I did a fun little exercise this morning. I estimated my water foot print on h20conserve.org. According to our water bill my household of two adults and one baby uses about 70 gallons a day, which is far below the national average of 200. SWEET! BUT, if you take into account such factors as:
-what we eat (typical American diet of dairy and some meat)
-the fact that we never water our lawn or garden except with rain barrels
-we use about 25 gallons of gas a week
-we do an above average five loads of laundry a week (blame the cloth diapers, which I still firmly believe use LESS water in the long run, I've discussed this before so I won't revisit).
Plus after many more questions on the survey the answer to my personal water footprint is more like 831.45 gallons a day, to be precise:
I'm still below the national average by 359 gallons, but that 831 gallons still seems like a lot. What can I do? We already have rain barrels and never wash our cars. We already have a low flow toilet, and, as the website asks, we "let it mellow" (unless we're expecting guests) - it does actually ask that, if you don't know what that means use your imagination. We don't brush our teeth with the water running and take short showers.
The website recommended getting an Energy Star dishwasher (which we have) an Energy Star washing machine (on my wish-list ever since the diapers started piling up) and low flow faucets, which I will definitely look into.
It was an interesting exercise and only took a minute, so go figure out your personal water footprint! And remember, it's "take shorter showers" week courtesy of Reduce Footprints!
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