In Europe as a whole, 45 % of freshwater abstraction is for cooling in energy production, followed by: agriculture, 22 %; public water supply, 21 %; and industry, 12 %. In southern Europe, agriculture accounts for more than half of total national abstraction, rising to more than 80 % in some countries. In western Europe, more than half of water abstracted is used for cooling in energy production.
When the urge to give flowers takes you, choose a potted plant from a local supplier. A lot of exotic flowers are grown in greenhouses great distances away. Aside from the issue of transport, there can be high social and environmental costs. For example, in Colombia, the flower industry uses enormous quantities of polluting pesticides, and in Kenya, horticulture requires a lot of water which reduces local water resources. As an alternative ask your flower shop for Fairtrade or organically produced flowers.
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