Tuesday, March 22, 2005

Value water.

Today, March 22, 2005, is World Water Day. Many of us take clean, accessible water for granted. But we shouldn't. Here's why:

According to the UN, more than 1.1 billion people around the world lack safe water and 2.4 billion have no access to sanitation. This contributes to over 3 million deaths every year. The Environmental Protection Agency says that risks to the US water supply "include difficult and controversial regulatory problems such as pollutant runoff from agricultural lands and stormwater flows from cities, seepage into ground water from nonpoint sources, and the loss of habitats such as wetlands. Though fisheries have come back, we cannot always eat what we catch because fish flesh is contaminated by the remaining discharges and sources of toxic substances. Microbial contamination of drinking water still presents problems in many communities."

"So what can I do?" Here are five suggestions:

* Skip a beef meal. 18 percent of all water consumption is used to produce feed for livestock. Poultry, hog, and beef factory farms produce large amounts of agricultural waste runoff, which is a major source of water pollution.

* If you live alone or with cooperative housemates, follow this rule: "If it's yellow, let it mellow. If it's brown, flush it down." This rule, moderately applied, can reduce household water use by 25% alone. And that means a cheaper bill. Thanks to Whitney for that one!

* Don't waste water. Keep a container handy to collect water that would go down the drain and use it to water plants or pets.

* Recycle motor oil. Motor oil doesn't get wear out, it just gets dirty. Recycled oil can be reprocessed in to other types of fuel. Also, recycling prevents the waste that pollutes ground and drinking water, lakes, rivers, streams and the ocean, and it protects wildlife. (Remember those poor birds after the Exxon Valdez spill?) Click here to find a recycling center near you.

* Reduce, reuse, recycle paper, in that order. Paper production is one of the top five water consuming industries, so even small efforts make a big difference.

So on this World Water Day, and on every day, take small steps (or big ones if you like) to conserve and protect our drinkable and usable water supply. We should all value water; we need it to survive.


Karama said...

Here are two more reasons to skip a beef meal: 1) Growing vegetable matter to feed to cows and then eating the cows is about much less efficient than growing appropriate vegetable matter and eating it yourself. 2) Cattle farming is a major reason for the destruction of tropical rain-forests.

Joanna said...

Great site!

As a feminist, I know how absolutely frustrating it can be to feel powerless in the face of so much injustice and inequity in the world. The trick is little steps, doing what you can do as to not feel overwhelmed.

Keep it up!

Karama said...

I'm glad you like "So what can I do," Joanna! Thanks for visiting. You're right, in the face of all that is going on in the world, it is easy to feel like there's nothing we can do. Thankfully, we know that that is not the case. There's so much we can do. And though the task may seem overwhelming, I agree: I'm much less frustrated, overwhelmed, sad, annoyed, etc. when I'm doing something, even if it's a small step. And the small steps make a big difference.

As the old joke says: How do you eat an elephant? One bite at a time. It's a corollary to the adage about the journey of a thousand miles beginning with a single step. The same holds true for the work to combat injustice.

Thanks again for stopping by, Joanna. Please visit again and spread the word.

Karama said...

Here's a product you can consider:

Ethos Water

They help people get access to clean and adequate water. Drink up!