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How Can You Reduce Your Water Footprint?

How Can You Reduce Your Water Footprint? | Sustain Our Earth | Scoop.it

How much water do you use every day?  The answer might surprise you. 

A paper released online last week in the journal Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences concluded that Americans significantly underestimate their water use.

Curious how my friends and family would fare, I reached out via social media and posed the simple question, “how much water do you use each day?”  The results in my quick survey ranged to from 2 gallons to 300 gallons, but the most common estimate was 10 to 15 gallons per day.  In reality, Americans use closer to 90 gallons of water a day.  To put things in perspective, a 10-minute shower with an EPA WaterSense labeled high efficiency showerhead consumes 22 gallons, while a 20 minute shower with an older, high flow showerhead could be as much as 100 gallons.  Last month, Governor Brown declared a state of emergency and called on all Californians to conserve water in every way possible. 

Knowing how much water you use, and how and where you use it, are important first steps in determining the most effective ways you can save water in your home and business.


Via Lauren Moss
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Alison D. Gilbert's curator insight, March 12, 2014 7:43 PM

Water, water, everywhere but not a drop to waste.

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4 Infographics Show How Much Solar Power Is Installed in the U.S. | EcoWatch

4 Infographics Show How Much Solar Power Is Installed in the U.S. | EcoWatch | Sustain Our Earth | Scoop.it

The record-setting third quarter for U.S. solar energy installations brings the nation’s total to a whopping 10.25 gigawatts (GW).

That’s enough to make the Solar Energy Industries Association (SEIA) predict that the U.S. could finally rise up the ranks to beat Germany in new solar photovoltaic (PV) installations next year. Included in that figure—the country’s second-best quarter—was the residential sector’s record of 186 megawatts (MW) in installations.

 

Just how much is 10.25 GW? SEIA explores that question with a few infographics...


Via Lauren Moss
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Rescooped by SustainOurEarth from Sustainable Energy
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Green and Healthy Buildings: monitoring consumption & ecology in the built environment

Green and Healthy Buildings: monitoring consumption & ecology in the built environment | Sustain Our Earth | Scoop.it

According to the United Nations Environment Programme, buildings account for approximately 40 percent of worldwide energy use and are responsible for 30 percent of greenhouse gas emissions. They also play an important role in the health and wellbeing of those who inhabit them each day.

The mass of information about what makes a building green tends to concentrate on new and innovative designs that create beautiful photo spreads. While such examples are inspiring, they make up a very small percentage of all buildings in operation.

Green Buildings Alive is an environmental initiative aimed at collecting and sharing data on existing buildings between 10 and 60 years old. The data is collected from office towers in Australian Central Business Districts (CBDs) and shared on a public website.

 


Via Lauren Moss, Stephane Bilodeau, Hans De Keulenaer
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The End of the ‘Developing World’

The End of the ‘Developing World’ | Sustain Our Earth | Scoop.it
The old labels no longer apply. Rich countries need to learn from poor ones.

 

BILL GATES, in his foundation’s annual letter, declared that “the terms ‘developing countries’ and ‘developed countries’ have outlived their usefulness.” He’s right. If we want to understand the modern global economy, we need a better vocabulary.

Mr. Gates was making a point about improvements in income and gross domestic product; unfortunately, these formal measures generate categories that tend to obscure obvious distinctions. Only when employing a crude “development” binary could anyone lump Mozambique and Mexico together.

It’s tough to pick a satisfying replacement. Talk of first, second and third worlds is passé, and it’s hard to bear the Dickensian awkwardness of “industrialized nations.” Forget, too, the more recent jargon about the “global south” and “global north.” It makes little sense to counterpose poor countries with “the West” when many of the biggest economic success stories in the past few decades have come from the East.

All of these antiquated terms imply that any given country is “developing” toward something, and that there is only one way to get there.

It’s time that we start describing the world as “fat” or “lean.”


Via Seth Dixon, Steven McGreevy
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Joanne Wegener's curator insight, March 7, 2014 5:03 AM

Fat or Lean - what sort of world do we live in

An interesting discussion on the way we perceive and label the world.

Ma. Caridad Benitez's curator insight, March 11, 2014 10:15 AM

Hoy en día poca claridad de dónde exactamente queda y quiénes son? 

Seth Dixon's curator insight, March 13, 2014 10:46 AM

UPDATE: this article (from the Atlantic) on the exact same concept would supplement the NY Times article nicely.  

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Infographic: Feeding 7 Billion People And Counting

Infographic: Feeding 7 Billion People And Counting | Sustain Our Earth | Scoop.it

Inspired by a recent Wall Street Journal article, Sustainable America has created the following infographic to show how food is wasted and lost around the world, and what can be done about it.

 

Food waste and food security are serious problems, but there are current solutions and ways you can help. Read on to learn more, and stay tuned for our next blog post, which will delve deeper into some of the points made by Lappe and Nierenberg in the Wall Street Journal piece.


Via Lauren Moss, Electric Car, Olive Ventures
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Creativity Angel's comment, February 4, 2013 2:30 AM
Insects are the solution, more than 1,000,000,000 people on the planet eat insects every day.
Creativity Angel's curator insight, February 4, 2013 2:31 AM

Insects are the solution. Western people has to use to know that more than 1,000,000,000 people on the planet eat insects every day and they are the most effective food.

Mercor's curator insight, February 4, 2013 5:45 AM

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Radical Simplicity and the Middle-Class - Exploring the Lifestyle Implications of a ‘Great Disruption’

Radical Simplicity and the Middle-Class - Exploring the Lifestyle Implications of a ‘Great Disruption’ | Sustain Our Earth | Scoop.it

"How would the ordinary middle-class consumer – I should say middle-class citizen – deal with a lifestyle of radical simplicity? By radical simplicity I essentially mean a very low but biophysically sufficient material standard of living, a form of life that will be described in more detail below. In this essay I want to suggest that radical simplicity would not be as bad as it might first seem, provided we were ready for it and wisely negotiated its arrival, both as individuals and as communities. Indeed, I am tempted to suggest that radical simplicity is exactly what consumer cultures need to shake themselves awake from their comfortable slumber; that radical simplicity would be in our own, immediate, self-interests."

 


Via Willy De Backer, David Hodgson
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