Published on April 15th, 2012 | by Becky Striepe1
What’s Your Virtual Water Footprint?
We’ve talked about how our food choices affect our water footprint around here before, but how much water does it take to produce what we eat and drink?
You’re probably pretty familiar with ways to cut back your direct water use, so what about the “virtual water” that we consume? Of course, you know to drink your eight glasses (or more!) a day, but virtual water refers to the indirect uses of water in our day to day, including the water involved in something like raising a cow for your dinner plate or producing the apple you pack with your lunch. When you take all of that water–including the water to produce our food–into account, those eight glasses balloons up to almost 33,000 glasses! If you want to find your virtual water footprint, check out the extended water footprint calculator here.
This infographic from visual.ly takes a look at our direct and virtual water footprints in our day-to-day and in some common food products. You can click to view a full-sized version.
What’s really interesting to me about this is how much less water it takes to produce plant-based food. It makes sense, right? To raise a cow, you have to feed it plants, so it’s far less efficient from a water standpoint. What do you guys do to reduce your virtual water footprint?