We had a fun show last week. Thanks for some kind of satanic tech vortex we were unable to record the show and get the podcast out (but we do have some good notes, including a fun and easy DIY gift idea from GD Mizar – check out the show post for deets.). . . but by some miracle, we had an excellent show! Our Green Dude Segment was with Green Dude Antonio, who is a water purification expert with Pur2o. I’m always surprised by how much I actually don’t know and probably don’t want to know! Anyway, that segment inspired this post about water and water conservation.
Step 1 – Admit there is a problem
- According to the United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization, Water use has been growing at more than the rate twice of population increase in the last century
- By 2025, 1 800 million people will be living in countries or regions with absolute water scarcity, and two-thirds of the world population could be under stress conditions
- According to the World Water Assessment Programme (of the UN), half of the world’s wetlands have been lost since 1900
- In developing countries, 70 percent of industrial wastes are dumped untreated into waters where they pollute the usable water supply
- Projected increases in fertilizer use for food production and in wastewater effluents over the next three decades suggest there will be a 10-20 per cent global increase in river nitrogen flows to coastal ecosystems (not exactly sure what this means, but it doesn’t sound good!)
Step 2 – Educate yourself
One of our favorite regular guests on the Green Divas Radio Show is Jessica Arinella from the What You Can Do video series. She is also a water hero. She has produced several very educational short videos that help us understand not only why, but how to help conserve and create healthier water supplies. Here’s a link to a Green Divas Radio Show featuringJessica Arinella talking about water conservation.
I would also recommend the UN page on water statistics.
Step 3 – Don’t be part of the problem
Once we acknowledge that there is indeed a problem not only with water resources diminishing, but also in terms of contaminants and the need for safe, clean, accessible drinking water for everyone; then we need to be more aware of how we interact with water and start making changes.
Step 4 – No more bottled water
- According to MSNBC, the use of water bottles increased dramatically from 3.3 billion sold in 1997 to 15 billion in 2002
- National Geographic estimates that 17 million gallons of crude oil is used on an annual basis to produce plastic bottles
- According to Environmental Working Group’s scientific study on bottled water vs. tap water, bottled water contains distinfection byproducts, fertilizer residue and pain medication . . . ahhhhh! Seriously – read this article.
- Get a water filtration system and make your own bottled water using glass bottles! Check out our Green Dude Antonio’s excellent system, Pur2o and learn about the differences in systems and what you should be looking for.
Please check out my post on 7 good reasons to give up bottled water with all kinds of details.
Step 5 – Conservation starts at home
- Turn off the faucet! This seems like a no-brainer, but it takes a while for some of us to remember to shut off the water during times like brushing teeth or washing dishes or food preparation.
- Flush less – If everyone in the United States flushed the toilet just one time less per day, we could save the equivalent of a lake full of water about one square mile and four feet deep every day
- Check laundry water levels – First, be sure to wash only full loads; second, make sure that you set the machine to the appropriate water level needed
- Power shower – Some of us love to linger in a lovely hot shower, but please take only 5 minutes in the shower and if you need to run water for a time to get the temperature right, consider capturing that water with a bucket and using it to water plants or something else.
- Update water appliances – consider getting more efficient toilets and shower heads or at least when it is time to get new ones make sure to get the most water-efficient kind!
- Use biodegradable cleaning products – I did some research on this and it is scary what toxins lurk in our cleaning products and how bad they are for us AND our environment, particularly our water systems. My post on non-toxic cleaning.
Step 6 – Help those that do not have clean, safe water
- The UN suggests that each person needs 20-50 litres of water a day to ensure their basic needs for drinking, cooking and cleaning
- More than one in six people worldwide – 894 million – don’t have access to improved water sources
- Today 2.5 billion people, including almost one billion children, live without even basic sanitation. Every 20 seconds, a child dies as a result of poor sanitation. That’s 1.5 million preventable deaths each year
- According to the UN, in developing countries, 70 percent of industrial wastes are dumped untreated into waters where they pollute the usable water supply
- One way to help is join Matt Damon and others in finding solutions and making safe water accessible to millions through the efforts of Water.org.
Step 7 – Educate others
As you educate yourself and change your water habits, you can help others by the power of example. You can be like my sister, Green Diva Lisa, who is the water police and has been known to lunge at sinks to turn off water in other people’s kitchens. Talk about it. Write about it. Don’t be shy about it. But, please try to be diplomatic and friendly to those that are still on the learning curve – lecturing and making people feel guilty isn’t very effective.