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Blog Action Day 2010 – How Clean Is Your Water?

Water dropThis is the first time that I’ve participated in Blog Action Day, and I’m very happy to contribute my voice to the thousands of bloggers from all over the world who are drawing attention today to the importance of ensuring people have access to clean water. Water is a global issue and deserves a global voice today.

Many people in the developing world do not even have access to clean drinking water, but how many bottles of water have you bought this week?

Did you know that:

  • Almost a billion people on the planet do not have access to clean, safe drinking water.
  • The US, Mexico and China lead the world in bottled water consumption, with people in the US drinking 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.
  • Of the 50 billion plastic water bottles used by Americans in 2006, 38 billion of them were thrown away, unrecycled. The 1.5 million barrels of oil it takes to produce 50 billion bottles could fuel 100,000 cars for a year. And that does not even include the oil used for transportation.
  • More than 60 million plastic water bottles are thrown away every day in the United States. This is a growing problem—it takes up to 1,000 years for disposable water bottles to decompose.
  • Communities around the world are taking steps to reduce water bottle waste by eliminating bottled water.
  • There is a growing backlash against bottled water companies by people who don’t believe that it’s moral or ethically responsible to sell something that is a basic human right, the same as it’s a basic human right to breathe air.
  • A third of bottled water is actually from the same source as tap water. Actually, 24% is purified muncipal water.
  • The cost of bottled water is increasing every year, resulting in less money in your wallet. Just by buying a convenience.
  • Water is being taken from springs and streams, which is harming communities reliant on those water sources.

Check out this video from Annie Leonard (the woman behind the hit internet video “The Story of Stuff“) about the Story of Bottled Water:

What you can do:

  • Don’t buy water bottles. Period. Save your money, and the planet.
  • If you really have to buy bottled water, make sure that you recycle the empty bottle.
  • Raise your awareness of the ramifications of all the water bottles that are not recycled.
  • Join the FilterForGood pledge at http://www.filterforgood.com/ and use a re-usable bottle and fill it up instead of buying water bottles.
  • Drink from the tap.  Or do what I do and buy a Brita.
  • Check out organizations like charity: water and it’s Canadian partner, Water for People and see how you can make a meaningful difference in the world. 

Your parents and grandparents wouldn’t even think about paying for something so basic as water. They lived without buying bottled water and so can you. It really can make a difference.

Related Posts:

1. 50 Inspirational Quotes
2. Small Ways to Make a Big Difference
3. 10 Things You Can Do Right Now To Improve Your Life
4. The Five Keys to Happiness
5. This Is Your Life

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20 comments… add one

  • Its so important to have clean water….I’m happy i participated this year
    .-= Corve DaCosta´s last blog ..Water is LIFE – Blog Action Day 2010 =-.

    • Me, too, Corve. It’s my first one and it’s nice to bring awareness to such an important topic and to join forces for good with so many bloggers :-)

  • Karen,
    Excellent article! I don’t buy bottled water. I never have. I always thought first, it was a waste of money, and second, after I started to understand how plastic bottles themselves impacted our planet it was an even worse idea. More people need to know that we are poisoning our oceans with all this plastic and killing the sea life, not to mention as you stated using precious resources to make the bottles which don’t decompose for 10 centuries! People should start using light weight reusable bottles that they fill up at home! They’d also save money too! Plus, the bottles leach toxic chemicals into the water they’re drinking – I won’t touch them myself.
    .-= Angela Artemis´s last blog ..5 Exercises to Tap Into Your Intuitive Genius =-.

    • Hi Angela,

      You are certainly way ahead of the pack in stopping buying bottled water. I agree that it can not only get pretty expensive but that there is such an environmental impact to so much plastic that doesn’t decompose for so many years. It’s amazing to think how prevalent bottled water is now, particularly in the developed world. It’s a sad trend.

      Thanks for sharing and for not buying bottled water :-)

  • Karen, These are really interesting facts about bottled water, a great slant for Blog Action Day. I am happy to say that I no longer buy bottled water. I’m glad to hear about the backlash against bottling something that is a basic human right. We have all the knowledge we need to make clean water available to the entire world. Let’s do it!
    .-= Sandra Lee´s last blog ..My magic potion for knocking anxiety on its head =-.

