Sus­tain­abil­ity Tips

Catron Courier - - News -

400 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 star­tling 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.

2. Use rain­wa­ter. Put a rain bar­rel on your down­spouts for ir­ri­ga­tion, or set up con­tainer gar­dens un­der your roofline.

3. 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.

4. 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.

5. 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.

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