Ten Facts About the Water We Waste
As the globe’s temperature rises and the earth’s weather patterns go haywire, water is quickly becoming a hot topic in the US and elsewhere. Floods are sweeping through new areas, while others are drying out faster than ever. We’ve long had the luxury of holding a cavalier attitude about the water we use, and more often than not that attitude has led us to unnecessary waste and pollution of our water.
Jon Clift and Amanda Cuthbert, authors of Water: Use Less—Save More, have assembled some facts about our water use that may surprise you.
From Water: Use Less—Save More:
Americans now use 127 percent more water than we did in 1950.
About 95 percent of the water entering our homes goes down the drain.
Running the tap while brushing your teeth can waste 4 gallons of water.
Older toilets can use 3 gallons of clean water with every flush, while new toilets use as little as 1 gallon.
Leaky faucets that drip at the rate of one drop per second can waste up to 2,700 gallons of water each year.
A garden hose or sprinkler can use almost as much water in an hour as an average family of four uses in one day.
A water-efficient dishwasher will use as little a 4 gallons per wash cycle, whereas some older models use up to 13 gallons per cycle.
Some experts estimate that more than 50 percent of landscape water use goes to waste due to evaporation or runoff caused by over-watering.
Many people in the world exist on 3 gallons of water per day or less. We can use that amount in one flush of the toilet.
Over a quarter of all the clean, drinkable water you use in your home is used to flush the toilets.
For tips on how to reduce the amount of water you use and waste, see Water: Use Less—Save More, by Jon Clift and Amanda Cuthbert.
When you’re walking around the grocery store looking at all of the different vegetables, it’s probably hard to imagine that a century ago there was twice the amount of options to choose from. Hundreds of years of growing crops and infusing the soil with chemicals have depleted the dirt of the essential nutrients needed to…Read More
If you’re at all in tune to the agricultural news of late, you’re well aware that soil health is in decline all over the world – an issue that is having a disastrous impact on our food systems. The answer to this international problem? Worms. And lots of them. But how, you ask? Well, vermicomposting,…Read More
If you want to improve your soils, one of the most important things you can do is to plant cover crops. Not only do they provide diversity they also help to increase the amount of carbon in your croplands – an essential component of stimulating photosynthesis. But to understand which crops to plant, and when,…Read More
Let’s face it, buying fresh veggies in the dead of winter after growing your own all summer is a bummer. But what if we told you that you could extend your season, save time, AND save money? Ben Falk, author of The Resilient Farm and Homestead, experimented with overwintering a bed of arugula using a…Read More
As we ease our way into autumn, make sure you are ready to preserve your root vegetable harvest in a soundly constructed, home storage system. In the following excerpt from Four-Season Harvest, Eliot Coleman shares his expertise on building a successful root cellar. For more step-by-step projects to jumpstart your season extension plans, properly prepare…Read More