Watch That Footprint Too!


Everyone has probably heard that you should be mindful of your carbon footprint – you know, what you do and its environmental impact. Well, as I was flipping through a magazine, I read that there’s another footprint to consider!

In the June issue of Discover Magazine, Thomas Kostigen, the author of the article, writes that our water consumption not only includes the actual water consumed from the tap, but also the virtual water that we intake. What does he mean by virtual water? Virtual water encompasses the water used in the production of food and products, like clothing and furniture. When you compare foods, grains and vegetables require less water, which are harvested after a growing season, than their meat-bearing counterparts. Nothing is without a water footprint – even a sheet of paper and that leather bag you carry footprints of three and 6,340 gallons of water. Makes you think twice about what you eat and buy, no?

For more information about water footprints, check out, which information about virtual water and the water footprint concepts, as well as a calculator to see just what sort of wet footprint you’re leaving on the planet.


About kyle

I'm the library guy. No, seriously, I'm the only male reference & instruction librarian. I also have the pleasure of serving several campus committees, the Academic Staff Assembly and the Chancellor's Task Force on LGBT Issues, among others.
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One Response to Watch That Footprint Too!

  1. kyle says:

    oh, and FYI – the book mentioned in the EBSCO article, Globalization of Water: Sharing the Planet’s Freshwater Resources by Arjen Hoekstra and Ashok Chapagain, is available in the library (New Book Island – TD345 .H54 2008).

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