Posts Tagged ‘water footprint’

Change the World Wednesday – 10th

Good morning good bloggers.

Getting my first coffee at 6:00 this morning I was reminded of Robin Williams in Good Morning Vietnam.

Yes, Oh God, it’s early.

Ready already for my second cup.

Update

My first beefless week was no sweat, I didn’t even miss it unless I thought about it. No beef in the fridge, no temptation. Even Lixo didn’t mind, he loves chicken as a meat supplement.

Last week’s challenge was about CDs and DVDs, etc, which is not really a problem for me as I don’t buy them, I download them.

I was taken by surprise in a comment on last week’s CTWW from Ecogrrl:

Cloud data storage

Cloud data storage

“Note – it’s important to remember that going digital doesn’t mean you’ve eliminated your environmental impact – you’re just transferring it to a different form – smaller yes, but still destructive. Internet use and storage takes up SO much – data centers are springing up all over my state of Oregon, on the eastern (dry) side of the state, where they are using up all the precious water to keep them cooled so that people can store their stuff online. There is definitely a negative to all of our internet use, so we need to think of the “invisible” storage of our digital files as well.”

I had never thought about that, less even known about it. Having given it some thought, the only online storage that I use is my blogs, images for my blogs, and a humble collection of mainly “Lixo” clips on YouTube.

I have no faith at all in this cloud storage nonsense. So I will never be a threat to environment and water usage there. But it is an aspect that one should include in the calculation of your water footprint if you store a lot of data on line as some people do. It would be worth finding out how much water is used to store, say, 1tb/month or year.

I use some CD ROMs for storage, more recently I have been using large capacity pendrives and I am currently exploring the value of investing in a USB external drive.

With a view to recycling, data/media storage, I found this idea.

CD holder toilet paper dispenser

CD holder toilet paper dispenser

So instead of buying dispenser packs of tissues, just buy a cheaper soft toilet paper for the same job. Cuts down on unnecessary packaging and production. Although we try to cut down on on the use of paper towels, etc in favour of washable reusables. If you’ve got a runny nose or a child with one, this could be useful.

Click the image for the challenge post

Let’s move right along, this week’s CTWW.

This week, test out Eco-friendly cleansers. You can buy “green” versions or better yet … make your own. Use Vinegar, Hydrogen Peroxide or search the Internet for other natural, homemade options. If you’re currently using something which contains toxins (typically identified by the long list of ingredients on the label and warnings about skin irritation, breathing problems, etc.), consider switching to a safer version.

 

OR …

If you’ve already made the switch to safe cleansers, please share your tips, suggestions and recipes.

Scrub-Sponge-300

Used scour pad

I don’t use much in the way of household cleansers. A simple scourer for the toilet combined with a hard brush does the trick.

Also, I reuse my scour pads from the kitchen, they get recycled to the bathroom.

*Little interruption here* Lixo has come in and  decided it’s breakfast time and I need more coffee…

There, Lixo has his breakfast and I have my coffee.

Smells sweetly of coconut

Smells sweetly of coconut

I have reduced my use of dishwashing liquid. Instead, I am now using a simple bar soap and finding it much more effective, lasts longer, has more suds and is considerably cheaper.

So those are my efforts for the challenge.

There are some cleansers, amongst other things on my Apothecary page.

If you have some ideas that could/you would like to be included there with a link to you blog, please leave me a comment with the link. I am always on the look out for ideas.

 

 

Change the World Wednesday – 3rd April

Running a bit late this morning. Big tropical rainstorm last night lots of rain, lots of lightning and lots of wind. The net went down. for a couple of hours. But that is normal for the Third World, you get used to it.

Stylized waterdrop footprintLast week’s CTWW was about your water footprint.

Boy did I get a surprise.

1848

Initially, I thought it was ho-hum, at least I did until I saw reports of 100+ and 400+.

Then I went, oh dear!

I wasn’t doing so well. My big culprit was food, or more specifically meat.

In Small’s last week’s CTWW gave these figures:

  • Beef 1 kg = 15,500 lt of water
  • Pork = 4,800 lt
  • Chicken = 3,900 lt

Now while that isn’t an end all definitive list, it did show me that the amount of beef that I consume (Oh, I do love a BBQ) was where I unwittingly used most of my ‘hidden’ water.

no-beef4After much gnashing of teeth I thought about what I could do.

The result is that I have imposed on myself two beefless weeks each month. Monday – Sunday, the first full and third weeks  of each month.

I am now in the middle of my first week.

Last night at the supermarket, I bought no beef, only chicken for three days, pork for one day and fish for two days (I already have fish in the fridge for one day). I have bacon to make a bacon & egg pie and ham for snacks.

By doing this I have roughly halved my beef intake.

agreencatEven Lixo P. Cat has joined the the effort.

Not by choice, I might add.

He is having chicken as his meat supplement instead of mincemeat (ground beef for our American cousins), and fish ‘flavoured’ dry cat food that probably doesn’t have any actual fish in it as much as his meat ‘flavoured’ doesn’t not have any actual meat in it.

My Lixo is a ‘green’ cat.

