Did You Know?
• With 83 million more people on Earth each year, water demand will keep going up unless we change how we use it.
• In 15 years, 1.8 billion people will live in regions of severe water scarcity.
• 46 percent of people on Earth do not have water piped to their homes. Women in developing countries walk an average of 3.7 miles to get water.
• California’s water system was originally built to serve 18 million people, but now is struggling to meet the needs of 38 million people, and that number is predicted to grow to 50 million by 2032
Our Water Usage:
• The average person in the U.S. consumes around 63 gallons a day of water indoors and about 100 gallons of water at home each day. Millions of the World’s poorest subsist on fewer than 5 gallons.
• Typical indoor water use is as follows: toilet (27%), clothes washer (22%), shower (17%), faucets (16%), leaks (14%), dishwasher (2%), bath (2%)
• In Florida, 3,000 gallons of water are used for each golf game played.
• U.S. swimming pools lose 150 billion gallons to evaporation each year.
• Two thirds of our fresh water, in the U.S., is used to grow food.
• Half of all U.S. water is used for livestock. A single pound of meat requires 2,500 to 6,000 pounds of water.
• Americans drank 8.25 billion gallons of bottled water last year (up 9.5% from 2005) even though it hasn’t been shown to be any better than tap water, requires oil to make the plastic, produces emissions to ship it from wherever it’s bottled, and then deposits 2 billion pounds per year in our landfills,
• A high-efficiency toilet saves 19 gallons of water per day per person (on average).
• Taking a 5 minutes shower with a low flow showerhead vs. a 10 minute shower with a standard showerhead saves 25 gallons per day.
• Using a new water-efficient clothes washer saves about 16 gallons per load compared to an older model.
• Planting drought-resistant trees and plants can save 30-60 gallons of water, each time you water, for 1000 square feet of yard.
• Installing a pool/spa cover can save 30 gallons of water per day.
Submitted by Linda Riebel with additions and photographs from Alison Hill Challenge In 1983 I moved into a house that had a washer but no dryer, so I learned to use a drying rack and an outdoor clothesline. When I bought the house some years later, I didn’t want to write a large check [...]
Submitted by Will Thorn (A Third Grader) My name is Will Thorn. I am a Third Grader at Happy Valley School and have lived in Lafayette all my life. I love to build and my favorite project is my sustainable fort. I have been building it for years using recycled lumber from my Dad’s building [...]
Submitted by: Leslie Golden, RLA, LEED AP, BFL QP (firstname.lastname@example.org) Challenge When we buy an appliance or car – we usually inquire about the energy cost or miles to the gallon. These are operational costs, which help inform our purchase decisions. Why don’t we use the same logic in our own backyards? When my family [...]
Written by Maureen Isaacs (summer intern) based on interviewing Jude Parkinson-Morgan (email@example.com). Challenge: The Parkinson-Morgans had a challenge to face when they first moved into their home: the front lawn consisted of ivy and unhealthy grass. The ivy was abundant in both the back and the front yards, and the previous owners had left them [...]
Written by Maureen Isaacs (Sustainable Lafayette Intern) Challenge When Gwenn and John Lennox looked into remodeling their house, they found that the costs were almost equivalent to demolishing their house and starting from scratch. They decided to take this opportunity in disguise to create a house with minimal initial and future environmental impacts. Solution Details [...]
Submitted By: Renee Emerson (firstname.lastname@example.org) Challenge We have always been interested in recycling everything possible. A little over three years ago we looked into using our gray water to water the yard, but found the plumbing changes necessary to make a permanent system cost prohibitive. Meanwhile, we had three teenage girls who all loved [...]
Submitted By: Michael Dawson (email@example.com) Most of us know the thrill of finding a new way to become sustainable, each step a small but significant step which makes us feel proud of our efforts. On one recent rainy day I decided to undertake an experiment which hopefully will reap even greater rewards of a different [...]
Submitted By: Karen Maggio (firstname.lastname@example.org) Challenge Having been involved in planning, teaching and green building for many years, I often use my own home as a test site for new ideas, colors and technologies. I have experimented with solar lighting, rain chains, rain barrels, composting, mulching, nitrogen fixing plants for a class demonstration, bio swales [...]
Submitted By: Jeff Kent (Jeff.Kent@rhi.com) Challenge I stumbled on a program from EBMUD where they pay you to replace your old water guzzling toilet. If you have a toilet that uses 3.5 gallons (or more) of water per flush, EBMUD will give you up to a $150 credit towards a WaterSmart high-efficiency toilets (HET). The program [...]
Submitted By: Rosalind Kim (Rosalind.Kim@gmail.com) Challenge How to conserve water at our home without spending a lot of money. Solution Details One day while reading the East Bay Municipal Utility District (EBMUD) newsletter that comes with our bill, I saw a small notice indicating that EBMUD offers free conservation adaptors for the home. I went [...]
Submitted By: Tony Eichers (email@example.com) – Vice President & General Manager of Lafayette Park Hotel & Spa The Lafayette Park Hotel & Spa has great respect for our natural resources and we are committed to reducing our impact on the environment through resource conservation and best practices. Our Environmental Care Program focuses on eight key [...]
Submitted By: Mary Ransdell (firstname.lastname@example.org) Challenge: To conserve water and still have a front “lawn”. When my family purchased our home in Lafayette in 2008, about 900 square feet of the front garden was made up of a patchy, grass – and the sprinkler system had long been defunct. With water being such a precious [...]
Submitted By: Bart Carr (email@example.com) Challenge Last November, our old water heater died. A dead water heater is something that can’t wait to be fixed or replaced. We (my wife Surinder and I) moved quickly and decided to explore “tankless” gas water heating systems. We knew that a growing number of people were turning to [...]
The Strand family in Orinda is typical of many families in Lamorinda–they have three active kids and a live-in parent, and are always on the run. With so much going on how do they find time to stop and think about how to live more sustainably?
Going Green at the Lafayette Health Club Article written by Sustainable Lafayette based on an interview with Debbie Swigert, the owner of the Lafayette Health Club Challenge Debbie Swigert started the Lafayette Health Club all the way back in 1981 with a small studio space. Since then the LHC has grown into a much larger [...]
Submitted By: Steve Richard (firstname.lastname@example.org) Challenge Every time our weekly “mow and blow” lawn service came to cut our grass and blow our leaves around, I felt somewhat annoyed by all the noise, but put up with it anyway, figuring our lawn was too large to cut myself. After reading about the amount of emissions [...]