Alexander Babey

2013-2014 Live Deliberately Essay Contest

Alexander Babey, 21
Honorable Mention, 18-21 Age Group
University of Hartford
West Hartford, Connecticut

No living thing can survive without water. It is a commodity that many, unfortunately, take for granted. In my eyes, it is possibly the most important substance on the planet. The way that I try to help the planet and make my difference in the world is by conserving water. Whether it is a shortened shower or larger loads of laundry, I have made it a part of my daily routine to use less and less water each and every day. And it is not only personal water use. I have reduced non-direct unnecessary water use as well.

The amount of water used to make a single t-shirt is staggering. Averaging about 400 gallons of water to make an ordinary cotton shirt is just a waste. And when it comes to a pair of denim pants, using as much as 1,800 gallons is used; it’s almost a tragedy. When I see figures like these I am proud to admit that I have not bought more than needed in the way of clothing for nearly a decade. The majority of my wardrobe consists of hand-me-down outfits from cousins and stepbrothers, and I am happy with the results.

In addition reducing the demand on water sources from commercial fabric production, I also try to cut down on the use of water by eating more water friendly meals. I have successfully removed a great portion of red meats from my diet and have been able to grow a large amount of vegetables myself at home in our family garden. When considering the price in water that goes into making a single steak, about 1,850 gallons, that alone should be enough to lead one to consider vegetarianism.

Water is the staple of life. I am doing my best to reserve this resource for the future.