Monday, 21 April 2008

Eco-friendly tip: Use less water

Heres an article from the Independent reminding you that every purchase you make affects someone, somehow — especially in an environmental sense. No, this doesn't concern greenhouse gas emissions, but something much simpler: water.

The concept of water footprints – or "virtual water" – will tell consumers the amount of precious H2O that has been used in the manufacture of products they buy. As with carbon footprints, a "virtual water" figure will indicate the extent to which a particular product has cost the earth. And, as with carbon footprints, the message is clear: less is better.

A new website run by the University of Twente in the Netherlands,, gives ethically minded consumers a chance to work out the hidden implications of their shopping habits.
Though it covers more than two-thirds of the earth's surface, water has never been more precious. An influential UN report published in 2003 predicted severe water shortages would affect 4 billion people by 2050, adding that 40 per cent of the world's population did not have access to adequate sanitation facilities.

The most effective method to combat the wasting of water? Use common sense. You don't even have to buy less (although two showers a day may be excessive). Recycling and conservation are, as always, the best things to do for the environment.

Water is already proving to be a global problem. The combination of global warming and overuse of water have made the need for drinking water one of the primary issues of our day, affecting especially those in developing countries.


Wil Robinson said...

My footprint was 570 cubic meters...whatever that means.

I think a couple of factors lowered my footprint (not of my own choosing, I should add).

One - I am a vegetarian by force since I moved to India. It is hard to find meat, and when you do, you probably can't afford it.

Which leads me to my next factor - income. Earning an Indian income has advantages and disadvantages...apparently the advantages are felt by the entire globe, while I alone feel the disadvantages...I miss being able to afford beer.

clearthought said...

That's really interesting Wil. I haven't calculated my exact footprint yet, although, since I live in the United States, chances are it's high.

I didn't know you moved to India? I thought you resided in Japan.