I was really excited when I read that this year's Blog Action Day theme was water. Water is something that we can all relate to and shouldn't lead us off into some ivory tower discussion about if it exists or not (at lease I hope that some of the spinmasters out there haven't found an angle on this, but I have little doubt that they'll try). Water is such a basic and simple item, but it is central to our existance in this life, we cannot live with out it. When we, as people, are presented with a problem there is a natural reaction and desire to want to help and to ask "What can I do?"
First off I thought that I bring up some of the topics that were raised on the Blog Action Day homepage, water is way more far-reaching that you might first think. All of the things that I mention are worth further investigation and you owe it to yourself to have a look into them (if not today or tomorrow, in the near future, while we still have a future) Education is almost always a good thing. Take some time to learn what the problem is and you'll be amazed at some of the possibilitie that will open up. Be sure to check out the Blog Action Day homepage because they have some real good resources there. If you're running out of time or just wish to skip to the "What Can I Do?" (try doing "contrl F" and pasting "What Can I Do?", it'll the the 3rd instance of that phrase). Here you'll find some suggestons of some things that you and your family and friends can do, along with some information about the Blip.fm/Globaljammerz Blog Action Day Event that we've planned....
The UN General Assembly declares access to clean water and sanitation is a human right. 122 countries votes yes on the resolution while 41 nations "absentained". You have to wonder what the reasons were of those countries that didn't vote. You can sign a petition to let the UN and other world leaderss know you support water as a Human Right...
"Dear Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon,
I support the UN's life-saving efforts to accomplish MDG seven: By 2015, halve the proportion of people without sustainable access to safe drinking water and basic sanitation.
Safe drinking water and hygienic sanitation facilities are basic necessities required for health and for success in the fight against poverty, hunger, child deaths and gender inequality around the world.
It is also central to the human rights and personal dignity of every woman, man and child on earth."
Effects on Women And Children
Charitywater.org reports that water collection and unsafe and unsanitary water have an extreme effect upon women and children who spend 40 billion hours every year just collecting the water that is available. "Unsafe water and lack of basic sanitation cause 80% of diseases and kill more people every year than all forms of violence, including war. Children are especially vulnerable, as their bodies aren't strong enough to fight diarrhea, dysentery and other illnesses." "Every week, nearly 38,000 children under the age of 5 die from unsafe drinking water and unhygienic living conditions."
According to Savethesea.org "Not only is pollution bad for the environment, it’s also expensive! Death and disease caused by polluted coastal waters costs the global economy $12.8 billion a year."
According to Dosomething.org "Today, 40% of America’s rivers and 46% of America’s lakes are too polluted for fishing, swimming, or aquatic life. That’s not surprising considering the fact that 1.2 trillion gallons of untreated sewage, storm water, and industrial waste are discharged into US waters annually."
You might have heard about our Carbon Footprint but have you heard about our Food Footprint? From Waterfoodprint.org, "Do you know the water footprint of your food? For example, 75 liters of water are required to make a glass of beer and 15,500 liters to make a kilogram of beef."
According to Finalcall.com "Many scholar, researchers and political analysts attribute the conflict in Darfur at least in part to lack of access to water. In fact, a report commissioned by the UN Development Program found that in the 21st century, water scarcity will become one of the leading causes of conflict in Africa."
According to Endpovertynow, "A lack of water contributes to poverty, with parents and children too ill or too busy collecting water to go to school and work. Water poverty also undermines progress poor countries are making on health - with half of hospital beds taken by people suffering with diarrhoea and dysentery." Further more "Currently, a staggering 2.6 billion people live without a safe toilet and 884 million people lack access to clean water. These problems combine to make a massive crisis for developing countries - undermining health, education, economic and gender equality progress."
According to Spectrum.ieee.org "On an average day, 500 billion liters of water travel through US power plants to power all the technology that we use every day. For example, that shiny new iPhone in your pocket requires half a liter of water to charge. That may not seem like much, but with approximately 6.4 million active iPhones in the US, that’s 3.2 million liters to charge those alone."
According to Envronment.change.org "Even though people in the US have access to clean water from their taps, they drink an average of 200 bottles of water per person each year. Over 17 million barrels of oil are needed to manufacture those water bottles, 86 percent of which will never be recycled."
