How To Decorate With Less Water

I’m taking a quick departure from food to discuss another water guzzler, our furnishings and home decorations. According to “The Green Blue Book,” the non-edible stuff in the average home has a water footprint of 200,000 gallons of water (this is a low estimate for many of us). This total reflects the virtual water embedded in the 10,000 or so things packed away and displayed in our homes.

Here are some water footprint stats to chew on:

Leather Couch= 35,600 gallons of water

5×9 Rug= 9,531 gallons of water

Leather Chair= 11,000 gallons of water

Queen-Size Mattress= 2,878 gallons of water per mattress

Television=3900-65,000 gallons depending on size, make and model

Sheets (400 Thread-Count Queen Set)= 6,663

5×3 Wood Table= 57 gallons of water


When I need furnishings and other home stuff, I look to a marketplace of “used” items. All the furnishing in my living room (excluding the artwork) were found on my local craigslist website (couch, lamps, ottoman, chairs, side tables and throw rug). Not only did I save water by purchasing “old” versus “new,” but I saved a whole lot of money. All the furniture cost me just shy of a $1000.


When it was time to move my youngest daughter, Estrella, into her room, I again looked to Craigslist for the furnishing. With Pinterest as my inspiration for the look and feel I wanted in her room, I pieced together her room for less than $500. Instead of purchasing a new bed at IKEA, I found the same one on Craigslist 15 miles away and for a third of the price. The retro kitchen and play-house table, IKEA desk, baby crib, Pottery Barn dresser were also craigslist finds.


Purchasing furniture made with organic textiles and reclaimed wood/Forest Stewardship Council (FSC) certified wood is another great option. For me, I’m willing to put in the time involved to find used furniture. And when it’s time to redecorate, I place the items back on Craigslist to re-sell.

Purchasing used furnishings is the reduce, re-use, recycle H2O model to decorating.

Eat (and sit on) less water at the kitchen table!

There is power in the collective.

Be well,


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