Day 12

Water

SPONSORED BY NUMI ORGANIC TEA

PGC Notes: As a reminder, you must follow all submission instructions in order to be considered for a daily prize. This means including your name, username, email address, and school in every submission. Please be sure to fully read the instructions for each challenge!  Thanks. 

OVERVIEW

Water is the driving force of all nature.” ~ Leonardo da Vinci

There are few things that inspire as much wonderment as water. Just think about the number of beach views and waterfalls that flood your Instagram feed every summer. Or the poems, paintings, and water sports that are a celebration of water’s strength and subtlety. Water is a source of inspiration, a place of beauty, and the foundation of life.

Water is life.

And with water just a faucet turn away (at least in the developed world), it can feel like it’s an infinite resource. But this couldn’t be further from the truth.

Clean, safe drinking water is a scarce resource that’s under great strain in many parts of the world.

Even though water is considered to be a renewable resource, we are extracting and polluting water at such a high rate, that the water supply isn’t able to replenish itself.  

According to the US Geological Survey, water covers 70% of our planet, but only 2.5% of that water is freshwater. Of that freshwater, only 1.5% is on the surface and able to nourish life on earth. Stress on our freshwater supplies is intensified by the uncertainties of climate change and pollution. Extreme weather patterns including droughts and floods can place countless people at risk of becoming water insecure – meaning that they do not have enough clean water to drink, farm, and maintain good hygiene. And this is all happening while pollution continues to fill our streams, rivers and lakes making them undrinkable.

Today, over 2.1 billion people lack access to clean water and 4 billion live with water scarcity. In contrast, the average American uses about 751,777 gallons of water per year. This number is an average “water footprint,” which is a similar concept to a carbon footprint. But instead, a water footprint is the amount of water that someone uses over a given span of time. What’s tricky is that most of that water usage is virtual, hidden, or used indirectly to provide goods and services, such as food and electricity.  

Let’s consider a factory farmed burger and your water footprint after eating it. You may have an 8-ounce glass of water with your burger. But your water footprint for that meal is close to 660 gallons of water to raise and feed the cow. And if it’s a cheeseburger? Then it takes 382 gallons of water for one pound of cheese. If you are interested in seeing more examples of how much water inputs are required for the food you eat, check out this great read from our partner GRACE Communications. You may be really surprised!

The good news is that the indirect nature of water use means that you can do more than simply take shorter showers to conserve this valuable resource. There are plenty of actions you can take individually and with your larger community to lower your water footprint. Your challenge today is to learn about your water footprint, opt for some changes, and also to start a ripple of behavior change on your campus and throughout your networks by raising awareness.

CHALLENGE

Green

20 POINTS

 

 

Think

Every person has a right to clean water. As water use increases and supply dwindles, the pressure for sustainable management of this resource is on us. This means engaging in water conscious consumer practices and conserving wherever we can. Our hidden water footprint makes up 96% of our total water use. Knowing your baseline use will make it easier to reduce your footprint.

Challenge

Any idea how much water you are using every day? Think about the food you eat, the showers you take, and the water you drink to quench your thirst. How much direct water consumption? And indirect consumption?

  • Write down an estimate of how much water you think you use per day.
    • Does that number account for virtual (hidden) water use as well?

(Make sure you include both a direct and indirect consumption. )

Here’s a definition of virtual water from Hoekstra and Chapagain: “the volume of freshwater used to produce a specific product, measured at the place where the product was actually produced. It refers to the sum of the water use in the various steps of the production chain.”

Now, calculate your actual water consumption:

  • Calculate your water footprint using GRACE’s Water Footprint Calculator and find out how much water you use directly and virtually each day.
    • Compare your actual water footprint with your guess.
    • What surprised you most about your water footprint?
    • Which category of your water footprint was highest – indoor, outdoor, or virtual?
  • Post the link to GRACE’s Water Footprint Calculator on the social media platform of your choice and challenge at least 3 people to calculate their own water footprints by tagging them. Use the hashtag #PGC2018 and tag @TurningGreenOrg and our partners of the day including Grace, Numi and Lonely Whale.

Deliverables

Upload a PDF Document with your responses along with your social media post. Include your name (or team name), username, email address, and school.

Submission Guidelines

  • If you do not see an upload button, you need to log in
  • Please submit all entries as PDFs – no word or pages docs.
  • Please save filenames using the following format: firstname_lastname_challengeday_challengelevel_year.pdf (ex: kasie_shils_day1_green_2018.pdf)
  • Do not include # or spaces in filenames
  • Please be sure to include all content for your submission in one doc
  • Do not upload a file bigger than 5 MB
  • You will get a confirmation on screen that your submission uploaded correctly (green) or that it failed (red) and to try again.
  • If your total points do not change, your submission did not load correctly and you will have to try again. You can see your points total by logging out and back in again.
  • If you are having trouble uploading, try using a different browser
  • Send any questions you have to info@turninggreen.org
  • Don’t forget to post about the challenge and your learnings/doings on social media and tag us on Facebook @TurningGreen, on Twitter @TurningGreenOrg, and on Instagram @TurningGreenOrg and #PGC2018.
The deadline for entering this challenge has past.

