Your water footprint, illustrated
Where does your city get its water? GOOD magazine put together a nice visualization of where major U.S. cities draw their water from. Los Angeles, for example goes through 207 billion gallons of water a year-- and only 12% of that's local water.
More than half of L.A.'s water comes from Lake Havasu -- 242 miles away -- which means that L.A. spends a lot of energy and resources simply to meet its water needs.
Luckily, GOOD magazine also has a great illustration on how you can save water over the course of a day -- which literally compares apples to oranges! (via kottke) So you know, oranges win out, since they take 13 gallons to grow, compared to apples' 18 gallons.
Of course that doesn't mean you shouldn't ever eat apples again. Compare those 18 gallons to the amount of water it takes to produce a pound of beef: 1500 gallons!
Some of the comparisons, are rather unrealistic. Who, for example, has a lunch consists of just lettuce, carrots, and tomatoes? And why would anyone drink beer instead of wine or tea instead of coffee? ;P
But you can be good to your wallet, waistline, and environment by switching from a coke to a nice glass of tap water, saving close to 33 gallons of water in the process. Still don't have a reusable water bottle to help you embrace the tap? Food & Water Watch wants to give you a free water bottle. Take the nonprofit's survey for a chance to win 1 of 25 stainless steel water bottles.
Image via good.is
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