“How you can save more than 2 000 liters of freshwater per day!”

See, I totally agree that this headline seems unrealistic. Nevertheless, I proved myself wrong in the last 7 days and I am pumped to show you how. So, if you are an impatient individual, I would recommend you to skip the next paragraphs. Otherwise, enjoy the story!

“We need to protect our environment!”
“Save our future generations!”
“Show responsibility!”

While reading the quotes you probably thought: “Please, not another unpractical article including fact dropping and apocalypse theories!” and I can totally relate to this.

Like you, I dislike people who throw facts and quotes around them, with the intention to tell you that you are killing a baby cat every second, only due to your existence.

Despite all your frustrations and negative feelings for those people, you are aware of the need of changing the climate change. Furthermore, I assume that you are also willing to improve your lifestyle to “save our future generations” if someone would explain how it can work.

If this assumption is incorrect, be aware that you are killing every second, only due to your existence, a baby cat! If it is correct, lets get us started.

On Spaghetti Bolognese and water footprints

Your water footprint :D

For those of you who did not spot theirselves in this picture, I will try to explain to you, why you actually are the nice looking dude above :P

Can you identify yourself with those statements of love?

“Chocolate is so f*ck*ng tasty!”
“I love spaghettis. Especially spaghetti Bolognese!”
“Cheese is my life!”
“I am so tired — I need a cup of coffee.”

Even, if you hate some of the mentioned foods, you will consume at least one of these on a daily basis and that is why, you are the gorgeous stickman.

For example, I drank 3 cups of coffee every day…

Before you scroll down, make a guess:

How much water is required to produce one plate of spaghetti Bolognese and one cup of coffee?

To give you a feeling for the water footprint of food:

Yes, those figures represent the water consumption in liters! Yes, one chocolate bar requires 1700 liters, which is equal to showering for almost 2 hours!

So, what is your estimation for spaghetti Bolognese and coffee?

One plate of spaghetti Bolognese = 1500 liters or a 100 minute shower
One cup of coffee = 140 liters or a 10 minute shower

Just imagine you are drinking one silly cup of coffee, while simultaneously “wasting” 140 liters of water…

Confessions of a dude

Personally, I could not drink any coffee since I knew the water footprint. Actually, I really do not want to drink coffee anymore. Instead, I prefer to save every day 520 liters of water!

Yes, you can argue that one person will not make a difference but I do not believe in this mindset. Honestly, I think the mindset of powerlessness is a poor excuse to not improve your lifestyle, thus it is much more comfortable.

Nevertheless, I can relate to the weakness of not wanting to change. For example, until now I did not stop eating pasta, although, the water footprint of pasta is 6.5 times larger than the one of potatoes.

I guess you ask yourself:

“Why is this guy writing this article if he is not a role model for positive change?!

I am a role model and if the evidence I will show you now, should not be enough, do not read further and do not apply my tactics, which I will illustrate at the end.

An huge water footprint for a vegetarian

Unfortunately, I was used to eat a lot due to my goal to build muscles. This resulted in a 3 times larger footprint than a “normal” vegetarian should have.

Nevertheless, gain your own impression of my “old” water footprint:

What was my battle plan?

First, I realized that my consumption of pasta, cheese and coffee “wasted” 2330 liters of water, or 71% of my total water footprint per day.

Consequently, I threw them out of my diet. I am not saying that I will never eat pasta or cheese again, due to the realization that I am no super hero. However, I will highly reduce the consumption of pasta and cheese while drinking no coffee at all.

Those, in my opinion, easy changes had an amazing impact on my water footprint: I saved 6318 liters of water in the last 3 days!

I get it

“Cool, you reduced your water footprint by eating “nothing”.”

Yes, it is correct that this was kind of a fasting day.

Nonetheless, the figures of the following days prove that the combination of a smaller water footprint and enough food is actual possible.

So, I showed you how I saved on average 2106 liters of water per day.

As a consequence, you got a first insight regarding which foods are the real water footprint destroyers. Additionally, I would like to give you now some more tactics referred to your personal water footprint.

How to reduce your water footprint

  1. If you cannot stop eating pasta (like I do), at least leave off the meat: -700 liters per plate

2. Chocolate is one of the most water intense sweets on the planet due to the cacao and the milk. It can be substituted with potato chips (1 bag=185 liters) or in the best case with regional fruits: -1560 liters per chocolate bar

3. I do not drink coffee anymore — just freshwater or rarely tea. Even beer is a better alternative: (:D) -100 liters per cup

4. Beer instead of wine: -220 liters per glass!

5. Soyamilk over cow’s milk: -210 liters per glass!

6. This one is probably very uncomfortable: Becoming a vegan or a vegetarian, which will result in up to 2500 liters less water consumption per day! Look at the water footprint of only 100g (!) of…

Say “Hello” or “Goodbye” — your choice

I see how frustrating and overwhelming these information are. I even hate myself for finding out the water footprint of coffee and therefore, pray for a mental blackout.

Nevertheless, we are the key to the future. I must decide every morning if I want to say “Hello” to the future or “Goodbye” and I exactly know that the moment I would be drinking coffee again on a regular basis, is the moment I would say “Goodbye”.

Maybe you found your personal “Hello” and “Goodbye” in the list, which would mean a lot to me. In fact, I am aware of the truth that it is unlikely that you will implement what you just read. However, if you do, send me a message, so that we can celebrate together :D

At the end: a thought experiment

Many climate change experts tell us about 2100 as the critical year in the mankind history.

“If we cannot keep the carbon dioxide concentration at a level of 350 ppm (parts per million), we are fucked.”
“Today we already reached a concentration of 400 ppm and approx. “achieve” a concentration of 1000 ppm by 2100. No one can imagine humans surviving on earth while there is such an high concentration of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere”

Everyone reading this right now (16.07.2017) will be dead before 2100. I congratulate you! However, our children will be there with a chance of 100 %. I think this thought is powerful due to the feeling that I would rather die than explaining my kids their fate, which sounds like this:

“When you become 30, wars for clean drinking water will be normal (2050).
When you celebrate your 70th anniversary, you will cry due to the fact that the carbon dioxide concentration will become too high to survive the next 10 years.
You will have the even harder duty to explain your kids that they will not be able to celebrate their own 70th anniversary.”

Are you changing the climate change?

Climate change is not something that will happen in the future and when it occurs it will take thousands of years. No, climate change happens right now at a faster pace ever estimated! Therefore, the daily decisions (“Hello” or “Goodbye”) we are making, will become crucial for our children’s life’s.

I encourage you to say “Hello” to your children as often as you can. Share your personal water footprint story online, with friends and family to empower more people to fight for a future. Yes, I did not write “for a better future”, I wrote “for a future” because there will be no future at all without fighting for it every day!

Thanks for reading! 
If you leave this article wiser than before, I am a happy man!

Hit that heart button ❤ to help other people see the story.

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Check out this story for more details regarding a possible relationship between you and your grandchildren: https://medium.com/@felix.brandler/the-struggle-of-anton-dab47184f8b5


One glass/cup = 300 ml

For more information: http://waterfootprint.org/en/ | Especially: http://waterfootprint.org/en/resources/water-footprint-statistics/