets.

3. Simple Water Savers
You can install a few simple devices to help your church use less water.

  • Simple Must-Haves – Mesh aerators for your sink faucets mix air with water in order to reduce the amount of water lost but still provide decent water pressure. They can be found at most home improvement stores and are easy to install. Likewise, you can easily reduce the amount of water wasted with each toilet flush by placing a plastic bottle filled with sand or pebbles into the toilet tank. This will displace some of the water so that less is flushed needlessly down the drain.
  • Bigger Investments – When your church has to replace plumbing fixtures, consider replacing them with more water-efficient fixtures. WaterSense is a labeling system approved by the U.S. EPA and applied to water-using devices that waste less water than traditional fixtures. Look for the WaterSense label when purchasing new plumbing fixtures to ensure your church is investing in water-efficient and high-performing toilets and faucets.

Further Reading
Water Use It Wisely
ENERGY STAR Congregations Website

Trackbacks

  1. […] it, fixing leaky faucets, running dishwashers and washing machines only when they’re full, etc. Saving water inside our churches is a topic we explored last week. But there are even more opportunities to steward our water and to save and wisely use what falls […]

  2. […] Water Conservation at Church: Saving Water Indoors Well-digging is only half of the equation. To be compassionate stewards of God’s creation, Christians must conserve water at church as well as provide it to the thirsty. […]

  3. […] Resources 1. Take some steps to save water indoors and outdoors. 2. Do an energy audit and commit to shutting off lights, changing lightbulbs, […]

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