June 22, 2007

virtual drink - and a footnote

on the way home from work the other day i listened to a story on npr's marketplace concerning the liters of water that go into making one liter of coca-cola -- and what the coca-cola company plans to do about it. (you can read the full transcript here.) needless to say, the fact that over 250 liters of water produces one liter of soda was shocking. there is, or course, the water that is carbonated to produce the soda (2.54 liters), but then too there is the water used to wash the equipment, and the biggest portion, the water used to grow the sugar that goes into the sweet drink (there lies the 250 liters!). now we aren't big soda drinkers in our house, but it got me to thinking, how much water are we really using? only to find that it takes approximately 140 liters of water to produce that morning cup of java i so heavily rely on.

on the World Water Council site, virtual water is defined as "the amount of water that is embedded in food or other products needed for its production". Like "carbon footprint" our bigger "water footprint" is causing a global impact.

so what can be done? you can lobby for companies to take an active role in monitoring and decreasing their water usage. buy from companies you know are making the right choices. and try to move towards a diet of less virtual water. hayley's previous post on the impact of a vegan diet on reducing carbon footprint also applies here. it takes approximately 15500 liters to produce 1 kilogram of beef. you can check out how you are doing by calculating your own "water footprint" here.

food (or should i way water?) for thought

i wanted to add a "footnote" to my previous post on toenail polish. i am currently sporting a lovely pedicure of honeybee gardens polish and i couldn't be happier. it was so easy to apply. (being water-based it doesn't get all ooey-gooey if you try to go over it again.) wears very well. and while not as easy to remove as conventional polish, does come off without those nasty fumes. a more than fair trade-off i think. i took the company's advice and put it on before bed as it takes a while longer to set than the usual stuff. and i gave my toes a good soak before removal. (just popped them in the bath while watching the girls have theirs!) i have used both the peel-off and the non-peel type removed with rubbing alcohol or yes - vodka! - love both. just wanted to put the word out!


shash said...

wow, that's really interesting. thanks tracy!

Anonymous said...

How interesting! I didn't know about this.

It seems like drinking plain water instead of being addicted to soda or coffee/tea might be the best way to combat this!

cally said...

Blimey, I'm stunned by those stats! Not that I drink soda very often, but when I'm next tempted I'll steer clear.

Charity said...

What sugar? All the colas around here use horrible HFCS. Yuck. Good to know about the virtual water though, it's not something that would occur to most people, including me.

Hmm, I wonder how much water it actually takes to make a liter of bottled water?

ed said...