The Wicked Green: Water Use + World Oceans Day

By Emma Brown
Creative Marketing at Bootstrap Compost, Inc.

It’s an evening in early June, the sun is shining, and I’m nursing a bottle of my favorite standby beer (New Belgium’s Fat Tire, if you’re wondering). June 8th is World Oceans Day, and I can’t help but wish I were sitting on a beach somewhere with my feet in the sand, rather than in my kitchen in Somerville. Lately we’ve been talking a lot about water use at Bootstrap HQ, so out of my own curiosity, I do a quick search on how much water it took to produce my favorite beer. The answer? A shocking 20-30 gallons for this pint alone (I’ve seen figures as low as 20 gallons and as high as 28 gallons).

At first I think that number seems really high. And it is. But as I continue reading on, I am stunned by the amount of water needed to grow a pound of beef (up to 1,847 gallons) or a pound of chicken (518 gallons). On the flip side, vegetables like tomatoes (30 gallons per pound), lettuce (28 gal./lb), and cucumbers (42 gal./lb) all rank pretty low. Actually, most fruits and veggies in general are pretty reasonable in terms of their water consumption, especially compared to meats, grains, and nuts.

From National Geographic – see how much water is used for meat, dairy, produce and clothing production by clicking on the image.

We all know that water is crucial to life on Earth. While scientists are still figuring out cool ways to filter contaminated water (like with orange peels), our fresh water supply is limited and must be preserved. Meanwhile, melting ice caps will spell trouble for us in a number of ways if we aren’t able to reverse some of the effects of climate change. What’s one unsuspecting way to do your part toward fighting climate change and preserving fresh water? Composting! By composting, not only are you keeping food out of landfills and reducing your carbon + methane footprint, but you are producing a finished product that increases the water-holding capacity of soils it is applied to. Thus, it helps reduce the amount of water needed to grow produce, grains, animal feed or the hops for your favorite beer.

This Saturday (June 10th), you can catch Team Boot at the Boston V Party, a day to celebrate vegan foods and craft beer right here in Boston. And though fun is definitely on the agenda for Saturday, this inaugural gathering of vegan-centric eaters will hopefully provide consumers of all stripes a chance to learn and reflect on their diets. Swing on by this weekend for some tasty food musing.

Emma and Eddie cheers to wise water use on World Oceans Day!

Also, a free-falling object near the earth’s surface gains downward speed at a rate of 9.8 m/s^2 per the force of gravity.