Written by Guest author: Jim Duer
Water is by far the most important substance on Earth. Water covers over 75 percent of the planet and makes up approximately 70 percent of the human body. It is needed for life on earth, as well as other planets. When scientists look for the existence of life on other planets, they look for water first. Humans can only survive about three days without water, compared to nearly three weeks without food. The human body can lose up to a gallon of water a day through both urine and perspiration. Even the simple act of exhaling, causes us to lose precious amounts of water vapor. If you add in factors such as living in a hot climate and doing exercise, then water loss increases dramatically. Water helps every organ functioning properly. The average person, I believe, should drink close to a gallon of water a day.
It is amazing how much water is used to ‘support’ our lives, in addition to drinking. Sewage disposal is very necessary for long term survival, so it cannot be completely eliminated. The average household in America uses 70- 80 gallons of water per day for flushing toilets. That is 25,000 to 29,000 gallons of clean drinking water used every year just to flush toilets in every household. Clean water is being converted to black water with one flush of the toilet.
The average ten minute shower uses between 25 and 50 gallons of water, depending upon the shower head and water pressure. The average sized household in America will use 75 to 100 gallons of water each day for showering. Yearly water usage for showering, per household, is between 27,000 and 36,000 gallons. The waste water produced from showering, sinks, and clothes washing is called grey water. Grey water doesn’t have human waste in it, whereas black water does.
The gap between water needed for drinking and water for supporting daily life can be narrowed significantly by recycling grey water. This water, after a quick cleaning is perfectly suitable for use in flushing toilets, washing clothes, and irrigating the yard or garden. The process is quite simple, and saves the average household nearly half the water they would normally use in a year. The water used in the shower alone is enough to offset toilet flushing. Estimating the number of households in America at 110 million, that would mean if one third of all households began recycling grey water , there would be a savings of one trillion gallons of water each year! Just imagine the amount of electricity saved by not pumping a trillion gallons of water, both ways, or the amount of chemicals needed for a trillion gallons of water!!
[guest-author]I have been a home builder in Western Michigan for 20 years. I have a wife and four amazing children. My schooling was at Michigan State University and Indiana Wesleyan. I am a licensed pastor in the Wesleyan church. My passion is leading young people to good stewardship, faith, and a quality life. Sustainable living involves designing a life that is interdependent upon other like-minded people, living eco-friendly, and intentionally reducing, renewing, and reusing natural resources. The human soul is finding community in groups who advocate recycling of water, rain collection systems, and harvesting rainwater, and the list continues to grow. We at http://www.21stcenturygardener.com/ are excited to be participating in all things Green.[/guest-author]