The Green Blue Book Blog - How Much Water Are You Wearing?
Right now I am wearing 5,178 gallons of water. It took 569 gallons to grow the cotton and manufacture the material for my t-shirt, 1,247 gallons for my sneakers, 2,866 gallons for my blue jeans, 244 gallons for my socks, and 252 gallons for my boxers.
Through what we wear, consume, and use on an annual basis each of us in the United States on average is responsible for 656,000 gallons of water. We use more than ten times as much water per day as someone in the developing world.
We can easily trim our use, and that is what my new book, The Green Blue Book: The Simple Water-Savings Guide to Everything in Your Life is all about. It is the first water-neutral book ever to be published (we are replenishing all the water it took to print the book), and it is the most comprehensive guide to the virtual water footprints of hundreds of items, from bananas to boats. Virtual water is the embedded water in things. It also provides actionable solutions to help avert the water crisis we are facing today and for decades to come.
Swap out a veggie burger for a hamburger, for instance, just once and save hundreds of gallons of water. It takes more water to produce meat than vegetables. Drink water from the tap instead of a plastic water bottle and save 3 liters of water. It takes three liters to make a one-liter plastic bottle. Add up the cumulative effect of these changes and millions of gallons of water can be saved.
Simple solutions that are easily adaptable into our daily lives are what can change the direction of the water supply chain away from drought and toward sustainability. And the first step toward that change is awareness. That is why I am so happy to be a strategic partner with the Dow Live Earth Run for Water campaign.
Throughout the world on April 18th when Dow Live Earth run/walks will be held in more than 60 cities, people will be compelled to wake up and do what they can to address the water crisis facing us today.
Meanwhile, in this space I’ll be blogging weekly about the concept of virtual water and water savings of all types -- unique ways that we can shift our thinking about water use and take action.
Fifty percent of all the water in the United States is used to create electricity. So there's another reason to shut off the lights when you leave the room.
Thomas M. Kostigen is a New York Times best selling author and journalist. The Green Blue Book hits bookstores in time for World Water Day, March 22, 2010.
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