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Wednesday, April 15, 2009

Are Concerned About Your Water Usage?

By Brian Merchant
Brooklyn, NY, USA | Fri Feb 13 13:00:00 EST 2009

to go cup photoiStock

Think about the latte for a moment. You know, the one you pick up on your way to the office in the morning, or sip on during a brisk evening. How much water could it possibly take to create that little cup of joe?

It's just a little coffee, after all. Well, and some water. And milk, and sugar. That sugar, doesn't that have to be grown as cane first? Hm. And then there's that plastic lid, which has to be created and distributed over hundreds of miles. And doesn't plastic require a pretty vast amount of water and oil to produce? Come to think of it, there's the sleeve and the cup itself too . . .

It keeps adding up, doesn't it? It does—it keeps adding up until it reaches a grand total of nearly 53 gallons. 53 gallons. For every single little latte that gets drank in a to-go cup. For every single latte-sipping person in the world. See where I'm going with this?

There's no way we can continue to use up 200 liters, or 52.83 gallons for every latte we order. And that's why we have to change the way we think, as this illuminating video from the World Wildlife Fund points out. There are a number of things we can do to get the ball rolling towards a more sustainable coffee drinking future—starting on the individual level. We can all forgo those takeout cups, and start bringing our own cups. We can make sure to buy only coffee that's grown sustainably. We can even attempt to keep sugar and milk out of the equation (gasp).

But the biggest point is, we need to keep our eyes open—and be willing to consider alternative measures. Even when we're doing something as innocuous as having a cup of latte in the morning.

Sourced from PlanetGreen.com

I can remember growing up as a kid my mom would wash and reuse all sorts of plastic cups plates and even straws. in fact to this day I can walk into her house and see some sort of disposable container being washed and reuse. I could never understand as a kid why my mom did this. She would always explain that it was wasteful to throw things away. Whether she was being cheap or not I can only imagine now the amount of water and other resources that she has saved over her lifetime.

It is literally amazing the amount of water that we use. Then I would say that the majority of the water we use we never actually see. It's all the water that goes into watering the crops, maintaining livestock, manufacturing plants, processing plants and all other places that we generally don't see. We actually think if we install a low flow shower head that we are making a big difference. Of course that doesn't ache a difference. But when you look at the water that's used behind the scenes for food, containers and miscellaneous gadgets it is shocking.

Everyone loves to consider themselves environmentalists. I hear this a lot from people in general. Some of these people are very dedicated and very educated. But then you run into the people that won't wash your car because of water usage but then eat a pound of meat every day. In the United States it takes between 2600 gallons to 5200 gallons of water to produce one pound of beef. And it always seems that when one considers themselves an environmentalist they're not afraid to speak their mind. So in most cases the person avoiding the car wash will criticize the ones that wash your car. And the same person has no idea about the water that they are really using.

Here is a quick reference, showering for six months is equal to the water usage of 1-2 pounds of beef. We are not advocating skipping a shower ( Because nobody will want to sit next to you at Aroma Thyme) or passing an opportunity to eat our long bone cowboy steak. But it does make sense to install low flow faucets throughout your house and cut back a bit on the beef. Incorporating more vegetables into your diet is not only healthy for us, but mother nature appreciates it as well. Even if you can't skip meat at dinner, eating just 2-4 counts as less will make a major contribution.



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