This video from European nonprofit Generation Awake illustrates how much water it takes to produce a burger, by laying down the equivalent amount in water balloons.

Reader support helps sustain our work. Donate today to keep our climate news free. All donations TRIPLED!

That’s almost 5,000 water balloons, accounting for about 632 gallons — although the U.S. Geological Survey estimates that it takes more like 4,000 gallons to produce a burger. Estimates vary depending on details and definition — like, should you count the water used to irrigate the grass to feed the cows? PROBABLY. But some cows eat different grass, or produce more meat per grass consumed, or live in areas that need less irrigation … you get the idea. At any rate, though, it’s a lot of water.

Grist thanks its sponsors. Become one.

Generation Awake’s Imagine All the Water campaign tells you how much water it costs to produce many of your daily-use items, and offers suggestions for how to reduce your water intake. Suggestion No. 1: Maybe don’t make artworks out of 5,000 water balloons.