Water Water Everywhere? Will there be any to drink?
As Earth Day celebrates its 50th anniversary, we have to ask; has anything changed?
As I sit next to my kids today, their quarantine home-schooling assignments are all climate and environment focused, which is great! At least the upcoming generation will understand environmental responsibilities. My second grader is doing a project on bees, and my 4th grader is writing an opinion essay on single use plastic bags. Awareness is key, so these things are evidence of awesome progress!
There is also a lot of talk around climate change and pollution as we are all living with the current coronavirus pandemic. Now, as suddenly we cut down the amount of pollution in large cities globally, the fog and smog has literally lifted! In some cases, for the first time, people everywhere can see further across their skyline. Countries and companies are starting to review their carbon footprint with workers committing to working from home. This global lockdown has showed many people that it is possible to shrink our carbon footprints and possibly become carbon neutral by, in part, by taking measures to work from home.
At PUR2o we are passionate about the environment, and mostly water. Water contamination, water waste, and plastic waste are just three areas that our human footprint on the world impacts the environment, and our future. And also, one that we as a company can help address, by reducing the need for bottled water in a home, and for filtering contaminants out of the water as well.
When we celebrate the 100th anniversary of Earth Day in 2070 maybe we will be able to pair that celebration with a new celebration; marking an anniversary of humans also saving the Earth. That depends if we decide to actually get on with it?
So here are 10 facts about how our presence on this planet affects our precious water resources on Earth!
WARNING: These facts are not fake news, they are not pretty facts, they are real issues. Days like today can help raise awareness and will make you think twice about from where your food and water come.
1. Since plastic was invented in the 50’s, more than 8-billion tons of plastic have been produced (and almost all of that has also been thrown-out). 8-million tons of plastic get disposed of every year, that is the equivalent to 16-shopping bags of plastic for every meter of coastline in the world!!
2. It can take between 50 and 1-thousand years for plastic trash to degrade or decompose. A single use plastic water bottle can take approximately 450-years. That water bottle you sip from once for maybe 30 minutes?...will still be around when your 20th great grandchild is on the planet. Think about that!
3. 3% of the water on Earth is fresh water, and of that, only 30% is accessible for us to use for drinking. Meaning only 1% of the water on Earth is available for us to use. On top of that, we dump waste (contaminated water, waste water, and factory run off) into fresh water supplies, and this ends up in our ground water supply of drinking water, as well as in lakes, rivers and of course the ocean.
4. We don’t just use single use plastic bottles for water, we use them for many other types of beverages too, like soda and juice. More than 480-billion plastic bottles are produced and used every year globally. That is almost 1-million bottles every minute! They all end up eventually either in a landfill, or in rivers, lakes or the ocean. Less than 10% get recycled.
5. On average, the developed world wastes 25% of its groceries. If this includes single use bottled beverages as part of your grocery shopping, then around 120-billion bottles every year are discarded without being completely emptied. This means precious drinking water is “locked away” in plastic for around 450-years until the bottle degrades and the water can be absorbed back into the Earth. When water is so precious, we cannot afford to waste it, let alone lock it up in a plastic bottle in a landfill!
6. Did you know, that the most common drinking water contaminants include: sediment such as soil, sand or tiny rock particles, disinfection by-products such as chlorine and ammonia, Bacteria (from fecal waste.. cue the poop emoji right now…💩), man made industrial chemicals from factories like PFOA's (forever chemicals), pharmaceuticals mostly from sewage as we excrete pharmaceuticals or flush them down the toilet, as well as heavy metals, and radioactive particles. Let’s not forget all those bits of micro-plastics as well. The EPA monitors around 80-contaminants in our water.
7. Water pollution reportedly kills around 2-million people every year, from diseases such as cholera and typhoid. You may think these sound like names of illnesses you wouldn’t find in the US, but you’d be mistaken. Thousands of Americans get sick every year from a water borne illness called Legionnaires Disease which has a mortality rate of up to 30%. The crisis in Flint, MI, Newark, NJ and Parkersburg, WV are just a few other outbreaks of contaminants that popped-up on our radar because of media attention, but there are hundreds and thousands of health issues nationally that are cause for concern in regards to the contaminants in our water supplies.
8. We know that many of these contaminants can cause great harm to humans, but did you know that it also causes grave harm to all living things and comes back to us in our food chain through things like bio-accumulation and bio-magnification. Some traces of heavy metals can damage cell membranes in plants and affect the chlorophyll production, therefore, reducing the rate of photosynthesis and reproduction in plants. Water soluble dyes affect many living things and their ability to absorb sunlight in their cells leading to death. Pharmaceuticals in water increases aquatic creatures’ risk of endocrine problems reproductive issues, and cancer. Many of these animals or plants end up in our food chain, and these chemicals come back to us when we consume them.
9. 80% of the worlds waste water is dumped into rivers and lakes without being reused or having any treatment. Even though we do have certain treatment methods for our water, the US still releases more than 850-billion gallons of untreated waste water per year. Of course, this untreated wastewater runs into the ocean through the rivers, or seeps into the ground, sometimes becoming a ground water source for many populations. Half of all American rivers, streams and lakes are unfit for drinking, swimming and fishing because of pollution.
10. Will water run out? In his poem “First Things First” W.H. Arden said; “Thousands have lived without love, not one without water.” Water is a finite resource. It comes around and around again in a water cycle. That being said, the demand for fresh, useable water will increase 55% in the next 30-years, and already - as demand continues to increase - major aquifers are receding and many wells are running dry. So, no, we won’t ever run out of water“forever” but if we are not careful we will run out of water at certain moments in time, and we will have to wait for nature to replenish us. This would result in worldwide water shortages, and droughts. Mix that with climate change and a warming planet, it could be a recipe for disaster.
So, this Earth Day, make a pledge and #saynotoplastic. Get a water filter. Turn off a tap. Raise awareness within your community for water contamination. We must do it, and teach our children to do it, because there is no #PLANetB.
About PUR2o We are striving to provide as many people as possible with filtered, purified, naturally alkaline and ionized water for drinking and cooking straight from the tap, for three reasons. We care about the health of YOU, the health of our PLANET and the health of your POCKET!
THE HEALTH OF YOU Our goal is to provide as many people as possible with pure, crystal clear, safe & healthy water. PUR2o Alkaline water is shown to benefit: Overall health and energy, weight management, muscle stimulation, brain power, digestive system, mood, body temperature, youthfulness, complexion, lifespan, and boosting your immune system.
THE HEALTH OF OUR PLANET We are also committed to creating a greater awareness of how plastic and plastic bottles are polluting our planet and our bodies by providing the best water out of your tap, eliminating the amount of plastic we dispose of and how much water we consume out of plastic bottles.
THE HEALTH OF YOUR POCKET Aside from all the health benefits of Alkaline Water, you save a tremendous amount of money with our systems! Did you know?…. If you drink eight glasses of water each day, it will cost approximately $55 per year; vs $1,700 if you were to drink the same amount of bottled water instead. The PUR2o system pays for its self in only one year by one persons water consumption.