Greener

40 POINTS

Think

Virtual water use makes up the majority of our water footprint. Virtual water use is the amount of water needed to make the goods you use. You may be surprised just how much your virtual use adds up. Everything from growing the food you eat to your favorite pair of jeans requires water for production, a lot of water. Many of these products, goods, and services may have a heavier burden than you think.

Challenge

  • Choose five items you use/consume/wear daily. Make sure they relate to different lifestyle categories, such as: food, energy, tech, clothing, transportation, etc.
    • Take a photo of each item and research its estimated “water footprint.” (check out today’s infographic for some help)
    • How much water is required to produce each? Were you surprised by the amounts? If so, how?
    • Explain why those items require the amount of water that they do.
    • Suggest an alternative to each item that has a smaller water footprint.
      • What changes might you make in your own life and why based on what you learned?
      • Is there an alternative to the item, or does conserving water mean changing your behavior?

Deliverables

Upload a PDF Document with your responses. Include your name (or team name), username, email address, and school.

Submission Guidelines

  • If you do not see an upload button, you need to log in
  • Please submit all entries as PDFs – no word or pages docs.
  • Please save filenames using the following format: firstname_lastname_challengeday_challengelevel_year.pdf
    (ex: kasie_shils_day1_greener_2018.pdf)
  • Do not include # or spaces in filenames
  • Please be sure to include all content for your submission in one doc
  • Do not upload a file bigger than 5 MB
  • You will get a confirmation on screen that your submission uploaded correctly (green) or that it failed (red) and to try again.
  • If your total points do not change, your submission did not load correctly and you will have to try again. You can see your points total by logging out and back in again.
  • If you are having trouble uploading, try using a different browser
  • Send any questions you have to info@turninggreen.org
  • Don’t forget to post about the challenge and your learnings/doings on social media and tag us on Facebook @TurningGreen, on Twitter @TurningGreenOrg, and on Instagram @TurningGreenOrg and #PGC2018.
The deadline for entering this challenge has past.

Greenest

60 POINTS

Think

According to CNN, Americans throw away half a billion plastic straws every day, which is enough to circle the Earth 2.5 times. We use each straw literally one time before tossing it. Just think about the sheer number of straws people receive every single day in your smoothies, iced coffee, milkshakes, etc. Many of these straws end up breaking into micro-plastics, contaminating our oceans and waterways. It is predicted that by 2050, the amount of plastic in the oceans will out weight the amount of fish! To get rid of this abomination, we’re asking you to join the #StopSucking campaign for this challenge. They are working to get rid of plastic straws to save our oceans!

Challenge

  • Get Informed: Watch Lonely Whale and Adrian Grenier’s Strawless Ocean Campaign https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CAghM1HFyrE  and learn about the #StopSuckingCampaign and why straws should be banned.
  • You now know how bad straws are and how easy it is to live without them. This challenges invites you to make a personal commitment to self to stop using straws.
  • Take a look at Lonely Whale’s #StopSucking campaign and upload responses to steps 1, 2 and 3 on their website. Here’s how to get started:
    • Step 1: Accept the challenge and make your own unique challenge URL here.
    • Step 2: Share the #StopSucking campaign on your social media platform of choice and challenge at least 5 friends to join. Tag us on Facebook @TurningGreen, on Twitter @TurningGreenOrg, and on Instagram @TurningGreenOrg and use #PGC2018 and tag Lonely Whale.
    • Step 3: Use your URL code to see who has accepted your challenge
  • Upload to us, your personal commitment, a series of photos documenting your journey and the acceptances from 5 friends to #StopSucking.

Deliverables

Upload a PDF Document with your responses and photos. Include your name (or team name), username, email address, and school.

Submission Guidelines

  • If you do not see an upload button, you need to log in
  • Please submit all entries as PDFs – no word or pages docs.
  • Please save filenames using the following format: firstname_lastname_challengeday_challengelevel_year.pdf
    (ex: kasie_shils_day1_greenest_2018.pdf)
  • Do not include # or spaces in filenames
  • Please be sure to include all content for your submission in one doc
  • Do not upload a file bigger than 5 MB
  • You will get a confirmation on screen that your submission uploaded correctly (green) or that it failed (red) and to try again.
  • If your total points do not change, your submission did not load correctly and you will have to try again. You can see your points total by logging out and back in again.
  • If you are having trouble uploading, try using a different browser
  • Send any questions you have to info@turninggreen.org
  • Don’t forget to post about the challenge and your learnings/doings on social media and tag us on Facebook @TurningGreen, on Twitter @TurningGreenOrg, and on Instagram @TurningGreenOrg and #PGC2018.
The deadline for entering this challenge has past.

