Monday, April 1, 2013

CTWW – Water Usage

This week’s Change the World Wednesday was:

This week, consider your water footprint, particularly your indirect water use. Begin my using the calculators at the bottom of this PAGE (I found the extended calculator to be the best). If you need to convert measurements of food, here's a TOOL. Once you've calculated your water footprint, take a look at the results and see if there's an area which could be reduced. For example, if your primary water use is associated to cereals/grains, opt for varieties which require less water to produce (barley uses less water than rice). Reduce the amount of sugar you use (it takes 1,500 liters of water to produce 1 kilo of white sugar). Opt for fruits & veggies rather than meat (a kilo of beef requires 15,500 liters of water to create) ... or opt for pork or chicken (4,800 and 3,900 liters respectively). Drink tea instead of coffee, saving 110 liters of water per cup. Drive less (gasoline takes a lot of water). Buy less stuff (everything requires water to produce and transport). While reducing our direct water consumption is absolutely encouraged, this challenge is all about looking at the indirect water we use.

When I think of water usage, I think of water that I use on purpose..such as taking a shower, doing the dishes, using our pool, etc.  What I have never thought of before is the indirect water usage.  Huh?  What’s that you say?   That’s right, it’s not something most of us have ever thought of. Indirect water usage is water used for things that we do or things that we buy.  Such as, how much water is used to produce the Easter candy I’ve been munching on.  Say what? never thought about the use of water in producing food or items.  Although, maybe you have. I know I never have.

According to Reduce Footprints, it takes 1,500 liters of water to produce 1 kilo of white sugar. I probably ate enough candy yesterday to equal 1 kilo of white sugar.   It also takes more water to raise beef (ie: cows) and of course meet in general, when compared to fruits and vegetables.  We all know that fruits and veggies are healthier for us too.

While I did not take this past week to work on this challenge, since I just had a chance to read about it and look in to it on Monday, it does give me food for thought.  It’s something that makes me stop and say..hmmmmm.  Water I use at home is easier to control because I can see it, I can see the waste.  The indirect water usage I don’t. 

I’m trying to focus on eating healthier, cutting out soft drinks and sweets/chips.  Knowing this causes more waste of water, it’s just one more thing to tell myself when I try to talk myself out of the unhealthy stuff and try to focus on eating better.  Better for me = better for the environment.

1 comment:

  1. I can totally relate ... until this challenge was suggested, I never gave indirect water a second thought (actually never gave it a first thought). It's a tough concept but what it's done for me is given me a tool to start comparing things ... like which grains are better and which drinks (who knew that "stimulants" like coffee & tea have a big footprint). So hopefully, armed with better information, I can make better choices. And yep ... the next time I find myself reaching for a bag of chips, which is rare but does happen (ahh comfort food), I'm going to think about your post ... and the water footprint ... and talk myself out of it. :-)