When I unpack from the supermarket, Lixo is a great helper. He carefully inspects each item as it goes into either the cupboard or fridge.

Last night as the last item was hidden from his feline eyes. He looked up at me quizzically and ‘meowed’, and I could just read his mind… “Where’s the beef?”

Onward!

Click for the full post

This week’s CTWW.

This week, apply the three R’s (Reduce, Reuse and Recycle) to CDs, DVDs, Blu-ray Discs, etc.

Once again, it’s rather a large challenge to hop across to Reduce Footprints to read the rest, just click on the banner and you’ll be transported from Kansas…

cd2I am already green here. I haven’t bought a CD for music in years, I download from the net. The same with films, although I do have one or two currently. I have in the past given DVDs to neighbours when I am done with them, so they have been recycled.

I wouldn’t use a CD as a coaster, because coasters need to be absorbent or you drip condensation all down your front.

But I can imagine that they could be used decoratively as dangly things in the wind, like chimeless wind chimes.

As for disposal, Brazil is just not up with this type of specialised recycling and if they were added to the ‘plastics’ would no doubt be discarded at the recycling plant. Anyway, in our area we don’t have selective recycling for anything.

You do see this in 'posh' areas, but Zona Oeste (West Zone) is not 'posh' enough

You do see this in ‘posh’ areas, but Zona Oeste (West Zone) is not ‘posh’ enough

Our recycling is more like this…

Catadores roaming the streets looking for stuff to sell on

Catadores roaming the streets looking for stuff to sell on

That’s about it for this week, on with my beefless week… Chicken for lunch!

Change the World Wednesday – 27th

Looks a bit grotty

Looks a bit grotty

My treasures, both of them.

In the foreground is Lixo P. Cat examining my recently acquired ‘table top’.

Looks a bit grotty at the moment (the drum top, not the cat) but I have great hopes that it will clean up well; then I have to find ‘legs’ strong enough to support it because it’s heavy.

Now all I have to do is overcome the inertia of procrastination. It has to dry first, that’s not a justification… It has been out in the rain. The white stuff is mould that has appeared as it dries. Updates as the work progresses.

Click for full post

On with this week’s CTWW.

I can’t complain about the difficulty of this one, because it comes about from an article that I pointed Small at some time ago.

“the water we use “behind the scenes” … the water it takes to grow our food, produce our stuff, etc. We’ve done challenges to reduce our direct water use … let’s dig a bit deeper, shall we?” – blurb by Small.

This week, consider your water footprint, particularly your indirect water use.

There’s actually quite a bit more, so click on the CTWW banner above to read the rest.

This is an interesting challenge because it looks at the water we use that we don’t see.

Okay, I have done the Extended Calculator suggested by Small, here’s the result:

waterfootprint

My annual water footprint is 1848 cubic metres per year.

beef-pork-and-poultry-daniel-eskridge

Beef, pork and poultry by Daniel Eskridge

Remember, I am living alone with Lixo P. Cat.

Clearly my biggest enemy is meat; two thirds of my water footprint.

I can change my habits here and eat more pork and chicken which have a smaller water footprint than beef and I can eat more fish.

.

Bloggers turn coffee into great blog posts

Bloggers turn coffee into great blog posts

I am loathe to swap coffee for tea. While I like tea, I need coffee to write quality blog posts, tea just doesn’t cut the mustard there.

.

How does this compare with your calculations? I would be interested to see, leave a comment with a link for me to visit.

Update:

Since I wrote this post I posted on Life is but a Labyrinth and it includes some watery details, that may entertain/surprise/shock you.

We Must Act… NOW!

The wastage of food on this planet has reached epic proportions. It’s time to stop!

Alarming figures are appearing, that we waste 50% of our food from the farm to the table and beyond, that half of the turkeys we produce for Christmas and Thanksgiving Day end up in the bin not eaten.

If this figures don’t shock you, nothing will?

We desperately need to return to the old ways where our larders looked liked this.

food

The reliance on corporative food products has to be stemmed.

Pre-war advertising – Click the image for an excellent post

Very soon we will need this to survive.

Don’t scoff at the idea.

“It takes roughly 20 gallons of water to make a pint of beer, as much as 132 gallons of water to make a 2-liter bottle of soda, a typical hamburger takes 630 gallons of water to produce.”Wall Street Journal

We have all heard about ‘carbon footprints’ but what we haven’t heard much about is the ‘water footprint’.

The water footprint is the hidden amount of water used to produce food, and nearly all other products. It’s the amount we don’t see.

1lb of beef cost $7.99 and 2,500 gallons of water

Take another example; “To date, probably the most reliable and widely-accepted water estimate to produce a pound of beef is the figure of 2,500 gallons/pound. Newsweek once put it another way: “the water that goes into a 1,000 pound steer would float a destroyer.”vegsource

Our supplies of water are dwindling, fast.

Gone are the days when we just used river water, now we are stealing from the aquifers, the underground water that supplies the rivers and lakes.

We are not only stealing that water, we are polluting that water with practices like fracking. The aquifers take thousands of years to regenerate.

Once the aquifers are gone, so are we!

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