Day 7

Water

SPONSORED BY KLEAN KANTEEN

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

“We forget that the water cycle and the life cycle are one.” – Jacques Yves Cousteau

Water is life. Yet clean, safe drinking water is a scarce resource under great strain for large populations in many parts of the world. Water is not an infinite resource just a faucet turn away; that could not be further from the truth. 

Even though it is considered a renewable resource, we are extracting and polluting water at such an alarmingly high rate that the water supply is not able to replenish or sustain 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. Strain on freshwater supply is intensified by the uncertainties of climate change and pollution. Extreme weather patterns including droughts and floods mean billions of people are at risk of water insecurity, not having enough clean water to drink, farm and maintain hygiene. Today, over 2.1 billion people lack access to clean water and 4 billion suffer from water scarcity. This is all happening while pollution continues to fill our streams, rivers and lakes. 

The average American uses about 751,777gallons of water per year. This number is an average “water footprint” in the USA, similar to the concept of a carbon footprint. What’s tricky is that most water usage is virtual, hidden or used indirectly in goods and services people then consume or utilize, like food and electricity.  

Consider a factory farmed burger and the water footprint of eating it. You may only drink one 8-ounce glass of water with the burger, but your water footprint for that meal is close to 660 gallons of water, overwhelmingly used to raise and feed the cow. A cheeseburger amounts to an additional 382 gallons of water per pound of cheese. If you are interested in more examples of water inputs required for the food you eat, check out this great read from our partner GRACE Communications. You may be quite surprised! 

It is also important to consider how water is transported from source to consumer. While water is essential, single-use packaging is NOT, yet 1 million single-use plastic bottles are sold worldwide every minute. Even when plastic bottles do make their way to a recycling bin, only 9% of plastic is actually recycled, and the vast majority of plastic bottles end up in waterways, polluting oceans and harming ecosystems. 

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 invaluable resource. Alternatives to single-use packaging, like water bottles from today’s partner, Klean Kanteen, are a great way to save waste and money. Be sure to check if your drinking water is safe with EWG’s Tap Water database!

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 is on us. This means engaging in water-conscious consumer practices and conserving wherever and whenever possible. Our hidden (or indirect or “virtual”) water footprint makes up 96% of total water use, so discovering your own usage will make it easier to then reduce your water footprint.

Challenge

Do you have any idea how much water you use daily? Think about diet, bathing, hydration, dishwashing, all of it! What is your direct water consumption? And indirect consumption? 

Write down an estimate of how much water you think you use per day. Now, it’s time to calculate. Use this Water Footprint Calculator to find out how much water you actually 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?

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_green_2019.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 #PGC2019.

Greener

40 POINTS

Think

Virtual water use makes up the majority of our water footprint. This is the amount of water needed to make the goods we use. You may be surprised just how much it adds up with everything from growing the food you crave to your favorite jeans that require a lot of water for production. Many products, goods, and services may have a heavier burden than you think.

Challenge

Choose five items you use/consume/wear daily across different lifestyle categories, such as: food, energy, tech, clothing, transportation, etc. Research each item and find its estimated water footprint. Today’s infographic may be helpful in your research.

  • How much water is required to produce each? 
  • Explain why those items require the amount of water that they do.

Reflect on your research and answer the following questions:

  • What surprised you about the water intensity of the items you use every day?
  • What changes might you make in your own life and why, based on what you learned? 
  • Is there a more sustainable alternative to that item or does conserving water mean cutting it out altogether? Is that feasible?

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_2019.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 #PGC2019.

Greenest

60 POINTS

Think

One million single use plastic bottles are sold around the world every minute. Let that sink in. 1,000,000! Despite some of our best efforts, still only 9% of plastic is actually recycled. Plastic pollution is an environmental and public health crisis causing harm to our natural resources, animals and people. Luckily, there are many alternatives to single-use plastics and organizations like Lonely Whale are working to raise awareness about and address the global plastic problem!

Challenge

Now it’s time to make a personal commitment to stop using single-use plastic water bottles, and challenge others to make the same commitment! Create a social media campaign to spread the #HydrateLike message. Encourage others to #HydrateLike… a student!

  • Make it creative and engaging! Think about videos, infographics, posters, etc.
  • Include alternatives to single-use plastic water bottles as listed on the Hydrate Like website.
  • Challenge friends, family members, classmates, local businesses, even celebrities to ditch single-use plastic water bottles by tagging them in your post. Start a conversation in the comments!
  • Tag @TurningGreenOrg and @LonelyWhale, and use #PGC2019 and #HydrateLike.

Deliverables

Upload a PDF Document with your responses, visuals, and 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_greenest_2019.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 #PGC2019.

TODAY’S PRIZES

Up to 10 Greener and 10 Greenest of the most outstanding submissions will be chosen as winners and awarded prize points to redeem in the PGC Prize Store. Greener wins = 75 prize points, Greenest wins = 100 prize points. Check the Winners page to see if you’re selected!

 

5 submissions will be randomly selected to receive:

Klean Kanteen 20oz Classic Insulated Bottle
Klean Kanteen Stainless Steel Straws (2)
Radius Source Toothbrush
Radius Organic Toothpaste

Each time you submit a challenge, you get an entry. Complete Green, Greener, and Greenest to triple your chances!

Extended deadlines and extra credits do not apply.