Wednesday, April 22nd, was World Water Day. Often we take for granted having access to clean, fresh water in our homes everyday. World Water Day is about changing how we use and consume water in our lives, and finding ways to use water more sustainably.
Did you know that nearly 97% of the Earth’s water is found in our oceans?! The rest is fresh water found in glaciers and groundwater, leaving less than 1% of freshwater on Earth to be drinkable.
Fresh water is also used in other ways outside of hydration. Freshwater is used to produce products such as food, clothes, fuel, furniture, plastic, glass, and so many other goods we use on a daily basis. This is called virtual water. Water which we do not directly see but is used to produce products.
For example, one pair of new denim jeans takes 10,000 litres of water to produce, including 6,840 litres of water just to grow the cotton needed to sew one pair! How many pairs of jeans do you have in your closet? The average person owns 5-7 pairs of jeans. That's 70,000 litres of freshwater!
Sourcing clothing secondhand, purchasing through consignment, and clothing trades are a great way anyone can help cut down on the world's water usage. Sourcing companies that use grey water to create clothing or sustainable fabrics can also reduce water use, such as Tencel fabric. Tencel is a type of fabric with a smaller environmental impact, made from eucalyptus and beech wood. It uses 10-20 times less water than cotton and is a great alternative for new clothing.
Clothing isn't the only product that uses lots of fresh water. Food on the other hand takes water to grow, make, harvest, and transport to get to our grocery stores. Buying local food is one of the best ways to reduce water, plus you will know exactly where your food is coming from!
Ever wondered how much water it takes to make the food you eat?
- ½ cup of tomatoes takes 23 litres of water to produce
- 3-4 slices of cheese takes 360 litres of water to make
- ½ cup of cashews takes 1616 litres of water
If you are curious about how much water your food takes from farm to table, this virtual water calculator calculates how much water is used but that we do not directly see in preparing food such as cheese, meats, and vegetables.
Visit the link and let us know on this Instagram post a food product that surprised you and how many litres of water it uses. Each person who comments will be entered to win a $10 gift card to The Apothecary to celebrate learning about our water use!