8 January 2016

[#GoneGreen2016] Day 8: Water Week Roundup


One week of posts complete! I had promised succinct-ness in my introductory post, and thus far have failed. Collecting reliable data, digesting it, and skimming it down is harder than I thought it would be, but I'll endeavour to do better. 

If you missed any posts or want to read more on the subject of water, you will find the stories linked in order of appearance on the #GoneGreen2016 page HERE.

If you're not a social media person, you can sign up (in the 'follow by email' section on the left side bar) for daily updates to your inbox. At the moment the little mailer lacks luster, as the photos don't show up, but I shall short is somewhat promptly - we all like a bit of luster in our lives!

This week I wrote about PARTING WITH PLASTIC, especially plastic water bottles which cause our health and pockets to demise and world pollution to rise. The pollution I focused on the pollution we are causing to our waterways and oceans, a pollution that isn't just the unaesthetic variety, it's a chemical, murderous, hazardous pollution, and thus, one of many reasons we must start drinking water from our taps and bottling all of our beverages in reusable bottles or cups.

I also spoke about our responsibility to CLEANING UP AFTER OURSELVES AND OTHERS, on the beaches and the streets, so we can ensure each item ends up in the right bin, that what can be IS being recycled or composted, and that the landfill trash we do create doesn't end up in our waterways. 

These subjects lead to the subject of WATER CONSERVATION, and a brand called STOP THE WATER WHILE USING ME!which is the best name for a soap, shampoo, toothpaste brand as those objects are the ones we use most while wasting heaps of water. 

Water, as it turns out, is a limited resource, though we (the western world) have been brought up to ignore these facts, it's true, and we're the worst wasters of it. We waste 6 LITRES OF WATER PER MINUTE when we let the tap run, sometimes more depending on the source it comes from, that number moves up to GALLONS when we're talking about the shower. Toilet flushing wastes 3.5 gallons. And the astronomical numbers continue for every water based object in the Kitchen, Bathroom and beyond.

My friend Vicente, a published author of the talented very talented variety, was kind enough to send me a STORY which he had told me during our ponderings over #Cop21 here in Paris, and which had initiated introspection from my ignorant Western self. READ IT HERE. It shows, through meaningful example, just how much we take this precious commodity for granted.

Another post was dedicated to the eco surfing community, which is a budding but important industry for one of the water's most landfill enabling sports.

The final post of the week encouraged self education and individual activism, which will be a theme amongst these posts each week, as I believe - apart from habit and purchasing adjustments - our thoughts and actions will be the the powering force behind our ability to save the planet on which we live.

You'll find the Week One Water Conservation Resolutions List  alongside suggestions for your mini eco warriors after the jump (press read more ...) You can also download the list HERE. Feel free to print the document (on the back of an old bill of course) and please leave comments and questions below, this series is intended to create a conversation and I'd love to hear of your adventures!





[WEEK ONE LIST: WATER CONSERVATION] 

LIFESTYLE
1. I will NOT BUY anything made of PLASTIC (it's hard, but try!)

2. I will INVEST in a REUSABLE WATER BOTTLE (and use it)

3. I will NOT DRINK WATER BOTTLED IN PLASTIC

4. I will CLEAN UP AFTER MYSELF AND OTHERS and put any refuse I find in the bin it belongs in (compost, recycling, garbage).

5. I will put any refuse I find in the bin it belongs ins.

6. I will BUY LESS stuff

AT HOME
1. I will NOT RUN THE WATER while I:
- Brush My Teeth
- Soap My Body
- Shampoo & Condition My Heair
- Do The Dishes
- Ect ... 

2. I Will WASH MY CLOTHING ON AN ECO CYCLE (cold), an only wash full loads

3. When I make a hot beverage, I will ONLY HEAT THE WATER I'M GOING TO USE and nothing more

4. IF IT IS YELLOW, I shall LET IT MELLOW

5. I will install a WATER SAVING SHOWER HEAD in my shower(s).

6. I will install LOW-FLOW FAUCET AERATORS on my sink(s)

7. I will replace my appliances with water/energy efficient ones (low-flow toilet, energy star dishwasher, eco friendly washing machine/dryer ect...) - if I am a renter, I will request my landlord replace the current appliances with ones of the eco friendly variety.

8. I will time my showers and KEEP MY SHOWERS SHORT

9. I will only use my DISHWASHER WHEN IT IS FULL and let it AIR DRY

10. I will BUY A BUCKET so I can reuse so I can collect the water used while washing fruit/veg and reuse it for my household plants

MENTAL NOTES
1. I WILL BE GRATEFUL FOR THE WATER I am so blessed to be able to consume so freely

2. I WILL CONSIDER BATHS A LUXURY EVENT

3. If I am a homeowner, I will consider INSTALLING A RAINWATER HARVESTING SYSTEM and consider hiring a plumber to RE ROUTE MY GREY WATER 

4. I will WATCH AT LEAST ONE ECO EDUCATIONAL DOCUMENTARY PER MONTH

5. I will SUPPORT ECO ORGANIZATIONS + COMPANIES though my purchases and donations.

6. I will start/join a campaign to BAN PLASTIC WATER BOTTLES IN MY CITY

*download this printable list HERE

[FOR THE KIDS]

[DAY 1] PARTING WITH PLASTIC
Get your kids an eco friendly reusable water bottle so they get in the habit of carrying their own water. Teach them about the affects of bottled drinks when they ask for beverages in plastic bottles and explain to them how buying plastic bottles hurts the planet and her inhabitants.

[DAY 2] WATER WASTE

Teach your children to turn the water off while they brush their teeth, soap, shampoo and so on so they don't develop our horrible habits. I turn it into a game with my nephew (who is 2) and tell him we have to "leave some water for the fish" - kids like fish - and understand fish live in water - you can make your explanation more complex for different age groups but that's the jist of it. There's a cute site here called Water Sense which is geared towards children with activities and ideas. National Geographic Kids is a great resource too.

[DAY 3] CLEAN UP 

Teach your kids to clean up after themselves at home and away. Print out a image based list of what is recyclable and compostable and create a family challenge (with a family reward!) to produce only one bag of garbage per day, if you achieve that, make the next one a week, if you achieve that, a month ect... 

[DAY 4] KIDS' SURF

If your kids surf or are getting into surfing make sure you purchase second hand or eco surf boards and accessories as they grow. Teach them about the brands they are wearing and what there wet suit / board is made of. It will help them to feel responsible for their stuff and they'll want less objects the more they understand the circular story behind each product. 

[DAY 5/6] SAVE THE WATER

Show your kids visually what 5 gallons of water looks like compared to 1.5 gallons and explain to them why we can't leave taps/showers ect.. running and why we should flush less. If they get in the habit now, it won't be an issue in the future.

[DAY 7] ACTIVISM + EDUCATION

Watch the documentaries with your kids! Most of the organizations have kids' sections so get them involved with an organization you're passionate about.there is a five time award winning film by EcoTales called "Gloop" which is a fairy-tale about plastic. Water Use It Wisely is a great activism link for kiddies too.

[ECO WATER BOTTLE LINKS]

one. ALEX MODULAR
two. LIFE FACTORY
three. SIGG (they have kids' versions)
four. MADE BY FRESSKO
five. KLEAN KANTEEN (they have kids' versions)

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