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Conserving Water

Kerri Vilaverde

For Cuteness Purposes Only

For Cuteness Purposes Only

Things I Googled this morning:

  1. How does Leslie Mann look so young?

  2. How do I get a TED talk?

  3. What is the answer to “how much wood could a woodchuck chuck”? (I’m not kidding about this.)*

  4. Am I using too much water?

This is where my brain goes in the early morning hours when everyone else is sleeping. Truthfully, this is pretty tame.  I’ve Googled some crazy stuff in the wee hours before the sun comes up.

I’m still working on my New Year’s resolution (it’s a phased-in approach).  We started by throwing away less food and eating home more often. Less technology was also on the list.  Next up is reducing water consumption. In truth, we’re good about short showers, efficient appliances, and my son almost never flushes (much to the dismay of the rest of us!).  But I’m sure we could make some improvements all around.


On average, water pours out of the faucet at 2.5 gallons a minute.  I’m thinking of all the times I leave the faucet running….while washing fruits and veggies, washing plates, washing hands, or waiting for the water to get to the exact right temperature.  So these seem like great places to start conserving. Also, catching rainwater for the garden and using a car wash instead of washing my own car (car washes recycle their water). BUT, I knew all that.  Come on...most people do these days, right? The most interesting stuff I learned had nothing to do with household use.


In my research, I learned another way to conserve water...watching your “food footprint”.  I never consider how much water is required to produce the foods we eat every day. According to www.nrdc.org, it takes 1,850 gallons of water to produce 1 pound of beef, 519 gallons per pound of chicken, compared to only 39 gallons per pound of veggies.  Replacing your morning orange juice with a glass of water could save 16,717 gallons a year. Swapping one cup of coffee a day for tea could save 10,950 gallons a year. Replacing one pound of beef with vegetables a week could save 94,193 gallons of water a year.  Those numbers are staggering. Why does it take so much water to make our food? Well, it’s a complicated answer but an estimated 80% of all water consumed in the U.S. is used in agriculture.

This really got me thinking about the stuff in my fridge.  What am I willing to give up and what are deal breakers? I don’t think I will be giving up my morning coffee, but if I never had OJ again, I wouldn’t miss it.  There are so many swaps we could all make every day that work for us and for our families. What are your favorite ideas?

*As much wood as a woodchuck could chuck, If a woodchuck could chuck wood.