For many of us, clean water is so plentiful and readily available that we rarely, if ever, pause to consider what life would be like without it. – Marcus Samuelsson
Today, March 22 is World Water Day, a day designated by the United Nations to bring attention of the importance of water. Today, 2.1 billion people live without safe drinking water affecting their health, wellbeing, education and livelihoods. Water is life and in my opinion access to safe water is a basic human right. Water is so critical to life and wellbeing that it was added by the UN as a Sustainable Development Goal (SDG 6) which commits the world to ensuring that everyone has access to safe water by 2030, and includes measures to protect the natural environment and reduce pollution.
In my work, I’ve had several opportunities to write about water and have recently witnessed firsthand the impact of bringing safe water to communities during a trip to Western Kenya last month with LifeStraw.
In light of this important day, I wanted to share with you a few shocking facts about the lack of safe water around the world, ways that single use plastic water bottles are threatening our planet and ideas on how you can help. Please feel free to share this post and help spread awareness of this critical issue.
Did you know….
World population impacted by unsafe water:
- Globally, 2.1 billion people lack access to safely managed drinking water services. By 2050, the world’s population will have grown by an estimated 2 billion people and global water demand could be up to 30% higher than today. (UNESCO-United Nations World Water Development Report 2018)
- Today, around 1.9 billion people live in potentially severely water-scarce areas. By 2050, this could increase to around 3 billion people.
- 2.5 million children miss school every day around the world due to waterborne illness
- 29 percent of the global population (2.1 billion people), and 42 percent of Sub-Saharan Africa, lack access to safe drinking water services. (UN)
In the US: The total U.S. population that has at some point been impacted by unsafe water:
- As many as 63 million people — nearly a fifth of the United States — from rural central California to the boroughs of New York City, were exposed to potentially unsafe water more than once during the past decade, according to a News21 investigation of 680,000 water quality and monitoring violations from the Environmental Protection Agency (USA Today).
The Problem with Plastic:
According to the Container Recycling Institute, 100.7 billion plastic beverage bottles were sold in the U.S. in 2014, or 315 bottles per person (Plastic Oceans).
The Economic Cost of Plastic:
Americans spend $16 billion on bottled water each year (Beverage Marketing Corp.).
The Enviormental Cost of Plastic:
Plastics are estimated to represent almost 80% of the total marine debris floating in the world’s oceans. On average, 46,000 pieces of plastic are swirling in each square mile of our oceans. Fish in the middle depths of the northern pacific ocean are ingesting as much as 24,000 tons of plastic each year. 267 species around the world are harmed by plastic. 86% of sea turtles, 44% of seabirds and 43% of ocean mammals ingest or become tangled in plastic. Every year, at least one million sea birds and 100,000 sharks, turtles, dolphins and whales die from eating plastic.
Want to make a difference? You can save the planet and also save lives by purchasing and using a LifeStraw.
You can save the environment by not buying single-use plastic water bottles and instead purchase and use one of LifeStraw’s amazing products. Each retail purchase of a LifeStraw product provides safe water for a child in need for one year. Imagine the impact!
The LifeStraw Go is an easy to use, highly effective and fast water purification system that can easily be packed inside a bag or suitcase. How does it work? Easy. Simply fill the container (available in plastic or stainless steel) with water from any source (untreated tap water, rivers, lakes and even toilet water works but is not recommended!) and you can instantly and safely enjoy drinking safe water by sipping it through the straw. The LifeStraw purifies 99.9% of harmful bacteria making untreated water safe to drink.
How does LifeStraw Give Back?
In 2014, LifeStraw launched the “Follow the Liters Program”. Under this program, a portion of the proceeds of consumer sales for any LifeStraw product anywhere in the world, goes toward the purchase of LifeStraw Community purifiers which are distributed to schools in developing communities. As a result, each consumer purchase provides one school child in a developing community with safe water for an entire school year.
This is a comprehensive program implemented by the company including training, education and follow-up. LifeStraw makes a minimum five-year commitment for every school they work with to ensure sustainability of the program. LifeStraw water filters and purifiers help prevent waterborne diseases in 64 countries around the world and as of the end of February, the campaign reached the 1 millionth school child. I was thrilled to be a part of this campaign!
Here are some photos from my trip to Kenya with LifeStraw. By the end of the week, we had reached our goal and it was a monumental feeling to know that now 1,015,652 kids at 1,621 schools now have safe water. Over 10,677 LifeStraw Communities are now out in the field and there are still many more schools waiting. Best of all, is the campaign is far from over.
Water is life.
To read more on my trip with LifeStraw, click here.
Want to learn more and get involved? Visit www.worldwaterday.org
From today until March 24th, you can receive a 25% discount off on your purchase of any LifeStraw product by entering this code: NMWWD25. Each purchase supports a child with safe water for a year!
To purchase, visit shop.lifestraw.com.