A Mouthful of Waste

Image of Cow

Did you know that when you cut back on eating meat and drinking bottled water, you would be able to help the environment (and that includes yourself) on a massive scale?

If you haven’t seen the film Cowspiracy yet, please do so. This film will open your eyes and make you realize how our mindless consumption pattern wrecks our environment and life on earth. You would realize the shocking connection of our consumption of beef in particular, to our forests, our water resources, climate change — the environment as a whole — and it would show you how easy it actually is for each of us to save our environment.

Cowspiracy Infographic
Cowspiracy Infographic

The film basically talks about how the industry plays a major role in deforestation, with acres of rainforest cleared every single minute; how half of the global greenhouse gas emissions is due to livestock; how a few thousand cows could generate as much waste as of a city with almost half a million people; and how one burger consumes water the amount of showering for months.

I would like to focus on the “burger” side of it given the high probability that almost every one of us has eaten, and would want to eat more burgers in the future. Why this? Because I feel that if we cut back on “burger” consumption, we could save ourselves big time.

Here’s a clip from the documentary:

For one, the film exposes that 2,500 gallons of water are needed to make just one pound of beef. Imagine, just a pound of beef and that much water. So in a way, you munching on your quarter pound-er burger at your favorite fast food joint makes you “use” more water than you would when you shower the entire day. That one burger uses about 660 gallons of water which translates to 132 minutes of shower time! (Old showers used to use up to 5 gallons of water per minute. Water-saving shower heads produce about 2 gallons per minute. – USGS Water Science School website).


Now, that’s just for a burger.  Let us talk about bottled water.

The cost of water bottle

Every bottled water has a deep back story (watch the video, “The Story of Water Bottle“). The International Bottled Water Association also did a Water Use Benchmarking Study that revealed that to make a liter of one means having to use 1.39 liters [1 liter of water for product + 0.39 liter of process water (treatment, bottling, sanitization, etc.)]. It does not stop there though. The Water Footprint Network says the bottle itself could require 3 liters of water for production (naturalsociety.com). That means when you drink a liter of bottled water, you’re really taking in more than that.

I used to think that drinking bottled water is not good “just” because of the “garbage” it generates, but now, I realize it is more than that. This is really significant given the drought we are experiencing in different parts of the world! Based on this alone, the best and probably the easiest way for us to help the environment is to be mindful of what we eat and how we consume.

Imagine how much water, wildlife, and forest resources we would save if we all do this together.


What can we do to save our planet? Share your thoughts below!


Images from https://cowspiracy.com

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