Friday, September 3, 2010

No Impact Week Day 6: Water

You'd think the horror is in the packaging and the processing,
but these consumer goods also bump up your water footprint.

**If this is the first post you are reading on No Impact Week,
you might want to read this one to orient yourself.**

Water Water Everywhere, But Not a Drop to Drink.


Water is being overused everywhere, and Day 6 of Sierra Club No Impact Week was all about becoming more aware of water usage.
Things We Already Do
-No purchasing of plastic water bottles. Nalgene rules in our house.
-Water is the primary drink in our home. No, really, we often do not purchase juice or wine or anything other than milk as a supplementary beverage.
-Try to take quick showers. I'm still working on getting done in under five minutes.
Water Damage
-While using cloth diapers does an amazing reduction of slow-composing waste in landfills, the wash of cloth diapers consumes water.

If you visit the Water Footprint Network, you'll read that the most water usage is not really from water-intensive household chores or drinks, though. Most water is consumed in production. In other words, what you buy directly impacts the environment not only in the obvious terms, but in water usage.

For instance, according to the WFN, the global average waterfootprint of...

1 Cup of Coffee = 140 litres water

1 kg (just over 2 lb.) beef = 15500 liters water
**Think about all that water the cow needs to drink (direct water usage) and all of the grains (indirect water usage) it eats while it develops over three years of more. What can help reduce your beef water imprint is eating free range, grass fed beef, which are not feasting on corn regularly or even at all.**

1 sheet of paper = 10 litres water
**You'll think twice before you waste that sheet and just toss it into recycling, won't you? I will.**

If you are interested in calculating your own waterfootprint, the WFN has a calculator on its website for you. I was slightly confused when asked to calculate how much of my family's income is spent on me, but if you know that number, you should be able to get a great estimate.

There's just one day left of No Impact Week!

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