Last Thursday, March 22nd, was World Water Day 2018. I missed posting about it then, but I don’t want to wait a year until the next one, so here are a few things I have to say about World Water Day 2018.
It’s hard sometimes for us to imagine water as something we need to conserve. If you live in a normal city in the U.S., you know you can turn on a faucet and clean water flows out. You know from looking at photos of our planet from space that almost 75% of the earth is covered in water.
But do you know that 96.5% of that is salt water in our oceans? And the remaining 3.5% is freshwater lakes and frozen water locked in glaciers and polar ice caps.
That leaves us (barring a major leap in desalination technology) with a very small percentage of water suitable for consumption and cleaning.
And water is essential for life. An otherwise healthy adult can survive 21 to 40 days without food (my stomach doesn’t believe that), but an otherwise healthy adult MIGHT survive no more than 7 days without drinking water.
Years ago companies figured out that they could get people to pay for water in bottles. It seems almost ludicrous, but I bought into that belief as well. When working on the road I would buy anywhere from a case to several cases of bottled water, depending on how long I was in a location. I preferred what I felt was the known quality of bottled water to that of various water systems (or lack of) I might encounter in my travels.
But a couple of years ago the understanding of how much I was contributing to plastic waste, even when I was able to recycle those bottles, finally made its way through my thick skull. As well as the fact that sometimes the bottled water was nothing more than tap water. And even if I was careful to buy real spring or natural water, I realized I was a part of draining those sources.
Plus, recently, it came out that the plastic water bottles contain microscopic pieces of plastic that we’re ingesting when we drink bottled water.
I had been considering various models of filtered water bottles when one day as I was boarding a flight I noticed that the passenger in front of me had a “Clearly Filtered Hydro Flask” on his backpack. Although I make good use of online reviews for various products, I also prefer to hear directly from someone using a product. And so as we walked down the boarding ramp I asked him how he liked the bottle. “I love it”, he exclaimed, “I fill it up with cold water or ice and water and it stays cold all day while I drink it. And it’s great how the filter removes funny tastes of water around the country so all I taste is clean, pure water.”
So I bought one and have been using it since (except for a period of a couple of months where I could not find the filter to replace one I had worn out) and I find it so easy to fill the insulated metal bottle with cold water or ice and water at the hotel in the morning and to know, when I’m refiling it from a water fountain at work, that it’s going to filter out any impurities from the water line (we do, after all, work in some hinky old buildings sometimes) and the unusual taste.
I want to do all I can to save water for my children and grandchildren, and World Water Day 2018 was a good opportunity to talk about this resource.