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Behavior Change
Toyota, Wyland Foundation Rallying U.S. Cities Around Water Conservation

As Earth month begins to take shape, Toyota has partnered up with the Wyland Foundation, the water conservation non-profit founded by renowned marine life artist Wyland, to launch the second annual National Mayor’s Challenge for Water Conservation.

As Earth month begins to take shape, Toyota has partnered up with the Wyland Foundation, the water conservation non-profit founded by renowned marine life artist Wyland, to launch the second annual National Mayor’s Challenge for Water Conservation.

For the inaugural challenge last year, 1,000 cities across all 50 states are encouraged to get their citizens to take an online pledge. People pledged to save 4.7 billion gallons of water for the month. This led to a potential cost saving of $11.6 million. The pledge also included the reduction of single-use plastic bottles by 1.1 million and the elimination of 60,000 pounds of hazardous waste from the watershed.

This year, the cities are divided into five population brackets — the city with the most participants will be declared the winner. One person from a winning city will win a Toyota Prius C hybrid. A second place prize of a $1,000 shopping spree at Lowe’s will go to a randomly picked entry from any city.

I just signed the pledge myself. In the pledge, you choose which objectives you want to endorse, from fixing leaky faucets to landscaping with climate appropriate plants. After you complete the pledge, there is a fairly lengthy section of resources to help you understand the bigger picture in your area. I now know the size of my local watershed and local non-profits that I can join. I am proud to say that my small hometown is currently in 8th place in its division. So far, only five days into the challenge, 100 million gallons of water have been saved.

The challenge has broad support from the National League of Cities, CH2M, Hill WaterMatch, Rain Bird Corporation, Lowe’s, the EPA and the US Forest Service.

Toyota isn’t the only car company stepping up to the plate. On World Water Day last month, Ford announced they had reduced the water used to make each vehicle by 8.5% between 2011 and 2012. That is more than halfway to their goal of an average of four cubic meters of water by 2015. Ford says this reduction comes from investing in water technology and finding alternative lower-quality water sources.

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