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!