Archive for water

For Earth’s sake, don’t divorice!

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 Around the world, divorce rates have been increasing. Now, one expert proclaims divorcing is not being resourceful! 

According to Jianguo Liu, an ecologist at Michigan State University, Americans spend an extra $3.6 billion annually on water as a result of extra households created when people divorce.

“A married household actually uses resources more efficeintly than a divoriced household.”

Need examples? A household uses the same amount of heat or AC no matter if there are 2 or 4 people living in it. One person or several people will use just one refigerator. And two people in two seperate houses will cause 2 dishwashers to run. Two people share the same stove, watch the same TV, listen to the same radio and use the same lights.

The impact is big.

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In 2005, there were 16.5 million divorced people who headed their own household. This means $6.9 billion in extra utility costs annually, in addition to the extra $3.6 billion for water.

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Liu also studied other countries. By looking at 11 of them, which included Brazil, Greece, Ecuador, Costa Rica, Mexico and South Africa, he determined married couples could have saved energy. In fact,  he determined there could have been a million fewer housholds using water and energy in the 11 countries.

All the research was funded by the National Science Foundation, the National Institutes of Health and the Michigan Agricultural Experiement Station.

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the TODAY SHOW, “LIVE” from the polar icecaps!

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Matt Lauer was at the top of the Earth in Greenland.

Ann Curry reported from the bottom of the Earth at Antarctica’s McMurdo Station.

Al Roker joined them from a forest on the equator in Ecuador.

And putting it all in perspective was Al Gore, Nobel Prize winner and former vice president.

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Environmental journalism,” as it’s called, took a giant step into the national spotlight, as 3 of the TODAY SHOW’S top anchors were hosting from world’s away from each other. It was all to shed light on the environmental crisis facing our planet.

When I turned on the TV this morning, I couldn’t believe it was actually happening. A show known for its New York City Rockefeller Center studio, was now reporting from the top, bottom and exact middle of the Earth. Not only an amazing feat, but an ode to the amazing technology available in the communications world.

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I still laugh at those who question the planet’s climate crisis. Would the TODAY Show really travel all the way to the Arctic Circle just for kicks? They’re sending a message, and a strong one at that. NBC is just one of several large organizations taking a stand to bring climate change into the spotlight.

The 3 chosen locations by NBC are all linked by their environmental significance. Greenland is the largest island, and 81% of it is covered by ice. Antarctica holds 90% of the frozen water on our planet. Ecuador, the third location, hosts a large mist forest that consumes vast amounts of carbon dioxide.

“It’s about getting this message out to as many people as possible as quickly as possible.

We face a planetary emergency.”

Al Gore

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Dehydration?

“An epic drought in Georgia threatens the water supply for millions.

Florida doesn’t have nearly enough water for its expected population boom.

The Great Lakes are shrinking.

Upstate New York’s reservoirs have dropped to record lows.

And in the West, the Sierra Nevada snowpack is melting faster each year.”

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It is estimated that 36 states will face water shortages within five years. Droughts, rising temperatures and a rising population all have contributed to the potential water crisis.

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Florida, California and Texas combined use 1/4 of the United States water. Making me ask, “HEY guys! What about the 47 rest of us??”

Desalination, recycling, and conservation are all solutions to the problem.

 

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But why is this happening?

1. Rising temperatures have caused glaciers to melt, and the sea level to rise. As the sea level rises, it pushes saltwater into the underground freshwater supply.

2. When landscapes are paved for roads, water can no longer penetrate the ground to replenish aquifers. Instead, cities pump water back into the ocean to prevent flooding.

3. The U.S. dumps most waste water into the ocean, instead of using it for irrigation.

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Bottle This.

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Bottled water is going out of fashion, and for a good reason. 

More than 8 billion gallons of bottled water is consumed every year. It’s an industry that every year brings in about $11 billion. Considering the wet stuff falls free-of-charge from the sky, something just isn’t right.

Well, if not for the pathetic nature of paying money for something that comes free naturally, maybe considering what we’re doing to the environment might help.

 Nearly 90% of plastic water bottles are not recycled and head right to the landfill. It takes plastic anywhere from 400 to 1,000 years to decompose. More then 40 million barrels of oil is used to produce the plastic needed for the bottling.

“It would be like filling up a quarter of every bottle with oil.”

-Peter Gleick, water policy expert

So what about taste? And your health?

Since bottled water is less-regulated by the FDA than tap-water, in some cases, tap-water is actually safer than its bottled counterparts. According to a study, 25% of bottled water actually is tap water– sometimes further treated, sometimes not. Studies have shown there is no taste difference between the two.

The point is, bottled water doesn’t appear to be better for you, taste better and certainly not eco-friendly. And if you’re still drinking it, you’re out of the loop.

The mayor of San Francisco just banned all bottled water from city buildings.  Other cities, such as Salt Lake, are following suit. Many restaurants, many in New York City, have also capped their sale of bottled water.

So put down your Evian, your Fiji and your Dasani. This time, we’re heading to the tap.

 SOURCES: National Geographic News, MSNBC

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