What’s Your Water Footprint?

How do our own water footprints contribute to our overall water situation?  Just as we focus on conserving energy, we also need to start thinking of the ways we can decrease usage of one of our most precious resources: fresh water.

Even though over 70% of the Earth is covered in water, only a small fraction of that is drinkable.  Changing climate and growing populations are causing water stress in all parts of the world, and we have become very aware of the repercussions of water shortage here at the Green Mountain headquarters in Central Texas as well.  We all have seen the pictures of severely depleted lake levels and drought-ravaged fields, but how do our own water footprints contribute to our overall water situation?  Just as we focus on conserving energy, we also need to start thinking of the ways we can decrease usage of one of our most precious resources: fresh water.

One of the largest consumers of water is agriculture.  But since food products don’t come with water footprint labels, we will simply need to keep water use in mind when making decisions at the grocery.  For instance, red meat and dairy products are some of the most water-intensive types of food to produce. While no one is advocating that we stop eating, we can make an impact by cutting down on red meat and dairy products in our diets.  Aside from the water conservation benefits, you may just notice some health benefits too!

Looking for other ways to reduce your water footprint?  Ask your local nursery about using drought-resistant local plants in your yard instead of maintaining a green lawn that requires constant watering and fertilizing.  A weekend spent landscaping can be a great way to work in some quality time with your family, too.  When I was young, I was put on weed duty and bug duty—pulling insects off our vegetables by hand—the ultimate in organic gardening!

Two women doing organic gardening over the weekend Young girl sitting in a pile of organic vegetables

Work with your family to think of other ways each of you can reduce your water footprint.  You’ll be surprised how easy it is when we all pitch in.