During the 2016 edition of the Super Bowl, Colgate ran an ad highlighting our overconsumption of water during tooth-brushing. The ad is emotinally charged with images of people from poverty-ridden countries. You can watch it below.
Colgate claim that you waste up to 4 gallons (15L) of water if you leave the fauset running. They intend to guilt you into conserving water.
On a global scale, turning the fauset off when you brush your teeth will have a minimal effect. And not because you are only a single person making a change. Domestic consumption accounts for only about 5% of water use. If we all made a change leading to a reduction of water consumption by 50%, the overall domestic use would drop to 2.5%. And 50% is pretty dramatic.
So, who is using all the water in the world? According to the ground-breaking research by the people behind the Cowspiracy documentary, 55% of water consumption in the United States goes towards animal agriculture. An immense amount of water is required to produce meat and dairy products.
So instead of worrying about the running tap, we should stop eating meat and dairy. Doing so will have a much more significant impact on the world. But of course, that isn’t as feel-good as the tooth-brushing story.