Sustainability Tips – Nov 2015

windmill400 gallons is the amount of water the average American family uses per day.

1.5 million barrels of crude oil are used for making water bottles, globally.

2.7 tons is the amount of plastic used to bottle water and 86% of that become garbage or litter.

These are starting statistics and point the way to making good water that look out for your health and the water we all share.

What can you do?

  1. Kick the bottle habit. A four-year study of bottled water conducted by NRDC found that one-fifth of the 103 waters tested contained synthetic organic chemicals and the possible carcinogen styrene. Plastic water bottles often contain BPA (bisphenol-A) a toxic compound that has been linked to breast cancer, and immediate high blood pressure spikes.

    Unfortunately, BPA is in many packaging materials, but you want to cut down on your exposure by at least 60%. The safest way to do this is to switch to glass or stainless steel containers since other plastics may have other toxic components.

  1. Use rainwater. Put a rain barrel on your downspouts for irrigation, or set up container gardens under your roof line.
  2. Garden with greywater. Water from sinks, showers, dishwashers, and clothes washers can be drained into the garden instead of the sink. Your plants will actually love the soap residue.
  3. Protect your sources.
    Water sources have to be protected. Don’t pour chemicals down drains, or flush drugs down toilets—it’s going to end up in someone’s water somewhere. This also applies to fertilizers and pesticides that can run off into local drinking water sources.

Be aware of local water issues—and that means issues that may seem like hundreds of miles away, but which affect your water aquifers.

  1. Encourage others.
    Droughts in one state can and do affect others. We may have good water supply locally now, but as other neighboring areas dry up they’ll need water. Good water habits help us all.

    Published courtesy of the Catron Courier.

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