Today is the fourth annual Blog Action Day. Each year on 0ctober 15th, bloggers from all over the internet post about the same issue, to raise awareness and promote discussion. I have been subscribed to the e-mail newsletter for a few years now, but this is the first time I have been organised enough to participate.
The issue this year is water. As I’m sure most people reading this will know, over 70% of the Earth’s surface is covered in water, and that human bodies are at least 55% water. Water is absolutely essential for life. Not only do we use it for drinking, cooking, and cleaning, but massive quantities are used to produce some of the things we use in everyday life.
If we just think about our clothes, cotton requires an awful lot of water to grow – about 1,514 litres per t-shirt, and over 7000 for a pair of jeans. Meanwhile, freshwater supplies are decreasing. Nearly one billion people are without access to clean water. Clean water was declared a human right earlier this year by the United Nations General Assembly, but we still have a long way to go. Almost 38,000 children under the age of 5 die every week because they don’t have access to safe drinking water.
There are some small actions that you can take to conserve water, that I’m sure you will have heard about before. Buying new less often, turning off the tap whilst you brush your teeth, taking showers instead of baths when you can, collecting rain water to water plants rather than filling a can from the tap. There are numerous charities that work to build wells and install sanitation facilities for people in need, here is the Blog Action Day fundraising page, if you feel moved to donate. Improving access to water for people everywhere is a political issue, however. Please sign the petition for an International Water Treaty.
Statistics thanks to various links on the Blog Action Day homepage. If you would like to participate in Blog Action Day 2010, here is a list of suggested post ideas.