This week's blog post comes from Julia Aughenbaugh. Julia is one of Residential Dining's Environmental Interns. Today she is sharing how you can help conserve water during this historical drought.
You should have heard by now that California is in a drought, one of the worst on record. Not only have we seen an extreme decrease in rainfall, we also don’t have adequate water reserved in the mountaintop snow, and in ground water. Long story short, we need to conserve water.
We all know a few tricks such as turning off the water when brushing your teeth, taking shorter showers, and limiting how often you wash your car and your clothes. But these have an insignificant affect your water footprint.
Your water footprint is the amount of water you are responsible for consuming. It includes the water you use in the kitchen and bathrooms, and the water used to grow your food, make your clothes, process your energy, and everything in between. We often forget about the water that we don’t come in direct contact with it, but it makes up a larger proportion of our water footprint. Visit Water Foot Print Calculator to see your water footprint in action.
The easiest way to really reduce your water footprint is to eat lower on the food chain. That means eating more fruits, vegetables, grains, and plant proteins, and eating less meat. Animal products use a lot of water because a lot of water is required to grow the food for the animal. Milk and eggs may not use quite as much water, but the meat in our diets do. For example 1 cup of milk = 50 gallons of water, 2 eggs = 70 gallons of water, but a serving of meat uses thousands of gallons of water.
Skipping one serving of meat a week can save 3,000 gallons of water, while shortening your daily showers by 3 minutes saves less than 60 gallons a week. It would take all year to save 3,000 gallons by taking shorter showers! So consider eating a little lower on the food chain next time you want to help conserve water.
For more tips on ways you can conserve water see http://www.saveourh2o.org/ .