More people have access to a cell phone than to a toilet. Today, 2.5 billion people lack access to toilets. This means that sewage spills into rivers and streams, contaminating drinking water and causing disease. As hand-held mobile devises connected to the internet spread to cities, villages, remote communities around the world, we need to continue finding ways to use these tools to make a positive impact.
Here are a few ways you can use technology today to learn more and act for water conservation!
The first step in making change in your life, local community or world is to learn. I believe that one of the best things we can do every day to improve our own lives and the lives of those around is to learn as much as we can – listen, ask questions, absorb. Here is a great way to start learning and understanding our own water usage!
The H2O Conserve Water Footprint Calculator is an interactive tool designed to help you quantify how much water you use, find out how you use it and what you can do to conserve.
Try the water calculator – the questions are insightful and make you think, and the usage answer at the end may surprise you!
This past Sunday was October 10th, 2010 – also know as 101010, the Global Work Day for climate action supported by 350.org and others. You may have been part of the day of action by participating in an event in your local area. Whether you were, or weren’t, I’m hoping you’ll join with me for a few minutes to think, and reflect. Part of working in the social impact space means thinking about the big picture, the long-term goals, and the multi-year strategy. But it also means thinking about today. Here is a very small collection of some of my favorite pictures from Sunday’s event – all that include water. I hope you’ll pause at each one and think about the way water is changing the lives of those in the pictures and community around the world:
350 Rising Sea Level Campaign at Kuala Terengganu, Malaysia
350 action in Oman Dive Center
Find more pictures and stories from #101010 and 350.org – share with others to get them thinking, too – at: http://350.org
To actually improve our world, both fix the things that are broken as well as create new systems that aren’t, we need behavior change. Everyone working in the social impact sector thinks about change every day, but often we find opportunities that are too limited – either in objective or scope, or in scale and impact – to turn into behavior change. TapIt is a great example, though, of a successful approach: take a small action, the benefits are real and tangible, and soon your behavior has changed (and you have hopefully also encouraged others around you to do the same)!
Some people say its easy to go bottle-less: grab a glass from the kitchen cabinet and fill it from the tap. But what about when you’re away from your home or office? We’ve taken hundreds of local cafes and bound them together into a network that lets those who want water find those willing to provide it.
TapIt water bottle refilling network was founded in 2008 to give New Yorkers free access to clean sustainable water on the go. Café owners sign up as ‘partners’ to provide tap water to those who carry a reusable bottle. Partner locations are easy to find using our search and mapping features (PC or Smartphone) or by downloading ‘TapIt Water’ from the iPhone App store. For those with limited access to technology, printable city maps can be downloaded and stickers can be found on café windows.
But the TapIt network is not just about going bottle-less; less bottles, less recycling, less water privatization and extraction, it’s about understanding why those things are a problem and finding new and sustainable 21st century solutions.
Our small team is committed to making the TapIt network a reality across the U.S. But we need you, people who believe in our mission and are willing to use the TapIt network; people who believe in new types of businesses and that business and doing right go together; local business owners willing to make 21st century business decisions that increase foot traffic and sales while supporting their community’s sustainability goals.
Learn more about TapIt, get the app for your phone, and start today with a disposable-bottle-free lifestyle at: http://www.tapitwater.com/
What is Blog Action Day?
Blog Action Day is an annual event held every October 15 that unites the world’s bloggers in posting about the same issue on the same day with the aim of sparking a global discussion and driving collective action. This year’s topic is water.