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Baby Steps for Reducing Your Water Footprint

Everything we eat and buy, and all the power we use takes a significant amount of water.  Most of us reading this blog are fortunate enough to live where we have access to as much fresh, safe water as we need.  Women in underdeveloped nations struggle daily to gather clean, safe water for their communities.  We can help improve the living conditions for these women and their communities directly, by donating to Blog Action Day with the widget, and indirectly, by using water responsibly.

Your water footprint is how much water you use per year.  Waterfootprint.org estimates the water footprint of the average American to be 2500 cubic meters per year.   They also offer comprehensive information about how much water is needed to produce the food we eat, including beef, beer, cheese, bread, eggs, coffee and milk.

There’s obviously a lot we can all do to reduce our water footprint, but even a few small changes can help preserve fresh, clean water for all of us.

1. Just say no to bottled water.   No matter what it says on the label, it’s probably filtered tap water, which you can produce at home cheaper and more responsibly than you can buy it in the store.   Think of all the fuel, energy and water that’s expended to bring all those plastic bottles to your local supermarket, buy a water filtering pitcher and a set of reusable bottles.

2. Follow those tips you learned in elementary school to turn off the water while you’re brushing your teeth or rinsing dishes.

3. Exchange one or more cups of coffee, tea or soda for filtered water from your new pitcher.

4. Stay dirty for the earth – skip the Saturday morning shower if you don’t have anywhere to be.

5. If you have a nearby option that fits your budget, try to buy produce, meat and dairy that’s produced locally.

6. When water using appliances and fixtures break beyond repair, replace them with energy and water efficient models.

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By [E] Selena MacIntosh*

Selena MacIntosh is the owner and editor of Persephone Magazine. She also fixes it when it breaks. She is fueled by Diet Coke, coffee with a lot of cream in it, and cat hair.

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