Wednesday, May 5, 2010

The Little Things We Take For Granted

We take things for granted all of the time. It is usually not until we have something taken away from us that we realize we have been taking something for granted.  

I was reminded of this recently when a water main broke and there was no clean drinking water in the greater Boston area. The water company started pumping water from the emergency back up system that was not fit to drink. The store across the street from us sold out of water almost immediately and we started to boil water so we could wash bottle parts for the baby.

All of a sudden cooking, cleaning, bathing and drinking had become a real pain. Still we were able get enough bottled water for the baby's formula, and we were able to boil water to cook and do dishes with.

It made me think of the millions of people around the world that have no access to clean drinking water. It reminded me of the millions of babies that die every year because of dehydration or water borne illnesses.

What can we do to help them?

For one thing we can stop wasting water at home.  
We should turn the tap off while brushing our teeth and get low flow shower heads. We should get energy efficient dish washers and washing machines that are also water efficient. We should fix leaky faucets and running toilets.

These are all cheap solutions that are easy to implement.  New efficiet washing machines and dishwashers will actually save you money.

And then there are the things we can do that will take a little bit more money to implement.   We should stop flushing millions of gallons of drinking water down the toilet ever year.  But installing gray water systems that use rain water or used sink water to flush your toilets will be more expensive to install. In some towns they gauge your water bill by home much water exits your home and not how much water you are taking from the pipe so the town will not be able to bill you properly if you start flushing rain water down the drains.

But problens like these can and must be solved. We are closer to a water crisis here in the US than most people realize. We are already upsetting ecosystems by using water from rivers and lakes from one region for drinking water in another. The Colorodo river is maxed out currently and the demand on it to produce more drinking water is growing.

If we can make these small changes at home maybe some how we will tax the earth a little less and it will have an effect on those people who are dying for a drink, literally.  Maybe that is wishful thinking but it is all I have at this point. Maybe some out there knows of something I can to do make a larger impact on them in a positive way. If so, please let me know so I can share it with everyone.     


  1. Boston Water Cris 0-10 (haha) was definitely eye-opening... especially with an infant. It really breaks my heart to think of all the parents who just don't have clean water to give their children. Thanks for making that connection, Blah-bloggity-blogger!

    It's not quite as simple as conserving water here, although that is sooooo important, especially when climate change will likely affect our watersheds. The water we conserve here though, doesn't get diverted to countries without access to clean water, so we also need to figure out how to help developing nations dig wells, build sanitation systems, and educate the population.

    It's so overwhelming though, it really makes me feel helpless, but there must be simple things we could do, right?

  2. I agree but i feel like we need to set an example. we are using up enough resources to be a country 3 or 4 times our size. that needs to change if other countries are going to develop in a responsible way. water conservation is just one part of this.