U.N. World Water Day 2012: Water and Food Security

The United Nation’s World Water Day is an annual event that is meant to focus attention on the global water crisis, particularly the sustainable management of freshwater resources. Since its launch in 1993, different themes about freshwater have been highlighted on March 22 through advocacy campaigns and global events. You can read more about past World Water Day themes here. This year, the focus is on water and food security.

The amount of water embodied in the food we eat is enormous and shocking. Take a look at this calculator to see how much water is used for the different foods you put on your plate each day. How much water do you think goes into the growth and processing of a simple breakfast of an apple, a bagel, and an egg? A surprising 264 liters or about 70 gallons! If I include some beef in my water calculator the amount jumps up by 1,024 liters, or 270 gallons!!! One of the easiest ways to make a difference is to reduce your meat consumption. And just like your mother always told you, waste not want not. Only purchase the foods you know you’ll eat to avoid waste. Every time you throw away food, try imagining leaving your faucet on for 10 minutes. With 7 billion people sharing one planet, we all need to take action steps. The U.N. suggests:

  • follow a healthier, sustainable diet
  • consume less water-intensive products like meats
  • reduce the scandalous food wastage: 30% of the food produced worldwide is never eaten and the water used to produce it is definitively lost!
  • produce more food, of better quality, with
    less water

To educate people on the importance of our most valuable resource, GEF Institute is launching the first session of its online course Water and Sustainability on April 1. The 15 hour course is a comprehensive treatment of the science, technology, and sustainable development concerns associated with the increasing global and national water availability crisis. The study of sustainable water systems and conservation offers a unique opportunity for participants to develop and apply their understanding of important sustainability concepts to practical, everyday activities within their school or office building and in their homes. As an added benefit, participants in the course are able to earn 1 academic credit upon course completion. Educators can also earn 1.5 CEUs. With sustainability education, the Institute hopes to inspire change on a large scale, and foster a paradigm shift in the way our societies treat earth’s resources.

Post by Molly Hislop, Director Programs and Marketing
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About Green Education Foundation (GEF)

Mission Green Education Foundation (GEF), a non-profit organization, is committed to creating a sustainable future through education. Sustainability Education provides educators with the real-world applied learning models that connect science, technology, and math education with the broader human concerns of environmental, economic, and social systems. GEF provides curriculum and resources to K-12 students and teachers worldwide with the goal of challenging youth to think holistically and critically about global environmental concerns and solutions. Visit www.greeneducationfoundation.org to register for free and to gain full access to GEF’s comprehensive library of standards-based lessons and activities.
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