TODAY IS BLOG ACTION DAY and this year's topic is : WATER
Ah! this is a topic dear to my heart...H2O or water. I grew up where water is abundant, a Northern Rain Forest in Southeast Alaska where the rain pours down most of the year...or frozen rain (snow). I always took abundant water for granted, until I moved to California.
While writing this blog post, I decided to do some research on water consumption and people. Did you know that : Every week, nearly 38,000 children under the age of 5 die from unsafe drinking water and unhygienic living conditions?
This statistic shocked me--even though I have traveled to countries where the drinking water was not safe, I still took my ability to purchase clean water in those countries for granted. And we in the industrialized richer nations use much more water than other much poorer countries, just consider these statistics:
It takes 24 liters of water to produce one hamburger.
The shiny new iPhone in your pocket requires half a liter of water to charge. That may not seem like much, but with over 80 million active iPhones in the world, that’s 40 million liters to charge those alone. And--more people have access to a cell phone than a toilet! (what is wrong with that picture?)
That cotton t-shirt you’re wearing right now took 1,514 liters of water to produce, and your jeans required an extra 6,813 liters.
I never really thought about how much water is used to create all the products we rich countries consume. What can we do to change our over-consumption of this precious resource?
According to this Calculator, the average American uses 1190.5 gallons of water per day. Want to find out just how much you use? Check out the h2o Preserve footprint calculator. The Calculator estimates the total amount of water you use, or your water footprint, using information you provide about your water use and habits.
I find it always an eye opener to check out my own consumption. According to this calculator I use a whopping 699.41 gallons of water per day! (wow!! I had no idea I used that much) I am below the national average, but still...
At then end of your assessment the water footprint calculator gives suggestions on how to lesson the amount you consume. For me, conserving water starts at home. I now pledge to brush my teeth with out the water running EVERY TIME and to eat less meat since the amount of water used to produce animal products far exceeds the amount used for growing vegetables and grains. Fortunately for me I live in a GREEN co-op household and most of my housemates cook vegetarian--so I am already eating less meat.
Most of the other suggestions the water footprint calculator gave me our household already does...since we are a very green aware household. I will also be thinking twice about buying new cotton clothes, though---since producing cotton uses so much water. Actually, I do prefer to shop in thrift stores for clothes---since I currently live very low income.
And, as a knitter and craftsperson--this makes me think about cotton yarn?!? oh dear! I wonder if it takes less water to produce some of the new fiber yarns--like tencel, hemp, and bamboo? I sure hope so....and while these facts may seem grim, the positive side is that more and more worldwide activism around water and water issues happens everyday. Many organizations like water.org are actively working to change the situation. Won't you join us?