With only a couple days to go until Earth Day, prepare to get inundated with a billion things we can do — should do — to save our planet. Although there will likely be plenty of events to attend and planet-themed parties to enjoy, one of the best places you can celebrate Earth Day is in your own home!
If our homes are a reflection and expression of our lifestyles and values, then it makes sense that we start making conscious (i.e. green) choices at home. The issues affecting the Earth — from the oil crisis to water shortages to disappearing species — are complex, and can seem distant and insurmountable, but it is essential to understand the correlation between our everyday environments and our larger ecosystem. Everything and everyone is interconnected, and even the simplest act, such as turning the water off when we brush our teeth, creates positive change.
Did you know that the average American is responsible for the use of 751,777 gallons of water a year? (That’s enough water to fill more than 15 thousand bathtubs!) Or that depleting the water in rivers and streams can actually lead to flooding?
Sure, we could tell you all the facts about water use, but we’d rather show you, courtesy of this infographic from The Nature Conservancy and The Water Footprint Network.
Did you know that only one percent of the world’s water is fresh water fit for human consumption? Or that you can save more than 30 percent on your water bill by installing and using low-flow fixtures?
Sure, we could tell you all the facts about water conservation, but we’d rather show you, courtesy of this infographic from eLocal.com.
Perhaps it’s because I spent 10 years in Colorado, where the dry climate means every drop of water really counts, but I always conserved water just to conserve water. It recently occurred to me that water conservation is about saving energy too.
I always thought that a simple equation for living green was thus: Fake = bad; real = good. For example, fake food (Twinkies), bad; real food (apples), good. Simple, right? Turns out … not so much.
It’s summertime. You want to water your garden and lawn so they don’t go brown. But remembering to water is a hassle. So you installed an automated system. Problem is, your system goes off even when there’s a downpour, wasting both water and energy. What to do?
Just when you’d finally gotten a handle on your carbon footprint, along comes a new footprint to master: your water footprint. With the conclusion of the 5th World Water Forum in Istanbul last month, everyone’s talking about the new concept of “water neutrality.”
The lights went out with a thud as the wires were pulled out of the house when an ice-laden tree fell on the line. All night long in the ice storm that hit here in the northeast last week, I heard branches and trees crashing in the woods. It would be the start of four days without power.
Unless you’ve been living under a rock, you’ve probably heard that my home town, Atlanta, is in a pretty serious drought. Every time I turn on the news, I’m hearing in a doomsday tone how many (or rather, how few) days of water Metro Atlanta has left.