Thursday, April 22, 2010

Thirsty Thursdays: Earth Day Edition

I'm fond of saying that everyone is thirsty on Thursdays ... but what if we were truly thirsty? What if we were the kind of thirsty that results from having no access to clean water?

Did you know that:
  • Less than 2% of the earth's water supply is fresh.
  • Only 1% of the earth's water supply is available for drinking. 2% is frozen.
  • 88% of deaths in the world result from illnesses borne of unsafe drinking water and inadequate water available for hygiene. 18% of all under the age of 5 deaths result from these same conditions, resulting in more 4,000 child age deaths (world wide) per day for lack of clean, fresh water.
  • The average American uses 140 - 170 gallons of water per day.
  • A leaky faucet can waste up to 100 gallons of water per day.
  • If you were to leave the faucet running while brushing your teeth, approximately 5 gallons of water would be wasted down the drain.
  • A dishwasher uses 9 - 12 gallons of water, while washing dishes by hand can use up to 20 gallons.
  • Every day in the United States we drink about 110 million gallons of water.
We are blessed to have the clean, available water we have in this country. Public water suppliers process 38 billion gallons of water a day for domestic and public use in this country and we are lucky to have every drop. While we may take a ready supply of clean water from the tap for granted, many in the world are not so fortunate.

Rather than posting a cocktail recipe today, I thought I would honor Earth Day by providing some simple ideas for water conservation.
  • Fix any and all leaky faucets.
  • Run your dishwasher and washing machine only when they are full.
  • Store drinking water in the refrigerator rather than letting the tap run if you'd like a cool glass of water.
  • Re-use any left-over clean water for watering plants, or cleaning chores, rather than pouring it down the drain.
  • Do not use a hose to clean your sidewalk or driveway. Letting the hose run can waste hundreds of gallons of water. Instead, use a broom to sweep sidewalks and driveways.
  • Do not let the water run when you are shaving or brushing your teeth.
  • Water lawns and gardens during the early morning or late evening hours of the day, when the water is less likely to evaporate from the heat of the sun.
  • Take short showers rather than baths. A full bathtub requires an average of 36 gallons of water. Shorten your shower by a minute or two and you can save up to 150 gallons per month.
  • Replace large shower heads with water-efficient models.
  • Avoid buying and using recreational toys that require a constant flow of water.
  • Use a commercial car wash that recycles water.
  • Use water saving aerators on all of your faucets.
Obviously, this list is just the tip of the iceberg ... so to speak. There are hundreds of things, hundreds of little things, we can all do every day to conserve water.

Lastly, a few facts about bottled water:
  • $35 billion: the amount of money spent on bottled water in the most developed countries in the world.
  • 1.5 million: Barrels of crude oil used for making plastic water bottles, globally. This is enough oil to fuel 100,000 American cars for a year.
  • 2.7 tons: the amount of plastic used to bottle water, 86% of which becomes garbage and litter.
For the love of Mother Earth, buy yourself a re-useable water bottle, made of recycled materials, and use it. I know I can do better on this front ... how about you?

I suspect this information will not be new to most readers. I offer it as a simple reminder of how fortunate we are, and as a gentle invitation for each of us to do our part. While the tips offered may seem minor, they all add up and every drop counts. Be good and do your part, and I promise the Diva will reward you with a luscious cocktail next week.

So, how are you honoring Earth Day 2010? Feel free to add your water conservation tips and any other earth-friendly measures you've taken in the comments. Curious Diva wants to know.

Cheers and Happy Earth Day!

Statistical information for this article was complied from: The Mojave Water Agency, Planet Green, and the EPA


vilges suola said...

I store cool water in the fridge, I don't own a car, take only showers (2 a day) have no garden to water and don't own a dishwasher. Can I have a Martini now?

Astra Libris said...

Diva, thank you for this beautiful, lovely post! So wonderful of you to honor our well-deserving most important beverage, water! We are indeed so blessed to have access to fresh water with the turn of a tap...

Love my resuable water bottle! It goes everwhere with me, even though it makes my bag weigh a ton! :-)

Sook said...

I do really like the name of your post: Thirsty Thursday! When I read it, I realized that I am really thirsty. :)

Christina said...

Fantastic post Diva!!

Thankfully I follow most of your tips, but the statistics are still staggering. Thank you for sharing and opening my eyes EVEN more!

Heavenly Housewife said...

Wonderful facts, it really makes you realize how wasteful we can be.
Happy Earth Day daaaaaahling.
*kisses* HH

The Diva on a Diet said...

~passes vilges suola a nice big martini~

Dahling, just imagine how much water we could save if everyone switched over to gin! ;)

Astra - you're so right about those heavy water bottles! But I must overcome that and do a better job of taking mine to work with me. Thanks so much for your kind words as always. :)

Sook - funny, the picture of that nice cold water is making me thirsty too ... even after I've drunk it! LOL

Christina - thanks so much for your sweet comment. I'm glad to know you're already on board and not surprised that you are! :)

HH - Happy Earth Day to you too ... celebrate it with some chocolate macaroons! xoxoxoxo

Deb said...

Happy Earth day dear Diva and thank you for all the reminders of how fortunate we are to have a ready supply of my personal favorite drink.

Janet said...

Great post! We definitely do not realize how good we have it sometimes. Those statistics are staggering.

And great tips! I can't think of any to add - except sometimes I'll steam veggies with the same water I used to cook something else, like boil pasta!

Happy (belated!) Earth Day!

Anonymous said...

A terrific Earth day post! I was helping out with my daughter's class yesterday for their fieldtrip to cleanup the neighborhoods!

Molly said...

awesome list of tips. I used Earth Day as a day to continue teaching my kids about how to conserve water, and energy in general. We had a discussion about how some kids have zero water, and if they do have it, it's dirty. They're only 5 and 3, but you're never too young to learn to appreciate what you have and not waste it.

Have a great weekend!!!!

Debinhawaii said...

Wonderful post--such an important subject. Part of my Earth Day celebration was treating myself to a new wide-mouth Sigg water bottle. Now I have no excuses not to have one with me at all times. ;-)

Carla and Michael said...

All I can say is the most awesome post yet! I too have several types of reusable water bottles.

Lynnylu said...

I've just found your blog and realized that we both have a "thirsty thursday" event. I guess there's nothing new under the sun. Just wanted to say I like your event and I will include a link to your thirsty thursday when I post mine this week. Great post on water-the ultimate thirst quencher!