Each year on October 15th, thousands of bloggers from around the world get together to blog on one topic. The topic changes from year to year, but it always has goal of raising awareness with something in the world. This year the chosen topic for Blog Action Day is simple: water.
There are quite a few ways to tie personal finance into water. I could give you tips to save money on your water bill. I could tell you about the evils of buying bottled water (both from an environmental and financial standpoint). I could write about… well, those are the only two topics I can think of. However, you’ve probably read those things a hundred times in the past. Instead, I’m going to ramble on about water in general for a few paragraphs. If you’d rather read about personal finance and water than my ramblings, there might just be a treat for you at the end of this article.
I’m a jerk when it comes water. I turn a faucet and fresh water comes out. I must have done that thousands of times in just the last year. Not once did I think about what effort was put forth to make that happen. Not once did I think about how lucky I was for that for to happen.
What makes me a jerk about water has my attitude towards conserving it. It’s not that I don’t try to conserve water, I do. I was just never taught the reason why we conserve water. I remember a commercial when I was growing up in the 80’s. The message was something like, “Water is our most precious resource. Each day we consume millions of gallons of water and not a drop is ever added to the Earth’s supply.” I’m not the type to talk to inanimate objects like televisions, but (excluding sporting events naturally) this probably as close as 10 year old Lazy Man got. First, the Earth somewhere between 70 and 72% water. Second, is water ever really completely consumed or is it just recycles through processes of evaporation?
About the only way that I’m not a jerk about water is that I’ll drink it from the tap. Unlike some, I don’t require that it be filtered. Unlike some, I don’t require that it be bottled. I don’t even require that it be cold. From tap, to glass, to mouth… that’s the way I roll. Straight up, no chaser.
Maybe the above doesn’t make me a complete jerk about water. I think a lot of us take water for granted… I rarely see anyone celebrate the act of getting tap water as it works about as close to 100% of the time as you can reasonable get. Am I a jerk because I wanted that 30-second television spot to explain that there’s a difference between water and usable water? Perhaps.
Usable water is really what we need. When I go on vacation in Aruba, I notice that one of the most important things on the island is the water desalinization plant. If you drive around the island, you really can’t miss it. It is ginormous. It has to be as the island typically gets very little rain a year. I can’t imagine how much power it takes to extract the salt from the sea water. You want another example of usable water? Watch CBS’ hit reality show, Survivor. The most important thing in the show is to get a way to make fire. Boiling the water is the only way to make it potable (drinkable). If they still allowed luxury items, a LifeStraw would probably be second only to a lighter.
So what can you do to help? Fortunately Blog Action Day has a few suggestions:
- Building Wells: Organizations like Water.org and charity: water are leading the charge in bringing fresh water to communities in the developing world.
- Conserve water: The average person uses 465 liters of water per day. Find out how much you use with this calculator. You can also see how much water it takes to make your favorite foods.
- Keep our Rivers and Oceans Clean with these tips