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Water

water conservation keeps rivers and lakes cleanThe average American uses approximately 126 gallons of water per day, making us the largest water consumers per capita in the world. Canadians are a close second, while many European countries use half as much water we do, and most developing countries use less than 15 gallons each day.

When you are living out of a canoe or kayak, you haul your own water from the rivers and lakes you travel on and quickly realize how little water you really need. Amy and I can easily get by on 3 gallons of water per day for washing, cooking, and drinking.

Now I am not suggesting that you tell the utility company to turn off your water, because you are going to start hauling it from the nearest stream.  But there are plenty of ways to conserve water, which in the end is good for the environment and your wallet.

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Mobile phone barcode app to help ethical shoppers

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Guardian: An innovative mobile phone app could create a new generation of ethical shoppers by allowing them to check a company's social responsibility rating and environmental credentials. Barcoo, developed by a group of young Germans, allows customers to point their phones at the barcode on products in shops and find out information such as how environmentally friendly a company is and even how it treats its staff. Its makers say the app is intended to motivate the world to shop more ...

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Plan to chop down forests in England

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Telegraph: The new policy to convert forests to 'open habitat' will increase the area of heathland across England by 1,000 hectares (2,470 acres) every year for at least the next five years. This will mean chopping down thousands of hectares of mostly commercial conifers to allow rare animals like sand lizards, adder, woodlark and curlew to return. It is estimated that 80 per cent of lowland heathland has been lost in the past 200 years to plantation forestry, agriculture and housing ...

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Desert spreading like 'cancer,' Egypt conference told

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Agence France-Presse: The desert is making a comeback in the Middle East, with fertile lands turning into barren wastes that could further destabilise the region, experts said at a water conference on Thursday. "Desertification spreads like cancer, it can't be noticed immediately," said Wadid Erian, a soil expert with the Arab League, at a conference on Thursday in the Egyptian coastal town of Alexandria. Its effect can be seen in Syria, where drought has displaced hundreds of thousands of people, ...

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EPA: New mining policy would protect water quality

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Associated Press: The Obama administration Thursday spelled out tighter water quality standards for surface coal mines in Appalachia in a move that could curtail mountaintop removal mining. The policy will sharply reduce the practice of filling valleys with waste from mountaintop removal and other types of surface mines in a six-state region, U.S. Environmental Protection Agency Administrator Lisa Jackson said. The policy met with immediate praise from opponents who consider mountaintop mining ...

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Ice plumbing is protecting Greenland from warm summers

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New Scientist: IF SOME of the spectacular calving of ice shelves in Antarctica is down to global warming, then why did we not see break-ups on the same scale in Greenland, which is much warmer? It turns out that, counter-intuitively, it's because Greenland is warmer. When the ice sheets that blanket Antarctica and Greenland eventually meet the sea, they don't immediately calve off and create icebergs. Instead, they extend out to sea as floating ice shelves while remaining joined to the ice sheets on ...

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Depopulation may be harming the Amazon rainforest

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Mongabay: Urbanization may be having unexpected impacts in the Amazon rainforest by leaving forest areas vulnerable to exploitation by outsiders, report researchers writing in Conservation Letters. Conducting field surveys during the course of 10,000-kilometers of travel along remote Amazon rivers, Luke Parry of Lancaster University found that a sharp decrease in rural habitation has not been accompanied by a decline in harvesting of wildlife and forest resources, indicating that urban ...

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Water – Use It Wisely Arizona Goes B.I.G.

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The Water-Use It Wisely Regional Partners made a huge splash last weekend (March 18-20th) as part of the Southwest Build-It-Green (B.I.G.) Expo & Conference at the Phoenix Convention…

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