Holiday Tips #3
While we can all get wrapped up in the hustle and bustle of the holidays, this time of year is often special because we’re provided so many wonderful opportunities to gather with family, strangers, co-workers, and loved ones alike.
Unfortunately, these gatherings are not always the most-friendly to our water resources. From producing waste to eating foods with high carbon footprints, often the things that we think of as ‘bad for the environment’ also translate to ‘bad for our water resources’.
But have no fear!
Girls Gone Water is here to walk you through water-friendly party / holiday gathering practices that are easy to implement with big rewards for our shared waters.
Ditch the Plastic
Instead of offering your guests bottled water, opt for a carafe or filtered water option instead! Most households in North America and Europe have access to high quality drinking water right in their taps. Recently, microplastics have been found in a huge number of top-brand bottled waters, so you’re not doing your body or the environment any favors by choosing plastic. This applies to other party items as well like cutlery, cups, and more! Using real dishes and glasses is not only classy, it will also keep unnecessary waste from going into our landfills and waterways.
Choose Sustainable Foods
Much of the world runs on meat and we definitely recognize just how delicious it can be, but it’s also one of the highest water-using foods to produce and comes with a nasty carbon footprint to boot. By supplementing or replacing some meat dishes with vegetarian options, you’ll reduce your environmental impact and support healthier water resources around the world.
Let it Mellow
Think you can’t be a water-hero while doing your business? Think again!
We know, we know… insert “EWWW!” here. But let’s take a moment to really think about it. With holiday gatherings, there’s lots of merriment and good times which often includes drinking. Whether it’s alcoholic or not, there are a lot of people with a lot of liquids flowing and we all know that means many, many bathroom trips! Newer toilets use between 1.6-3.5 gallons per flush, and older toilets can use up to 7 gallons per flush. That’s a lot of water. By getting over the ew-factor and asking guests to let it mellow, hundreds of gallons of water can be saved this holiday in every household. The more who participate, the more impact there will be!
Carpool or Carbon Offset
Last but not least, many of our global water resources are considered important carbon sinks. This means they soak up carbon and store it, but in the case of our oceans, excess carbon is causing the water to acidify. We’re all going somewhere this holiday. If it’s local, find friends to carpool with or use public transit. If you’re taking a flight, consider purchasing a carbon offset which combats carbon pollution through actions like planting trees, stopping polluting industries, and protecting ecosystems around the world. Some carbon off-sets are better than others, so you can get informed about the best options here.
Disclaimer: Girls Gone Water does not receive any sort of financial kick-back from products or links – they’re just our honest holiday tips that keep on giving with their connection to water.
This blog post is from Dani Lindamood. Dani is a Girls Gone Water co-founder, recreational videographer, and a staunch advocate for protecting water resources around the world. Originally from San Diego, California, she is currently based in Waterloo, Ontario and works for the University of Waterloo in science communications, research, and elevating research impacts.