Waste Not – Want Not

Experts say the average American uses about 80 gallons of water a day at home. National Geographic’s Water Footprint Calculator shows Americans use about 2000 gallons a day when you factor in food, energy, transportation, products we buy and more. Only 5% of water is used at home; 1% of the world’s water is for human consumption.

In many places, clean water is an anomaly. This video from Kathmandu is the most shocking thing I have seen related to abusing our water supply. This human behavior – dumping every kind of waste in waterways so that the waste will go ‘away’ –  has been going on for decades. There are many similar videos river dump in Nepal-500x334showing how pollution is a way of life in this  nation.

During my NJ Learns Education for Sustainability training, one of the most important lessons I have learned from Jaimie Cloud of The Cloud Institute is that when it comes to waste – there is ‘no such thing as away.’

Sustainability is all about environmental, social, educational and economic practices so a community, a city,  a state, a nation and the world can thrive for generations to come. This extreme kind of environmental destruction will continue to choke people. Thousands of people in the world die every day from air pollution including in places such as Kathmandu.

We can be thankful we live in a society where many people respect the earth. There is still so much more we can do in our everyday lives to be more aware of what we are using, abusing and throwing ‘away.’ There’s a lot of low-hanging fruit when it comes to sustainability: recycling probably tops that list. There are still so many people who just throw everything in the same trash bin. Perhaps they believe it’s someone else’s job to recycle things. It’s not for them to be concerned with.

Back to the water we use: the National Geographic Freshwater Initiative simply states ‘Water is Life.’ Spend a few minutes looking through the links on this site to better understand why and how water is precious and why we should all be more aware of how we use and abuse water. Then consider cutting your water usage to help sustain our world’s water supply. Every drop does count.