TORRANCE, Calif., May 18, 2015 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- Enough to fill 2,300 Olympic-sized swimming pools.
That's the amount of water Americans pledged to save over the next year as part of the 2015 Wyland National Mayor's Challenge for Water Conservation, an annual awareness campaign presented by the Wyland Foundation and Toyota that encourages leaders to promote water efficiency in their communities. Between April 1-30, residents from more than 3,900 cities made 391,325 pledges online to reduce their water use at home, around the yard, and in their lives. The challenge addresses the growing importance of educating consumers about the many ways they use water — from swapping their lawns out in favor of drought resistant native plants to fixing leaks to looking at how we use water for food and manufacturing.
The cities with the highest percentage of residents that made pledges during the monthlong campaign included San Diego, Calif., Aurora, Colo., Torrance, Calif., Poway Calif., and Hermosa Beach, Calif. Additionally, mayors of cities in thirty-five states, including Pittsburgh, Dallas, Denver, Miami, Stockton, Boise, Santa Fe, Pasadena, Gainesville, and Tucson stepped up their involvement with personal appeals to residents to participate.
Residents from winning cities will be entered into a drawing this month for over $50,000 in water-saving or eco-friendly prizes, including a Grand Prize Toyota Prius v, EcoFlow showerheads from WaterPik, home irrigation equipment from the Toro Company, and hundreds of home improvement store gift cards. A $1,000 home improvement store shopping spree will also be chosen from among the entire pool of U.S. participants. Additional prizes include a water efficient landscape park or school makeover for one of the winning cities, as well as WaterSmart Software tools for water utilities to help reduce resident water consumption up to 5 percent.
As prospects of water reduction mandates grow in the U.S., the campaign provides cities with a way to engage residents with positive incentives and raises the collective water I.Q. of the nation. Pledges are designed to promote water sustainability and improve water quality, along with tips for additional water savings. Additional support for the challenge is provided by the U.S. EPA, the National League of Cities, the Toro Company, ByteLaunch, and WaterSmart Software.
"Toyota is committed to using its knowledge, resources, and time to support programs that promote the efficient use of natural resources," said Kevin Butt, Regional Environmental Director for Toyota. "We've been proud to watch the National Mayor's Challenge for Water Conservation grow in just a few short years from a grass-roots initiative with a handful of mayors to one of the largest water conservation awareness programs in the nation."
In addition to making 1.5 billion gallons in water-saving pledges, challenge participants in 50 states pledged to reduce their use of single-use plastic water bottles by more than 4.6 million bottles and eliminate 141,000 pounds of hazardous waste from entering watersheds. By altering daily lifestyle choices, pledges also resulted in potentially 47 million fewer pounds in landfills. Potential savings of 13 million gallons of oil, 7 billion pounds of carbon dioxide, 139 million kilowatt hours of energy, and $35 million in consumer cost savings rounded out the final pledge results.
About the Wyland Foundation
Founded in 1993 by environmental artist Wyland (best known for his series of 100 monumental marine life murals), the Wyland Foundation, a 501c3 non-profit organization, is actively engaged in teaching millions of students around the county about our ocean, rivers, lakes streams, and wetlands. www.wylandfoundation.org
Toyota (NYSE:TM) established operations in the United States in 1957 and currently operates 10 manufacturing plants. Toyota directly employs over 31,000 in the U.S. and its investment here is currently valued at more than $23 billion, including sales and manufacturing operations, research and development, financial services and design. Since 1991, Toyota has contributed nearly $700 million to philanthropic programs in the U.S. For more information on Toyota's commitment to improving communities nationwide, visit http://www.toyota.com/philanthropy.
Source: Wyland; Toyota