During these aqua-neurotic days, many of us spend a whole lot of time fussing over how to make every last bit — or drip, rather — of water used at home count. This, of course, isn’t a negative practice in the least particularly in areas suffering from drought (I’m looking at you Southern Californian gardeners) but according to a nifty new Water Footprint Calculator over at National Geographic, water usage in the home and garden only accounts for 5 percent of the average American’s XL-sized (2,000 gallons of water per day!) water footprint. 

Again, this isn’t to say that home water conservation efforts aren’t important but given that 95 percent of our daily water usage comes from outside of the home, perhaps we should also expand our focus to other areas.

I gave the Water Footprint Calculator a spin and the results weren’t entirely shocking based on my living situation — I’m yard-less, don’t drive a car, and although I’m not a vegetarian, I eat less servings of meat per week than the average American. However, when asked about my clothing spending habits my water consumption score shot way up. Like off the charts. Ack.

So in the end, it turns out I use significantly more H2O than the average American not because of those couple of extra showers each week or my love of a good cheeseburger but because of the amount of money I spend on clothing each year (thank you very much, Gilt Group and Urban Outfitters.com!). I suppose it's time I take a good hard look at my closet ... and not my fixtures. 

Head on over to National Geographic and crunch some (non-scientific numbers) with the Water Footprint Calculator and then pledge to reduce your water footprint by 20 percent. How’d it go for you? Surprised by how little water you actually use at home in the long run?

Via [Re-Nest]

Matt Hickman ( @mattyhick ) writes about design, architecture and the intersection between the natural world and the built environment.

Downsizing an XL water footprint outside of the home
According to a National Geographic Water Footprint Calculator, effectively curbing the amount of H2O you use may not lie in tweaking habits at home but in taki