Subscribe to Go Green News Alerts
Go Green


Follow Us On Twitter    Become A Fan On Facebook    Network With Us on LinkedIn    Subscribe To Our News Alerts



Go Green An Ekotribe Initiative
Green Column

 

Green Column by Sharad Agarwal
Change text size:
 
Ecological Eye Openers : Why Using Less Paper and Plastic Means Using Less Water
 

To anyone on the West Coast of the US, the drought conditions currently ongoing can seem like the worst in the world. They aren't. From South America to Africa and Asia, several countries around the world are experiencing conditions of drought not seen in decades. Scientists studying weather patterns believe that these trends are the beginning of an overall shift in global climate.

Water conservation is the obvious first step to take. It can be a complicated endeavor, however.

Most people do not think of invisible water

Perhaps you take quick showers, use energy-efficient appliances, and have a water-conserving lawn. While these are very good steps to take for water conservation, it's important to understand that it isn't just these obvious uses of water that one needs to aim for in one's conservation efforts.

Only 8% of the world's freshwater is applied to domestic use. About three times more goes to industrial use and eight times the amount goes to irrigation. Every product of industrial processes that one uses represents a significant drain on the planet's water resources. Conservationists speak of virtual or invisible water to describe such indirect use of water in this way. Average individual use of invisible water tends to top domestic use. To work on water conservation in a meaningful way, it's important to turn one's sights to such indirect use.

What kind of water conservation may be possible?

The use of fabric: A large proportion of the water used for irrigation purposes goes to cotton and wool production, important staples of the fashion industry. The manufacture of one cotton T-shirt uses up 1,000 gallons of water. Far more water is ruined forever in the dyeing process.

The use of plastic: It takes 25 gallons of water to manufacture a pound of plastic. A bottle of mineral water may not use more than an ounce of plastic, but the molding process applied to the manufacture of a single gallon-bottle takes as much as 2 gallons of water.

The use of paper: While it's easy to take for granted the use of a napkin, a length of toilet paper or a shopping bag, the paper that these products are made of has a disproportionate environmental footprint. It takes 37 gallons of water, a couple of pounds of tree wood and more than a kilowatt-hour of energy to produce a single roll of toilet paper.

Do you care for the environment as much as your local factory?

Big, ugly, smoking factories may not seem a paragon of environmentally friendly practice, but they are. American industry has improved resource efficiency to the point that it has been able to reduce water use by 30% over the past 30 years. Nearly no individual could point to such impressive figures. To anyone who feels that it's too much trouble to make big changes to their lives, a look to the average factory for inspiration is all it takes.

In many ways, though, it only takes a few painless steps in the right direction to make an earnest start.

Turn away from disposable paper

Switching to e-books and applying for e-bills for every service that you subscribe to are the easiest changes to make. Single-use paper products, toilet paper and kitchen napkins are another area of easy change. In the kitchen, usable cloth napkins can take the place of paper. In the toilet, using a bidet instead of a roll of toilet paper can go a long way towards water conservation as well, not to mention the conservation of money. The average person uses 20 rolls of toilet paper in a year. According to ToiletBidet.com, vendors of some of the best bidet toilet seat products on the market today, switching to water from one of these bathroom fixtures could save on nearly 1,000 gallons of invisible water consumption each year. There would also be a not inconsiderable $25 saved per person.

Buy fewer clothes, but go for quality

Switching away from cotton fabrics helps the environment in some measure. It also helps to spend your money on higher-quality purchases, making sure that your clothes last longer.

Make a conscious choice against plastic

It can be very hard to stop using plastic because unlike paper or fabric, its use is everywhere - from the snack that you get out of the vending machine to takeout at the restaurant and practically every item on the shelves of supermarkets. While you could certainly switch to cloth shopping bags, it can take much more effort elsewhere. Making sure that the restaurants that you order from use recyclable packaging would be one step in the right direction. It would be even better to switch to cooking at home.

Dedicating yourself to water conservation can be hard; adopting some of the easiest measures available to you, however, can by help make for a great start.

Tom Norton likes to be as green as possible in his day-to-day life. He works as a sales assistant at a bathroom showroom, and in his spare time is a keen writer of articles and short stories.

 

