This time every year, my team and I study and remind ourselves of the facts of water and water-related issues around the world. It is easy to feel far removed from the situation of the water crisis. You might be reading this from the States or another developed country, feeling sad for those without access to clean water, but unsure of what you could do. You might feel like it is an exaggerated statistic. But…it’s not. And there’s something you can do about it.
I know my heart has broken over this crisis and as I watch kids search for water, I wonder what more I could do.
The WHO recommends that 20 liters of water, per person, per day will take care of basic hygiene and basic drinking needs per day. The average American uses 7,500 liters of water per day. (http://www.unwater.org/worldwaterday/learn/en/)
Lack of clean water kills more than aids, malaria, war and traffic accidents combined.
(Photo by David Enge, Justice Water Media)
This is a horrible emergency…and there’s something you can do about it. Here are a few helpful ways that you can help on this World Water Day straight from your own home!
-Participate in our #cleanwaterblue awareness campaign! This is a fun and easy way to bring awareness to the water crisis- by dying part of your hair blue with hair chalk or koolaid or whatever else! Kids and animals love it, too ;) Simply take a picture and post it with the hashtag #cleanwaterblue. We will choose a winner in April!
–Donate. It’s true. As Justice Water in Haiti and the DR, we could sure use some money for projects led by our community directors around the island. But seriously, donate anywhere! Just donate. A little can go a long way! http://justicewater.net/haitidr/
–Stop drinking bottled water, especially Nestle. I encourage you to look up the horrible atrocities Nestle is doing in places all over the world. The privatization of water to bring the wealthier people of the world clean “tap” water from another place is a growing and growing trend- depleting the resources in poorer countries- this is happening all over the world and will probably even start happening more in the US. Get a cute bottle and fill it up at your tap! It saves money and actually saves lives all over the world. If you want to read more on the privatization of clean water/bottling companies, check these out: http://www.bottledlifefilm.com/index.php/ten-things-to-know.html; http://www.globalresearch.ca/the-privatisation-of-water-nestle-denies-that-water-is-a-fundamental-human-right/5332238
–Use less water. This sounds easy – and it is! Fill up your sink to wash your dishes instead of leaving the water running; take shorter showers; turn off the tap when you’re not using it. It is easy to use less water and I challenge you to think about how you can cut water in some areas of your own life!
–Take a break on the meat. Strangely enough, a steak dinner for two requires 15,000 liters of water. Meat and dairy eating has been one of the main reasons for the spike for water consumption over the past few decades, so going easy on the water will help more than you think! (Even a #meatlessmonday will do the trick!) (http://www.unwater.org/worldwaterday/learn/en/?section=c325497)
–Consider converting your toilet to a low-flush toilet. Its super easy and will save water and money! Check out how to do it here: http://www.wikihow.com/Convert-Any-Toilet-to-a-Low-Flush-Toilet
These are SIMPLE ways to care about the world and be a global citizen. I encourage you to think about the ways you can participate in helping aid the water crisis across the world- and here in Haiti and the Dominican Republic. Even as we move into greater community development efforts, water will also be an essential part of what we do! Water is essential to life- and we believe this is a crisis for which we should all get on board!