Last year we participated in Blog Action Day. A day that is held every October 15th, uniting the world’s bloggers in a posting about the same issue on the same day with the aim of sparking discussion around an issue of global importance. This year bloggers are turning the spotlight on Water. Everyone needs water to survive. Living in the United States, I am fortunate to have clean water to drink. I just have to walk a few steps to the tap in the kitchen. This is not the case all over the world. Did you know that 1.1 billion people on the planet do not have access to clean drinking water? That is one in eight people. Unsafe water and a lack of basic sanitation cause 80% of all disease and kill more people than war. Imagine having to walk hours every day to get dirty water. And then having to give it to your children because you have no other choice. There are great organizations, like Charity: Water, that are working diligently on bringing clean, safe water to people in need. 100% of public donations to Charity: Water goes directly to water projects including: hand-dug wells, deep wells (boreholes), rehabilitations, spring protections, rainwater harvesting schemes, and biosand filters. All operating costs are covered by a group of private donors so every dollar donated can go to people in need. Just $20 can give one person clean water for 20 years. An average water project costs $5,000 and can serve 250 people with clean, safe water. Clean water can change everything. Check out the links below for more information on Charity: Water and Blog Action Day.
I should start by saying that I am a glass half full kind of a person. I sat down to write this post with optimism in mind and list easy, everyday steps we can take to reduce our carbon footprint, such as: unplug your appliances, use cold water (for laundry, not in the shower), keep your tires properly inflated, bring your own grocery bags, etc. But during a twitter distracted moment, I found a link to a website listing the top 100 effects of Global Warming. I started reading down the list. It covered a wide spectrum from animal lives being endangered to the end of good French wine. As I kept scrolling down, my eyes widened and my heart whimpered as I read the words “Say Goodbye to French Fries”. The description read: “Scientists from the Consultative Group on International Agricultural Research say warmer temperatures are killing off wild relatives of potato and peanut plants, ‘threatening a valuable source of genes necessary to help these food crops fight pests and drought.’” What! I love animals and I am part Italian, so I love my grapes, but Global Warming is threatening french fries! Almost every child old enough to eat solid foods knows the golden arches of McDonalds. You bet they would be unplugging everything in sight if they knew it would save french fries! How many times have you said, “Lets grab a burger and fries”? I bet more than a few. So lets try reusable water bottles and compact fluorescent light blubs, if not for the animals or the grapes or any of the other 97 reasons, lets do it for the fries!
* Blog Action Day is an annual event held every October 15 that unites the world’s bloggers in posting about the same issue on the same day with the aim of sparking discussion around an issue of global importance. Blog Action Day 2009 will be one of the largest-ever social change events on the web. www.blogactionday.org
* Top 100 effects of Global Warming www.americanprogress.org/issues/2007/09/climate_100.html