 
Archive
Quick and easy ways to reduce your home's carbon footprint
How construction firms are cutting their carbon footprint
How Gambling Is Affecting The Economy's Growth
Cars and Fuel Efficiency: Are We Winning the War or Simply Spinning Our Wheels?
Stop Wasting Time and Start green car
How Can Car Manufacturers Make Their Vehicles More Sustainable?
Building A New City? This Is What You Need To Know!
ENERGY EFFICIENCY: THE BENEFITS OF NEW HOMES OVER OLDER HOMES
Middle East Lays Foundations for Green Housing
Infographic
The Fantasy Faceoff Twilight Breaking Dawn pt2 v Harry Potter & the Deathly Hallows pt2
Paris Agreement Adopted, Conclusion of COP21 Marks the Beginning of Concerted Global Efforts to Combat Climate Change
Creating Your Green Oasis
Las Vegas Casinos could Go Green and See More Green
Ready for Anything: Tips for Getting Kids Involved in Emergency Planning
Protecting Your Family: When Survival Meets Preparedness
Go Green in Your Office Using Eco-Friendly Office Supplies
Waste Not, Want Not: The Amazingly Versatile Coconut Tree
Why Choose Recycled for Your Diamond
Home Heating: Is It Time to Update Those Ugly, Noisy Radiators?
Home Safety: Is It Time to Replace That Old Carbon Monoxide Monitor?
How can dehumidification of your basement help your health?
How Car Manufacturers are Changing the Landscape of Green Technology
How To Take Care of Your Car Properly?
Does Car Washing Detergent Make a Difference?
Make a Difference by Upgrading your Appliances
Commercial Going Green For 2015
Green Has Three Rs -- and they all matter
Solar Roadways: A Clear Path to a Brighter and Safer Future
BP Oil Spill Still Wrecking Havoc On Area Wildlife
Make Your Windows More Efficient By Fixing Air Leaks
10 Tips on How to Go Green with Your Car - Guest Post
A Smart Solution for Completely Green and Eco-Friendly Roof Restorations - Guest Post
A Greener Tomorrow Requires a Sustainable Today - by Becky Wilcox
Grow Food, Not Lawns - by Becky Wilcox
Improve Life & Savings with Energy Efficient Appliances - Guest Post
Climate Change mitigation requires a global solution
Modern Renewable Energy Solution from Plastics - Guest Post
Solar is the fastest growing energy source in the world - Sharad Agarwal
Investing in Alternative Energy Indexes
Anantara Desert Resort Proves Green Credentials
The Secrets to a Sustainable Business - Sharad Agarwal
Green Moving Tips for College Students - Guest Post
How Casinos Are Going Green - Guest Post
A shirt that you can wear for 100 days without Washing or ironing - How Green is that?
What Geotechnical Engineering Is and Why It\'s Critical to Your Firm\'s Project - Guest Post
Teaching children how to be eco-friendly - Guest Post
Solar Energy is the Answer
Plastic takes over 500 hundred years to disintegrate
Taking green responsibilities seriously - Guest Post
Benefits of Arboricultural and Ecology Consultancy by Arbtech - Guest Post
Eco-friendly technology: The best way to get green light - Guest Post
Tips for beginners to make eco-friendly home improvements - Guest Post
Green Manufacturing - Guest post
Hurricane Sandy - A Wake up call
How to go eco-friendly without going bankrupt
Importance of Environmental CSR Initiatives
Vertical Farming is the Answer
Eco-Friendly Ways to Clean the House - Guest Post
2012 - Green Up Your Life
World Population Explodes
Green Halloween
Green Tips from Go-Green.ae
Graphene - The next big wonder material for generating energy
Was Gandhi Green?
10 Good Reasons to Plant A Tree
Plastic soda bottles can now be a source of light!
Carbon Trading Glossary
Bamboo - Eighth Wonder of the World?
What uses Watt?
Why Eat Organic Food?
e - for environment
The Water Footprint
Can renewable energy provide a 24x7 solution?
Eco-dining
Go Green With Cloud Computing
Oxo Biodegradable?
How Cool is the Cool Biz Program?
Do you have an Environmental Affairs Policy?
Yes we can make a difference
Green Products that I use in my Daily Life
Easy Ways to reduce your carbon footprint
Solar Energy holds the Key
Each One of Us Can Make A Difference - Here is How
Bamboo as a Fabric
Earth Hour - Each one of us can make a difference
The Anatomy of a Tsunami
Zero Waste
The Case for Plantable Paper
The demand for sustainable paper products
NIMBY - Not In My Backyard
Is nuclear energy good for the environment?
The Alphabet of Ecology
Cloud Computing Helps Reduce Carbon Footprint
The Rise of Collaborative Consumption
2011 - Time to Go Green
The Carbon Footprint of the Internet
Carbon, Carbon, Carbon
The Cancun Climate Summit footprint represents a shoe size of 46
The Time to Act is NOW
The solution lies in 'energy efficient lighting'
Climate Change is a REALITY
The importance of recycling bottles
Environmental migrants - Dealing with a new reality
"Green Guides"
What is Sustainability?
Think Green - Act Green
Environmental benefits of recycling
Reduce Your Carbon Footprint
What is Fair Trade?
Living Planet Report 2010
e-retailing : The Competitive Advantage
20 Ways to Go Green at Home
Business and Environment
 
 
Link to Us Tell A Friend Subscribe to News Alerts


advertise-with-us
 

Go-Green.ae has 1,944 Green Stories, 146 Green Product Reviews, 6895 Green News Headlines , 386 Organisations in the Green Directory, 391 Green Book Reviews, 479 Green Videos, 205 Green Tips and 1604 Go Green Ambassadors in 114 countries.
Green Resources
Another Cyber Gear Site