Posted on March 22, 2012 by
Image source: The Nature Conservancy
Do you know how much water you use every day?
I’m not just talking about the water you use to drink, take showers, wash dishes, and do laundry. I’m talking about the amount of water it takes to produce the things you buy. For example, did you know that it takes more than 30 gallons of water to produce just one cup of coffee? 49 gallons for one bag of chips? 400 gallons for a cotton T-shirt?
751,777 gallons. That’s how much water you, I, and every American goes through every year. That’s not a collective number — that’s how much water we each use. Is your mind boggling? Mine is. Just take a look at this infographic presented by The Nature Conservancy — many of these stats may surprise you!
The Nature Conservancy is partnering with the Water Footprint Network to bring awareness to World Water Day, which is today. It’s no secret that there’s a shortage of fresh water for the people and animals that need it worldwide, and something needs to be done about it. The health and well-being of our planet is fundamentally rooted in the availability of fresh water.
So what can you do to celebrate World Water Day? Take some tips from The Nature Conservancy and learn how you can curb your own water usage. It may seem like a drop in the bucket — pun intended — but collectively, it can make a real difference. Here are some tips I learned:
- It takes more water to manufacture processed foods, so stick to fresh food whenever possible. There are so many reasons to do this, water conservation being just one of them.
- Avoid plastic utensils. It takes 24 gallons of water to create 1 pound of plastic, not to mention the environmental cost of disposing of something after just one use.
- Water your lawn or garden in the morning or evening. Water evaporates slower during these times of the day, which means it takes less water to keep your plants hydrated.
- Even electricity uses water. Unplug your chargers and other electronics when not in use; a day of typical electronic use in an American household uses 4-5 gallons of water.