World Water Day

From National Geographic
Women spend the day fetching water

This week marked the 17th anniversary of the UN designated World Water Day.  Here are some little known tidbits I’ve gathered to honor it.

  • One in eight people in the world don’t have access to safe water
  • There are 8.8 million swimming pools in the United States.
  • Millions of women and children spend several hours a day collecting water from distant, often polluted sources
  • 2.5 billion people live without a toilet.
  • 2.53 percent of earth’s water is fresh, and some two-thirds of that is locked up in glaciers and permanent snow cover
  • More than 3.5 million people die each year from water-related disease; 84 percent are children.
  • Lack of access to clean water and sanitation kills children at a rate equivalent of a jumbo jet crashing every four hours.
So, now after all that scary stuff here’s a treat: National Geographic has a special interactive issue dedicated to Water but available for a FREE download.  As usual the photos are glorious, some absolutely stunning and the entire issue is full of interesting and important articles.  If you don’t mind the standard “sign up” (only name, email and password) then the download is really worthwhile.

And last, but not least, given my many entries on the evils of plastic bottles and the bottling/soda industries’ efforts to brainwash us that our tap water is bad for us–so that they can fill their bottles with tap water and sell it to us–is a wonderful new animation/video by Annie Leonard. (You may remember her last viral hit called “The Story of Stuff” which you can view here if you haven’t yet seen it! Her website has several other gems as well.)

Earth Hour – Saturday, March 27, 2010 8:30pm

earth hour
Lights out, almost

This is my fourth year participating in Earth Hour.  Last year millions of people turned off their lights from 8:30 to 9:30pm; what had started in Australia as a civic event has spread across the globe.

Just think of this: for one hour, millions and millions around the world are nearly simultaneously focused on the planet by the act of turning off their lights. This act of energy expenditure reduction creates an intense sweeping global wave of conscious energy–do we even know what that means?

I’ve always thought of the internet as a stepping stone in human development. Earth Hour has become a global event because of our growing interconnectedness and our very human self discovery.

Go here —Earth Hour to pledge to turn off your lights and get a reminder. And here is some fun to educate the kids