Given the recent news from Flint, Michigan and the tragedy of their completely unacceptable water quality, I've had water on my mind lately. What a precious resource we take for granted and don't even think about unless it's undrinkable (Michigan) or unavailable (California), right??
A couple months ago, I had ordered a book called the 'Waste Free Kitchen Handbook'. At the time, I was really just trying to find suggestions to reduce the amount of waste our family produces (beyond composting and feeding veggie scraps to our guinea pigs, rabbit, and chickens).
Photo opportunity! Say hello to our small animal clean up crew.....not just cuddly faces, these guys.
But I was less than 20 pages into the book when I saw this graphic that stopped me in my tracks (click on the chart itself for easier viewing). Each drop is representative of a 10 minute shower.
Holy hamburger! That's a lot of little water drops for 1 lb of beef!
I always thought saving water related to how long my showers were, whether I let the water run when brushing my teeth, or how long the kids play in the sprinkler (after they've forgotten all about it and decided they needed a freeze pop).
But I hadn't really thought about the impact of food choices. The graphic certainly hit home and fit nicely with some other changes I was trying to make about eating more locally and making veggies the 'main dish'. And good to know beer and wine only one drop, huh? No diet modifications needed there - hallelujah!
The National Defense Resource Council (which endorses the Waste Free Kitchen Handbook) also has some very handy digestable (pun intended!) information and charts on what can and can't be composted as well as how to maximize use of your refrigerator/freezer to waste less food.....really good stuff. If you need some scary statistics for motivation, here ya go:
- 40% of all food in America goes uneaten. Staggering.
- 25% of America’s freshwater supplies are used to produce food that ends in the trash.
If you really want to know what your entire water footprint is, there's a handy dandy calculator on the National Geographic website that will evaluate all your bad habits and happily calculate your score. It has cute duck graphics!
And that is why from now on I will be doing my part for the environment by forgoing the burger and having a second bottle of beer =)...................