Extra Credit

75 POINTS

Extra Credit due on October 25 @ 6am PT.

Up to 200 points awarded for outstanding work.

Think

Based on what you’ve learned today, it’s time to take your strawless campaign the next step. Individual actions add up big time, but if you can enlist the support of your entire campus community, the impact will be massive! Commit to eliminating straws – develop a campaign to achieve that goal right on your campus!

Challenge

While Turning Green was on the Conscious College Road Tour this past spring, a resonant theme we heard from students was that they wanted to divest from the use of plastic straws on their campus. With that in mind, we want to prompt you to make that happen on your campus or in your community. Over the next few weeks we task you with building and implementing a campaign to eliminate plastic straws. The goal is to persuade one eatery on campus or in your community, a convenience store, etc. to pledge to get rid of straws. It’s worth 200 bonus points!

  • Get inspired! Straws can became a catalyst for change in an entire city. Seattle just recently banned the use of straws in all major venues.  http://www.seattlemag.com/eat-and-drink/anti-straw-crusade-sweeping-seattle
  • Step 1: Create a campaign and share your process with us. Gather a team, to work with and make a work plan and timeline. You must reach your goal by October 25 to earn up to 200 bonus points.  
  • Step 2: Enlist a campus dining hall or local business to make a pledge by speaking to the manager or owner. It may be difficult to get their support initially; if you face setbacks, download and follow the “5 Steps to Getting Businesses on Board” on page 6 of the EPA’s The Last Straw Community Toolkit.
  • Step 3: After they agree to participate, formalize their commitment by asking them to fill out a pledge form (make your own or use the one on page 27 of The Last Straw Community Toolkit) and create them a certificate to hang in their window (make your own or use the one on page 35 of The Last Straw Community Toolkit). That way they can spread the word and be honored for being a changemaker!   
  • Step 4: Show us your campaign materials, which should include: photos, flyer, pledge form and certificate, video, or a recap of a conversation you have had with a business manager or school staff who is willing to make the change – anything that demonstrates the progress you have made with your campaign.
  • Step 5: Photograph throughout your process and post about it on a social media platform of your choice (Instagram & Twitter prefered) Tag @lonelywhale and @turninggreenorg, and hashtag #StopSucking and #PGC2018.

Deliverables

Upload a PDF Document with your responses, photos, video link (make it public so we can see it) and social media post. Include your name (or team name), username, email address, and school.

Submission Guidelines

  • If you do not see an upload button, you need to log in
  • Please submit all entries as PDFs – no word or pages docs.
  • Please save filenames using the following format: firstname_lastname_challengeday_challengelevel_year.pdf
    (ex: kasie_shils_day1_greenest_2018.pdf)
  • Do not include # or spaces in filenames
  • Please be sure to include all content for your submission in one doc
  • Do not upload a file bigger than 5 MB
  • You will get a confirmation on screen that your submission uploaded correctly (green) or that it failed (red) and to try again.
  • If your total points do not change, your submission did not load correctly and you will have to try again. You can see your points total by logging out and back in again.
  • If you are having trouble uploading, try using a different browser
  • Send any questions you have to info@turninggreen.org
  • Don’t forget to post about the challenge and your learnings/doings on social media and tag us on Facebook @TurningGreen, on Twitter @TurningGreenOrg, and on Instagram @TurningGreenOrg and #PGC2018.

TODAY’S PRIZES

up to 10 winners from the greener challenge will receive:

Numi Organic Tea H2Ope Sampler
Numi Organic Tea H2Ope Water Bottle
Numi Organic Tea Golden Chai
Numi Organic Tea Tote Bag

Acure Mega Moisture Shampoo
Acure Mega Moisture Conditioner
Essential Oxygen Brushing Rinse
Wine Punts Recycled Drinking Glasses

up to 10 winners from the greenest challenge will receive:

Numi Organic Tea Tote Bag
Numi Organic Tea Mindfulness Notebook
Numi Organic Tea Purpose Tea
Numi Organic Tea Chocolate Rooibos Tea
Strawsome Glass Straws (2)

Klean Kanteen Insulated Water Bottle
Kishu Charcoal Charcoal Filter
Everyone Hand Sanitizing Spray
Woo Bamboo Toothbrush & Floss
Essential Oxygen Toothpaste