Personal Impact

Food

All of the water that goes into producing, transporting, and disposing of a particular food item is known as virtual water.

Different food items have different virtual water footprints- these can be found on the Water Footprint Network's website.  

So by changing the food you eat, you can help reduce the amount of water you use every day!

For instance...

Eating one less side of chicken (in a meal) will save 865 Liters of virtual water in a week and 44,980 Liters of virtual water in a year! That's enough to fill 63 hot tubs!

and

Eating one less side of beef (in a meal) will save 3,083 Liters of virtual water in a week and 160,316 Liters of virtual water in a year! That's enough to fill 594 hot tubs!

Water

Water is a shared resource in our community which means we need to take strides toward conserving it for our current and future residents.

 

Conserving water save both energy and money!

Any efforts toward conservation habits now can help city planners know what will be the water needs of the city in the future.

For instance...

Consider installing a dual flush converter. These can save the average family 15,000 gallons of water every year! That could fill a bathtub 50 times!

and

Take shorter showers.

Cutting your daily shower from 20 to 15 minutes could end up saving 14,600 gallons of water each year! That could fill a bathtub 49 times!

Energy

Big changes to decrease emissions and energy loss.

Drive less.

Cars emit 9 kilograms of carbon dioxide per gallon of gas. Driving an average car for one year can release about 5,140 kg of CO2 a year. That is the size of an African Elephant!

Fly less.

Airplanes emit 90 kilograms of carbon dioxide per hour of flight! A flight to Los Angeles and back would release 850 kg which is the size of a car. 

Ensure your home is insulated.

25% of a home’s heat loss is through windows and doors with poor insulation!

Small changes to decrease emissions and energy loss.

 

Buy smart power strips.

It is estimated that 75% of energy use is consumed from electronics that are plugged in but turned off

Throw out less electronics.

Electronics often contain metals with high embodied energy. This can be recycled to save on extraction costs in the future!

Use energy efficient light bulbs.

Energy Star rated light bulbs use at least 75% less energy and will end up lasting almost 25 times longer!

Waste

Sending waste to landfill.

When food scraps are thrown into the trash with other items, there is lost potential to convert these to energy.

Composting waste.

West Lafayette's Go Greener Commission has created a program to reduce this waste being sent to landfill. 

Policy

The United States opts to back out of the Paris Agreement, a global effort to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and limit the warming of the planet no more than  2° C above pre-industrial levels. Here in West Lafayette, Mayor John Dennis signed the Mayor's Climate Agreement, which is a commitment for the city to reduce its emissions and combat global warming.

We need to reduce our annual carbon footprint to 2 metric tons of carbon dioxide per person by the year 2050 to reach this goal. Currently, citizens of Indiana emit about 28.5 metric tons of carbon dioxide equivalents per person per year. We have a long way to go if we want to reduce our footprint, but the Go Greener Commission is dedicated to working locally to reduce our emissions and ensure a sustainable future.

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