    • Hi Sandra,

      I know, as a Christian, I find it very hard to believe that people are selling something so basic as water. We need it to live! Plus, can a corporation really ‘own’ a lake or a river? They can own the plant and manufacture the bottles, but a percentage of the water comes from municipal water sources. It’s absolutely crazy to profit from such a basic human right.


  • Excellent, as I expected :D

    You didn’t want to talk about the oil in making water bottles… Turns out I added this to my post: The cost in oil for producing water bottles for the US is equivalent to the oil consumed for a full day in the country (~16 million barrels per year against 18 million barrels per day consumed). Astonishing, isn’t it?

    I usually buy only bottled water to have a bottle I can refill easily and quickly (when being in another country for example). And nothing more!


    .-= Ruben Berenguel´s last blog ..Blog Action Day 2010- Water =-.

    • Thanks, Ruben, I’m glad that I didn’t disappoint :-)

      Thanks for adding the information about oil. Very timely, too, as the price of oil increases every day as it’s a finite resource. You bring up an astonishing statistic, and very scary one, too!

      Glad that we were part of Blog Action Day :-)


  • Hi Karen,

    Wow, one billion don’t have clean water? This is really disturbing to hear that. I know that many people don’t even have water (clean and unclean) in some parts of the world. We are lucky that we have clean water. Thanks for sharing
    .-= Dia´s last blog ..5 Ways to show respect =-.

    • Hi Dia,

      I know, it’s amazing that you just turn on the tap and clean water flows seemingly as long as you want. It’s sickening that so many people don’t have something as basic as water in order to survive. Hard to believe that this is the 21st century and the problem still persists.

      Thanks for dropping by and adding your thoughts,

  • Great article Karen, I never buy bottled water. It is a natural resource. Also with the bottles, they are sprayed with toxic chemicals and the water is flouridated which is definitely not good, it doesn’t need to be in the water. People are campaigning to have it removed.
    .-= Maria´s last blog ..Installing Love In Human Computer =-.

    • Thanks, Maria! Writing this article really raised my awareness of how bad bottled water is for ourselves and the environment.

  • Thanks for bringing my attention to this cause Karen, I had no idea!
    Gotta love the blogosphere though!
    I Have2g0 now ;)

    How are you anyway Karen?
    .-= Alex´s last blog ..Keyword Winner SEO WordPress Plug-in =-.

    • Hahaha, Alex. You always give me a chuckle with your comments :-)

      I had no idea either about the many reasons why bottled water is so harmful, and in so many ways, too. Glad that I can teach you something :-)

  • Thanks for raising awareness about water, Karen! I enjoyed the bottled water video. I have transitioned over to a refillable metal bottle instead. I don’t drink out of our tap, though, because it’s gross. Even if it did taste good, there is too much fertilizer residue, chlorine, and fluoride to be healthy.
    .-= Jennifer Barry´s last blog ..The Water Crisis- 5 Ways to Help =-.

    • Thanks for bringing up that point, Jennifer.

      In many towns the tap water may include other chemicals or may taste funny, compared to what we are used to drinking with bottled water. But, there are also filters that can be placed on your faucet to counter-act the chemicals, so there are always options.

      • I have a Berkey water filter I use. I like it even more than the Britta I used to use.
        .-= Jennifer Barry´s last blog ..Stranger in His Own Land Part 7 =-.

        • Hi Jennifer.

          I had to look up the Berkley Water Filter because I had never heard of it before. It looks like a lot of relief agencies use it, too.

          Thanks for giving us an alternative, but I’m not ready to give up my Brita yet :-)


  • thanks for this very important world crisis, a billion people without drinking water, we should definitely do something….I drink filter at home, but I’ve to admit, as matter of convenience, when I’m out and about, I do pickup bottled water when my choices are soda or other chemical added/treated drinks, but now I’ll choose wisely and not fiji ones….thanks!

    • Thanks, Brenda. Every one can do their small part to make sure that there is water for everyone – it’s a basic human right.


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