The American holiday of Thanksgiving is celebrated this week. In between your meal preparations, family time and recreation, take a few moments to think about how you're using water, and how you can conserve and protect water on Thanksgiving Day and every day.
Thanksgiving is a meal-based holiday--and a big one! On average, 50 million pumpkin pies will be consumed on Thanksgiving. That's a lot of pumpkins to grow! It's estimated that approximately 44 gallons of water are needed to grow one pumpkin. Without adequate water, we can't have pumpkin pie--or any of the other scrumptious items that grace the Thanksgiving table. With that in mind, remember that wasting food means wasting water. Use up those leftovers instead of throwing them in the trash to save water.
How you prepare the meal and clean up afterwards can impact water as well. When prepping veggies and fruits, consider filling up a bowl or pan to wash rather than running the tap. Running a kitchen faucet sends approximately two gallons a minute down the drain. When the meal's done and it's time to do the dishes, clean plates with a rubber scraper instead of rinsing them before putting them in the dishwasher. In general, a full load of dishes in the dishwasher uses less water than washing the same amount of dishes by hand. Oh, and never put cooking oil or grease down the drain: Especially when mixed with potato peels, pumpkin pulp and bread scraps, fats can congeal in your pipes, creating plumbing issues. According to Roto Rooter, plumbing calls on the day after Thanksgiving jump 50 percent over a normal Friday.
Speaking of plumbing issues, about 26 million Americans watched football on Thanksgiving Day last year, and if they all waited until halftime to answer nature's call, their collective flushes would send 40 million gallons of water into the nation's sewer systems! That's enough water to fill 60 Olympic-sized swimming pools. Especially because it occurs during the same week as World Toilet Day this year, Thanksgiving offers an excellent opportunity to give thanks for one of history's most life-saving inventions: the toilet.
By being mindful to conserve and protect water on Thanksgiving, you're not only giving thanks for the water you have but also preventing problems in the future. Happy Thanksgiving from all of us at Project WET!