Make One Sustainable Choice, Get Two Free! 9 Simple Nexus Tips

Food, water and energy are all interconnected. How convenient!

Okay, rarely is the food, water and energy nexus presented as convenient, much less in ways that are easy to understand. But if you strip away all the complex discussions about global systems and operational efficiencies and resource security, you're left with this simple idea: A sustainable choice in any one of these three systems is likely to be a sustainable choice for the other two, as well.

We released our Meet the Nexus guide earlier this year to explain how we can each incorporate nexus thinking into our lives. For those who want to cut to the chase and see how, for example, turning off a light switch makes you a water conserving champion, here are nine tips you can start using today. Time to take credit for all those sustainable choices you didn’t even know you were making!

Food Choices

Reduce food waste. Wasted food adds up to wasted energy and wasted water.

Try Meatless Monday. It takes more water and fossil fuel energy to produce meat than vegetables and grains, so skip meat for just one day a week to shrink your water and energy footprint. The other days of the week? Choose pasture-raised meat over factory farmed to keep pollution to a minimum.

Support sustainable farms. When possible, buy food from sustainable farms that minimize the use of hazardous pesticides and synthetic fertilizers. This reduces energy inputs and protects waterways from being polluted by runoff.

Water Choices

Saving water saves energy. By using less water at home — for example, using low-flow showerheads and repairing leaks — less water goes down the drain, which means less water has to be piped to and cleaned at a treatment plant. Plus, if you use less hot water then less water has to be heated.

Buy less new stuff. By reusing and recycling products you can reduce your indirect water use, which can lessen your impact on food and energy resources.

Say “No” to bottled water. In 2006 the equivalent of more than 17 million barrels of oil were required just to make the plastic to meet America’s thirst for bottled water.

Energy Choices

Be efficient. Purchase energy efficient products (look for the Energy Star label) when you replace your old appliances. You’ll save energy and water.

Go renewable! Solar electric panels and many other renewable electric systems require little to no water, unlike conventional power plants.

Switch to green power. Use the EPA Green Power Locator to choose green power options available through your utility.

Image Amazing Deals Sign Holiday Blue Red Snowflakes Enhanced by Philip Taylor on Flickr under a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 2.0 Generic license.