A call has gone out to see what we can all do to reduce the amount we waste while improving our health and happiness.
That is the theme of the Waste Less Live More Week which runs from September today to Sunday, September 28. The strategy behind the week is that it is an approach to rethinking how we live our lives in ways that reduce our environmental impact, while improving the health and happiness of ourselves and each other.
FreshWater Watchers and Citizen Science Leaders are already making great strides in this direction by reducing their water footprint and finding ways of getting family, friends and colleagues involved.
FreshWater Watch highlights the concept of ‘hidden water usage’, eg 65% of the water we consume is ‘embedded’ in the food we eat through the processes used to grow and produce it.
For example, to produce one kilogram of wheat about 1000 litres of water are needed, but for beef about 15,000 litres are required. This is because water is used to grow crops which are then fed to animals that also drink water.
Making sustainable choices can therefore make a positive difference in reducing water consumption.
Other ways to reduce our footprint include efficient water usage in home and garden such as not using water hoses, turning the tap off when cleaning teeth and taking shorter showers. Replacing household goods with water and energy efficient appliances and sorting out household misconnections – only rainwater should go down drain pipes, will further assist.
A great example of this is our FreshWater Watch blogger Zubie Chaston. Inspired by a nomination for the ALS Ice Bucket Challenge and a concern over water wastage, she set her own challenge of attempting to live on just 18 litres of water a day – the average consumption of someone in East Africa - for 7 days.
Using buckets in showers to reuse water for hair washing brought about some interesting challenges. Other saving tips included putting a bowl into the kitchen sink to use less water when washing up and using fewer pans when cooking.
Keen not to let her learning and actions become a distant memory, our FreshWater Watch blogger has registered as a speaker with our partner WaterAid to educate and encourage others.
She wrote: “If we can all make some simple changes and understand more about water scarcity, not just overseas but in our own country, we can really shape our future on this amazingly diverse planet!”
You can read more about Zubie’s challenge here.
The theme for Waste Less Live More week in 2014 - ‘Be Resourceful’ and you could use the above ideas to join the challenge – see http://www.wastelesslivemore.com/challenge/
Let’s take this opportunity to spread the message of being resourceful and recruit more FreshWater Watchers and CSLs, so we can extend the good work beyond Waste Less Live More week.
To find out more about water scarcity and what you can do click read our Discover pages.