A true picture of Motherhood. My favorite jeans are now a casualty from crawling on the floor one too many times to retrieve lost puzzle and bionicle pieces, scrubbing stubborn stains on hands and knees, and the wear-and-tear from endless airplane rides. My son took this BSM picture.
An article in Wired (Peak Water, May 2008), says that the production of a single pair of jeans takes 2,866 gallons of water. (A single sheet of paper requires 3 gallons of water.) A friend of mine, who works for a clothing retailer, says sales stay high, even when they sell cheap-quality clothes. So no, it isn’t just you, you’re clothes really are wearing out faster. Retailers across the board are lowering quality (who cares, just buy new!) leading to quicker wear-and-tear, more purchases, and ultimately increasing the depletion of our most valuable resource, water.
The same water that existed in the world millions of years ago is the same water we have today. We learned that rule in fifth grade science class, and we used to joke that we were drinking the same water that George Washington drank. However, the perils of global warming are subtly altering that reliable cycle of evaporation and precipitation. We don’t know, yet, what the ultimate effects will be.
Add the burden of more businesses, more homes and more water-intensive products and processes, and you have the very recipe that is creating our world-wide water reservoir decline. There are 1.1 billion people today who do not have access to safe drinking water, and that number is expected to increase. During the drought in the summer of 2006, London’s water authorities considered towing icebergs down from the Arctic, according to Wired.
With Earth Day approaching, I also learned, from the book, True Green: 100 Everyday Ways you Can Contribute to a Healthier Planet, that cotton is our most chemical-intensive crop, requiring 10 to 18 applications of herbicides, insecticides and fungicides. One-quarter of global pesticide use is on cotton crops. It also requires 3,800 gallons of water, per pound of cotton produced.
Chemical-free organic cotton, linen, wool and hemp is the only solution. And, perhaps, maybe to stop giving so many airplane rides to your kids.