According to Desertelephant.org "As water becomes scarcer in Africa, farmers not only compete with each other but also with other animals, including elephants. Forced into close contact with farmers, elephants destroy crops and wreak havoc on agriculture, causing farmers in turn to resort to violence in order to protect their crops and water sources."
According to Treehugger.com, "That cotton t-shirt you’re wearing right now took 400 gallons of water to produce, and your jeans required an extra 1800 gallons. Not wearing cotton? The dyes and synthetic fibers used to make your clothes create waste that’s among the many contributors to water pollution."
On a brighter note some celebrities are using their star power and influence to champion the cause of water and water rights, including...
- Leonardo DiCaprio has started the Lenoardo DiCaprio Foundation
- Will and Jada Smith decided to raise money for Charitywater.org as part of a birthday celebration
What Can I Do?
I've you've read all or most of my post to this point, thank you for doing so. Did you find out along the way that water is way more complex and far-reaching than you first thought too?
- Tell Others about Blog Action Day and this year's theme Water.
Let's start off by discussing it with people you know, especially your family and friends. One person by themselves might think that they can do anything but when you add more people you get a snowball efffect and momentum and motivation, so amazing things can happen.
- Share any good articles or ideas that you find. You can "like", "tweet", "bookmark", "favorite" and any number of other terms to get the word out. Also don't be affraid to add a comment or two, but do be constructive, there are plenty of trolls out there today just waiting to jump on you, don't be one of them.
- You can write something of your own. You don't have to be Dickens or Shakespear. Don't be affraid to speak up or that you might make a mistake, or that nobody will like what you write (or worse yet, nobody will read it).
- Below is a Mindmap of things that you can do that I created based on 10 things you can do to save the sea posted in my Flickr account
- Below is a video about Playpumps that I found a couple of years ago, I think that it is a great idea and certainly something positive that is being done about water availability.
Waterforpeople.org & playpumps at work
- Feel free to check out the Non-profit partners metioned at Blog Action Day. Why not join one that is doing things that you'd like to support?
- If you're on Twitter, you can follow Blog Action Day there.
- One last thing before I get to the event, there are lots of things that we can do as people about Water availability and the items mentioned above. First of all we should not accept the status quo and give up. As consummers and taxpayers we need to be more that those two functions. We need to let out political leaders and businesses know that we expect more out of them than they've been giving us. We can also choose what we buy and use. If you decide to not buy a good or service because the company isn't acting responsibly, let the company know what you're doing and why you're doing it and tell everyone you know about what you're doing.
The Blip.fm/Globaljammerz Blog Action Day Event
What: If you're not already signed up at either one, then sign up. Blip.fm allows you to be a DJ and share music online with other DJs. Globaljammerz is a social network built to complement Blip.fm which allows you to do all kinds of social things that aren't built into Blip. Play songs around this years theme, maybe you can search for "water" to get you started. You can also look for "#BAD10" and see what songs come up that other people might have already played.
How: When you find a song that you want to play, you'll want to Blip it, which is like publishing a post or a tweet because all of Blip.fm has the ability to see what you've "Blipped". When you blip songs be sure to include "#BAD10" in what you blip, so that we know you're taking part in the event. Its really that simple.
More: Because you have the interation of other DJs on Blip.fm, you'll be able to discover new songs and artists (or be reintroduced to ones that you might have forgotten). You can show other DJs that you like what they've played by giving them "Props" and you can "Re-blip" songs that you like or have a conversation with them via your blips.
The Challenge: To make things more interesting, the Giving Back Group at Globaljammerz has issued a challenge to the other groups at Globaljammerz to see which group has the highest percentage participation in the event, the most members participating, and a variety of other challenges that you can read about here.
You can also: Join the Globaljammerz group at Facebook or any of the groups at Globaljammerz. Feel free to check out my blips at Blip.fm and my profile at Globaljammerz. I hope that you'll join us. Although Blog Action Day is "offically" only October 15th, we'll be blipping songs all weekend long. Hope to hear and see you at Blip.fm and Globaljammerz. I'm also looking forward to seeing what great things people will do for Blog Action Day.
Photo credit: Pictured is a Mindmap that I created based on post ideas listed on the Blog Action Day homepage and it is posted in my Flickr account.