Water Conservation: Or, A Year of Showering is Worth One Hamburger.

Hi lovelies! I’ll just be writing one short post today because this weekend I’ve been busy working on applications for the summer. (There are a few that I’m extra excited about; I’ll share more details as the application process progresses). Back to blogging lots tomorrow though!

Today, we’re talking about water.

As the world’s population increases, water shortages become more and more of an issue. Although we may not treat it as such in the US of A, water is a precious natural resource. Extra precious because 78% percent of the person you love is water (I have a t-shirt that has that quote. I bought it from the environmental club fundraiser, so you should definitely question the validity of that statistic. Neat thing to think about though!)

There are obvious ways to decrease the amount of water we consume. We’ve all heard them many times: take shorter showers, don’t water the lawn so much, turn off the faucet when you brush your teeth.

But what about the things we eat?

This video has gotten quite a bit of buzz recently. According to the video, it takes 200 liters (that’s about 53 gallons) of water to produce your daily latte.

This seems like a lot… Until you consider how much water goes into the production of other foods.

According to the US Geological Survey, it takes 110 gallons of water to grow a pound of corn, 500 gallons to produce 1 pound of chicken, 400 gallons for one egg (just one!), and a whopping 4,000-18,000 gallons to produce a typical hamburger.

Wow.  I was shocked by the last statistic. To put this in context, consider the fact that a typical 10-minute shower uses about 50 gallons of water. This means that at the very least, your typical hamburger will cost you as much water as 80 days of showering. At the most… an entire YEAR (360 days, to be exact).

Yes. You read that right. A hamburger can use up as much water as can taking ten minute showers for an entire year.

So we have two options: stop eating hamburgers, or stop showering (kidding, kidding). But it really does make you think! Switching to a more plant-based diet can really help cut down on water waste, in some instances, much more than taking shorter showers can (although of course that’s a great step too!)

Consider, in contrast to the 4,000-plus gallons of water that it takes to make a hamburger, that growing an orange uses a mere 13 gallons. A potato uses 100 gallons, and it takes 10 gallons to make a slice of bread.

This doesn’t mean that eating meat is a bad thing, or that you should eliminate all meat from your diet! It just means that choosing plants over animal products more often than not is not only good for your health, but also great for the environment!

Have a lovely lazy Sunday!

-S

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