This week we discussed water (2 weeks ago). Global water supplies are shrinking and it is our obligation to impede or halt this shrinkage.
--The Tidbits-- - 1/3 of consumed energy is for pumping water, so if we decrease our water usage, we decrease our energy usage.
- Mississippi and its dead zone: lots of herbicides and fertilizers used in this area--> these chemicals polluted Mississippi's water--> increase in algae (suck in oxygen)--> water with very little oxygen--> decrease in water-life.
- Urban runoff (largest unregulated source of water pollution): water from excess watering (gardens, driveways, etc.) mix with heavy metals and other harmful materials, which then go into the oceans. This pollutes our oceans and their inhabitants.
- Our creeks and wetlands are constantly being paved over by real estate developers. Creeks and wetlands are both natural means to curb urban runoff and cleanse out pollutants.
- When water warms--> water volume increases--> rising sea levels.
- Animal factory farming uses more water than all other industries combined. If you were to refrain from 1 pound of beef that be equivalent to not showering for a year (14 min showers)!
- To make a cotton t-shirt: 10,000 literss of water.
To make an organic cotton t-shirt: 5,000 gallons of water.
- On average, a single family consumes 69.3 gallons of water/day only for indoor usage. If you include outdoor usage, it skyrockets to 350 gallons/day.
- 30% of the water consumed is flushed down the toilet.
The (cheap) Tips:
- Fix leaks. A steady drip can waste 20 gallons of water/day. A toilet leak can waste up to 200 gallons/day.
-- To detect leaks in toilets: add food coloring to the tank--> wait 15 mins--> if color water appears, there's a leak.
- Install a low flow showerhead (2.5 gallons/minute or less). Normal showerheads use 5 gallons/min or more! It decreases water used but increases water pressure. It'll also save you $$ on your monthly water bill.
- Install aerators on faucets. Same as showerheads: decreases water used but increases water pressure.
- Eat less beef and other water consuming foods (from Food Reveolution by John Robbins & according to Soil and Water Specialists from University of CA Agricultural Extension):
-- 1 pound of chicken= 815 gallons
-- 1 pound of pork= 1,630 gallons
-- 1 pound of beef= 5,214 gallons
- If you turn off your faucet while brushing your teeth, you can save up to 1000 gallons/month.
- Take shorter showers and try to not take baths- saves up to 20 gallons/time.
-Turn off water while soaping or shampooing. You can also get Lowest Flow Showerhead- 1.2-1.4 gallons/min without really compromising pressure. If you turn it off, it'll stay warm for you when you turn it back on to rinse. Best of all- $12!
- Decrease water flow in sink so it's no thicker than a pencil's width.
- Wash fruits and veggies all at once rather than individually.
- Allow frozen foods to thaw in refrigerator overnight rather than running water over it.
- Only do full loads of laundry and dishes. Using a dishwasher is more water-friendly than handwashing a full load.
- Plant native and/or drought tolerant plants.
- Refrain from dumping hazardous chemicals down the sink. By doing this, it could worsen urban runoff.
*Much of the information expressed here comes from the Sustainable Works workshops and its handbook.