As you read this, you’ve probably got a drink nearby. Maybe on your desk, in your bag, on the counter. How easy it would be to go to the tap and fill up your cup, or stir your coffee and take a sip. Think about this though: right at this very moment, on this ordinary day, 1 billion – that’s nine 0s, i.e. a LOT of – people around the world don’t have access to clean, safe-drinking water the way you do. Heck, they don’t even have access to clean water to wash their clothes with. While this vast number of people struggle every day to survive on what little water they can use, those of us who live in the developed world unconsciously use up to 320 liters of water (sometimes more) a day. This goes to baths, showers, washing dishes, laundry, drinking, swimming, etc.
This is not an excuse to take less baths (although, living in Malaysia doesn’t really allow for that anyway), or allow your dishes to pile up for a week before you wash them clean. We at JUICE do think, however, that it’s just as important to educate ourselves about what happens in the world. It is a serious issue with our fellow human beings at stake. Also, what better time to get educated than now, with World Water Day 2012 just around the corner!
In a valiant effort to overcome this, Levi’s has launched their Water<Less campaign. Normally, a pair of jeans would use about 42 litres of water to complete, going through 3-10 washing cycles. That’s just ONE pair of jeans, so multiply 46 litres by a bajillion (not a real number, but you get the drift), and you know how much water is used on making the jeans you wear. Take that number, and multiply it by 148 litres of water (per full load) used to wash your jeans every time you wear them, and you now have an idea of how much water is wasted. Water that could be used for drinking, watering crops, and making food in poorer areas. Levi’s has found a way to reduce the amount of water used in the process of making the jeans, by combining all the multiple wet cycles into a single process, incorporating ozone processing into the garment washing and removing water from stone washes.
With Water<Less jeans, water consumption is reduced by an average of 28% and up to 96% for some new products in the line. The Levi’s Spring 2011 product lines are made up of more than 13 million products made using the Water<Less method, and the entire line saves up to approximately 172 million litres of water. This amount is equivalent to over 700 million 8oz glasses of drinking water, or making enough drinking water available to 157,000 people for one year. That’s a huge amount, and a huge success for Levi’s, who are committed to finding ways to save the environment.
Water<Less is only one of the projects Levi’s is working on to reduce the environmental impact in its products. During a recent study conducted by Levi Strauss & Co., the largest water impact comes from the cotton growing process, and also through the laundry habits of us, the consumers. Which is pretty stupid of us, considering jeans are one of those things that you can wear for days without having to wash them, provided you’re not wading through mud or garbage heaps all the time (ed’s note: basically, stay away from Glastonbury).
To combat this, Levi’s launched the Care Tag For Our Planet campaign, where they change the product care tags in Levi’s jeans to include instructions about how consumers can lessen the environmental impact of their clothes by washing less, washing their clothes in cold water, line drying and donating garments to Goodwill when no longer needed. It turns out, washing your jeans once every two weeks instead of once a week can reduce the amount of water you use over the life-cycle of a pair of jeans by 23%. That’s 800 liters of water saved for every pair of jeans you wash.
Now that you have all this new knowledge taking up space in your brain, it’s time to put it to good use! Join Levi’s in their effort to save the world (no Captain Planet costume required) by logging onto levi.com.my.
It’s like this: take part in any of the Levi’s Go Water<Less challenges (such as going without water for a day, flushing less, or even just educating yourself about the water crisis), and collect points for completing each challenge. Every 10 points collected earns you 1 water credit, and that 1 water credit means that you’ve provided clean water for one person forever. Yes, not just for the during of some weasel’s campaign, but FOREVER! A person’s life may depend on this! So take up a good cause and stock up on those karma points! Can’t go wrong with more karma points…