Wednesday, April 13, 2011

Farming, Food Production & Water

 -- Quote of the Day --

“…We are trying to reach people in a positive way to encourage them to make food choices that they can feel about – to show how empowering it is to take control of that aspect of life. There are many things in our world that are difficult and to feel like we have much control over.  …But when it comes to eating, each of us has a lot of control. Eating in a way that is healthier, that is not contributing to cruelty, and the abusive factory farming process… we think this is a very positive step. …How we spend our dollars has an impact every single day …we basically supported that system – but if we go to a farmers market or a community agriculture program then we’ve just voted on the future of food production. …Each of us can have tremendous impact just by choosing how we are spending our dollars and how we choose to eat.

~ Gene Baur

Today's quote originates from the Sunday Gardening episode that aired on the Conscious Discussions Talk Radio show back on March 6th 

Click here to access the interview re: the Farm Sanctuary Org. 

-- Water is an Environmental Justice Issue --

Today's article was submitted by Shel Horowitz of Shel has worked tirelessly to show others how to reach green, socially conscious consumers with marketing that has THEM calling YOU. He is the author of both  the Green And Profitable and the Green and Practical columns, and is the primary author of Guerilla Marketing Goes Green

Access to clean, safe water is both an environmental and a justice issue. And the easiest way to promote safe, clean water around the world is for us resource hogs in the developed countries to be much more careful not to squander our good water.

Here are some facts provided by Blog Action Day:

1.      Unsafe drinking water and lack of sanitation kills more people every year than all forms of violence, including war. Unclean drinking water can incubate some pretty scary diseases, like E. coli, salmonella, cholera and hepatitis A. Given that bouquet of bacteria, it’s no surprise that water, or rather lack thereof, causes 42,000 deaths each week.

2.      More people have access to a cell phone than to a toilet. Today, 2.5 billion people lack access to toilets. This means that sewage spills into rivers and streams, contaminating drinking water and causing disease.

3.      Every day, women and children in Africa walk a combined total of 109 million hours to get water. They do this while carrying cisterns weighing around 40 pounds when filled in order to gather water that, in many cases, is still polluted. Aside from putting a great deal of strain on their bodies, walking such long distances keeps children out of school and women away from other endeavors that can help improve the quality of life in their communities.

4.      It takes 6.3 gallons of water to produce just one hamburger. That covers watering the wheat for the bun and providing water for the cow, cooking the patty baking the bun… And that’s just one meal! It would take over 184 billion gallons of water to make just one hamburger for every person in the United States.

5.      The average American uses 159 gallons of water every day— more than 15 times the average person in the developing world. The average five-minute shower will use about 10 gallons of water. Now imagine using that same amount to bathe, wash your clothes, cook your meals and quench your thirst.

So…not to leave you sunk, here are a few easy and cheap/free ways to use less water:

Don’t run the water unnecessarily! Whether washing dishes or brushing your teeth, think about low-water methods. For those dishes,  clean the insides with a
soapy sponge and then only turn on the water (at modest force) to
rinse. For tooth brushing, wet the toothbrush, turn off the faucet, brush, wet again to rinse–you’ll use teaspoons instead of gallons.

Unbottle yourself. Save bottled water for places where tap water is not safe to drink. Bottling water consumes vast amounts of water (several times what’s actually in the bottle), energy, and plastic (much of which ends up in landfills). And lots of bottled water is nothing more than expensive public water supply water anyway. In much of the developed world, filtered tap water tastes as good as many bottled brands and has a far lower environmental and financial footprint.

Eat less (see #4, above). As a 37-year vegetarian, I can tell you that the wonderful cuisines of the world opened up to me when I stopped eating meat. I eat healthy, tasty, nutritious food, and I don’t miss the stuff I used to eat.

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1 comment:

  1. I think it's unfair to imply that eating a hamburger in Virginia is somehow depriving African villagers of precious water. Of course, it's never wise to be wasteful, but water usage is inevitably going to correspond to its relative abundance.


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