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Water Sustainability – Post #2

Some of the direct and very real impacts of our collective water use are glaringly on display in a PBS Frontline episode, “Poisoned Waters.” Here is the link to online viewing: http://www.pbs.org/wgbh/pages/frontline/poisonedwaters/view/

I strongly suggest giving this your full attention; if watching the full 112-minute show is untenable, at a minimum, read the web page’s synopsis.

The economic, environmental, humanitarian, political and social effects of our attitude and abuse of water are both macro and individual. I could spend days typing facts and opinions on the massive challenge we both face, and for the most part caused, as a modern society. Yet this blog space is not about how we got here, necessarily. Rather, the intention is to focus on solution-based attitudes and actions. Subtle shifts, beginning with awareness, can bring seismic results.

The economic and political requirement for change is pretty massive on the macro level. For starters, as has been duly noted in The New York Times series entitled, “Toxic Waters,” The EPA needs the funding and the political backing to re-energize and enforce The Clean Water Act signed into law in 1972. (http://www.nytimes.com/2009/09/13/us/13water.html). SparklingWater

Now, at the personal level, one can bring change into being by, for example, reading product labels of household stuff (cleaners, toiletries, etc.) and only purchase non-harmful items. And as you will consistently see in this space, buying high quality water filtration for all household taps (including showers) is strongly recommended. As well, make your voice known by reviewing a political candidate’s environmental record before casting your vote. Contact directly your congressman and senator; the internet allows for an immediate line of communication.

Environmentally, it’s an unfortunate reality that developed societies use a lot of water to create a lot of products, which creates a lot of waste, which often ends up back in our waters. We all are responsible for this phenomenon, and therefore we can participate in the solution. For example, reuse EVERYTHING. I don’t throw anything away before asking myself the question, “can I use this again?” My kids look askance at me when they’re over for dinner, because my bread plates are the clear-plastic tops from take-out containers. I rinse and reuse my Starbucks coffee cups, at least 3 times!!! Mama Nature is thanking me, and my efforts bring me joy.

There is so much more to discuss; social and humanitarian aspects of water consciousness will be presented in future postings.

  • Indigo

    Thanks for the link to the special. Also, want to note that you can take your own cups to Starbucks so that you don't have to use their cups at all. At least here in CA you can anyway.

  • James – I'll watch the special and get back to you with comments….