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Change of Lifestyle: A Solution to Environmental Problems

Oct 7, 2016 by Beatrice Martha M. Geraldez

As living beings, we have various needs such as food, shelter, air and most especially water in order to survive. In relation to this, consider this analogy. The battery represents water while the wall clock represents our body. The wall clock will not function without the battery and this idea also applies to our body. Our body cannot undergo different processes and perform its daily functions without water or the lack of it in our body. Along with this, water is indeed an essential element to health for it prevents a person from experiencing dehydration. It serves as a lubricant in the process of digestion and allows nutrients to be transported to the different parts of the body which is in need of these nutrients. Another, water regulates body temperature through perspiration and also, helps in removing toxins from the body. On the other hand, water is used for different purposes, may it be indoor or outdoor. It is used for drinking, washing the dishes, cooking our food, cleaning, brushing our teeth, taking a bath, watering plants and many more. With all these uses, why is water still wasted?

Almost 70% of the Earth is covered in water. It is found in oceans, lakes, rivers, groundwater, glaciers, swamps, marshes etc. We might think that the water we have is adequate for our population however, that is not the case. People, intentionally or not, have wasted water. We repeatedly do this because of our consumption of various products and excessive use of this resource. This causes water scarcity which is experienced by a total of 2.7 billion people in at least one month every year. On the other hand, people are not aware of the ways they consume water, most especially in the production of food. According to a research conducted by the Water Footprint Network, “16 thousand liters of water is used for the production of one kilogram of beef”. Another, 140 liters of water is needed to produce one cup of coffee. With this, we can deduce that water is certainly needed in the production of the products and food we consume every day.In order to gain knowledge on our water consumption, it is helpful to use the water footprint calculator. According to the Water Footprint Network, “water footprint is a measure of humanity’s appropriation of fresh water in volumes of water consumed and/or polluted.” Through this, people can determine their water consumption per day, week, month or even in a year. The global water consumption can also be estimated using the water footprint calculator. In relation to this, last October 3, 2016, the Advanced Environmental Education class of Grade 11 in St. Theresa’s College Q.C, conducted the water footprint activity. The resulting values were varied however most of it were below or about average for the people in the US specifically, it was higher than 1500 gallons/day. Furthermore, regarding the water usage of the students in cubic meters, the values were again varied. Most of the class had a monthly water usage that is less than 30 cubic meters. Meanwhile, 8 students had a monthly water usage of between 43 to 56 cubic meters. Also, 2 students from our class had 80 and 98 cubic meters as their monthly water usage, respectively. In relation to this, my water footprint is 2,079 gallons/day and our family’s monthly water usage is 28 cubic meters. Generally, the water usage of the Advanced Environmental Education class of SY 2016-2017 was about average however there were some who had significantly higher values. With this, it can be inferred that the water usage depends on the number of people in the household and also, the cost for one cubic meter of water. Moreover, the activities, equipment used by the household and lifestyle affect by a great extent their water usage. For example, having a rainwater collector would decrease the water usage because the water collected can be used for the plants or to clean different materials. Another, doing the laundry everyday would increase the water usage because only few clothes would be cleaned and the water left on the washing machine would be drained hence is wasted.

In our lifestyle, there is more to change in order to lessen the water consumption. We can do this by decreasing the carbon footprint in our diet through eating local, organic and less meat. Also, we must check pipes and toilets for leaks. Choose and use appliances wisely by considering its maximum capacity. Avoid to leave the water flowing whenever you wash the dishes, clean vegetables or brush your teeth. In addition, try to take shorter showers. Never throw water rather find other ways to reuse the water; may it be to water the plants, flush the toilet etc. As a family, an improvised rainwater collector can be placed outside their house in order to reuse the water collected from the rain. With these steps, it is attainable to lessen a person’s water consumption. Water would be maximized and wisely used by everyone. A conscious effort to monitor one’s activities and appliances must be done to have a change of lifestyle. Moreover, awareness of our actions would greatly help in achieving the goal to lessen our water consumption. Through this, more people would have access to water, a basic need for survival. Water is conserved because of the appropriate and enough use of it.

On the other hand, climate change is an issue equally essential as that of water. According to the Department of Ecology State of Washington, climate change “includes patterns of temperature, precipitation (rain or snow), humidity, wind and seasons.” It affects the cycles in the community by either maintaining its balance or having an excess of a specific source. Moreover, this actually results to extreme weather conditions, rise of the sea level due to melting of polar ice caps, species extinction and lack of resources specifically food. Climate change as well as the problem on water resources must be addressed by countries all over the world. In the climate change activity, choosing the policies was a difficult task for it requires me to think and examine thoroughly in order to determine the best option. The activity was very meaningful and informative because I discovered the effects of certain policies to the level of carbon emission that the country had. In relation to this, it is necessary for the government of any country to conduct extensive research and analysis regarding the projects they propose in order to respond to the existing environmental issues. Through this, the projects would yield positive, effective and consistent results. Similar to the problem on water, a change of lifestyle is a great help to address climate change. We can do this by buying less and being more efficient. Try to do more using only less energy or resources. Another, we must maximize the use of every product we acquire by thinking of ways to reuse or recycle them. Always unplug appliances whenever it is not in use. The actions mentioned are only some of what we can do. Furthermore, with these done by all citizens, a significant positive change would be observed in the current state of the environment. In a nutshell, a change of lifestyle can chiefly solve the environmental problems we face today.

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1 Comment(s)

Meher Mangat
Oct 16, 2016

Beatrice, I am entirely in tandem with what you have expressed.So much can be accomplished by just small changes in our habits.

The water footprint calculator is truly an eye opener.

In full support,


Meher, it is good to hear that we have similar ideas regarding this problem. With everyone’s awareness and gradual change of lifestyle, we can make a difference. Indeed, it is a huge step to saving and conserving the environment. Small deeds when done regularly and by the whole community would yield positive and significant outcomes. In addition, starting and committing to change one's lifestyle entail determination and motivation from all members of the community. Moreover, I am very hopeful that through the numerous advocacies and organizations present today, people would be more encouraged to prioritize the consequences of their actions on the environment. 

I am excited to hear from you. Thank you once again. :) 

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