Archive for Water

10 Ways to Teach Youth about Water

1.        Do a Walk for Water

We planned ours with many stations:

2.       Chart Water use/ Compare internationally (see if you can limit water use to what a person does in Africa or rural Asia)

3.       Research Diseases from Dirty Water / Deaths caused by them

4.       Stories of People who Walk for Water

5.       Resources Online:

6.       Learn about Bottled Water


7.       Books

A Long Walk to Water by Linda Sue Park

I Walk for Water by Lindsey Andrews and Jerry Bennett 

8.       DVDs – Flow, Blue Gold, Tapped (all documentaries)

9.       Go where people don’t have clean water

Take a trip!…  at least virtually

10.   Stories of Youth Heroes

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The burden of knowing….

The burden of knowing....

It is hard to shop.
It is hard to learn about where things come from.

We haven’t had bananas in our home for a while because I haven’t been able to find fair wage bananas until recently in a tiny, organic farm store up the road from us. We haven’t had tomato products for quite a while until more stores have signed the Fair Wage act supporting abused immigrant tomato pickers in Florida. We’ve switched to fair trade coffee (that one was easy) and we’ve been vastly lacking in chocolate (though I’m impressed with Costco’s Kirkland Signature’s attempts in this area). BOOOOOOOO on all of it and so much, much more.

We just did a Walk for Water as a family. It was an event with my Women of Vision group, but it was a whole family affair. Though it mostly got rained out, all the education before didn’t. I knew this stuff, but it makes me mad again and again – the lies we’ve been told about bottled water. It is sick what it is doing to our world…polluting our environment and killing the poor by taking clean water from them. How dare we!….ALL that for water that is NOT cleaner than tap water.

The kids recently noticed that Fiji – the evilest of evils of all bottled water, was being sold at Trader Joe’s. We have written them a letter. Super sad on the bad call of Trader Joe’s on this one. Seems like such a justice issue to me – so gross and American to pay so much for water, when we already have it – only to take it away from a people in a country that don’t all have access to clean water.

Just sadness today with the complication of it all…and a letter to Trader Joe’s from me and letter’s from the kids.

No superman or supermom cape today. Just a silly pen and a prayer.

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Earth Day – Got Water?….or Got Waterbottle?

Water is the basis for life and thus community development.  We want to bless the world with education and health, but usually water must come first.  If you have education without water, you still spend all day getting water and can’t go to that school.  If you have a doctor and no clean water, you are getting sick over and over from the dirty water.  If you have good food and dirty water, the food doesn’t stay in you because you get so sick.  It is more essential than we can quite understand, since water is so accessible to us, everywhere.

Some humbling stats:

1.1 billion people in the world do not have access to safe   drinking water, roughly one-sixth of the world’s population.

2.2 million people in developing countries, most of them   children, die every year from diseases associated with lack   of access to safe drinking water, inadequate sanitation and poor hygiene.

• Some 6,000 children die every day from disease associated   with lack of access to safe drinking water, inadequate sanitation and poor hygiene   – equivalent to 20 jumbo jets crashing every day.

• 80 percent of diseases in the developing world are caused by contaminated water

Half of the world’s hospital beds are filled with people suffering  from water related illnesses.

Waterbottles – the purchase of indulgence:

  • $100 Billion dollars a year is spent on the bottled water a year worldwide
  • $15 Billion dollars a year is spent by the U.S. a year on bottled water
  • YET it would take only $10 Billion dollars a year to get clean water to everyone who doesn’t have it

You know Fiji water?  We ship in Fiji water (all the while polluting in order to ship it to us, while we have clean tap water) because a company (a buisness that wants to make money off of us) owns that water sournce in Fiji yet 55% of the people of Fiji don’t have access to clean water.  How sick is that? The company has started some community projects to “give back”….but I’m thinking the water should just be theirs?    

Why can’t I just give to water projects?  Well – that is a great start….and CRAZY important.  Sponsorship also covers those bases.  But here is the deal why I personally am trying to get bottled water totally out of my families’ lives.  Those who have the water, go where the money is.  Since they have seen that people buy bottled water, they are using their resources into where the money is, instead of keeping tap water safe.  There are many places in India and elsewhere that USED to be safe, but since bottled water became such a fad, they aren’t safe anymore.  The actual purchasing of bottled water is like voting.  We vote to say that we want the resources to go for bottled water instead of safe water everywhere to everyone.  The dumps are filling up with bottles (and even if they are recycled, the energy used to recycle the bottles is enormous and unnecessary).  The buzz is starting, but it isn’t loud: (these are INSIGHTFUL sites)   and .

Please share the story.  It is an Earth Day story, but more than that – it is a compassionate living story.  We care about both for the world thirsty for water and for God.  We care about it for the world we hand off to our children.  It is easy for me to say “Oh, I’ll just grab a bottled water somewhere today if I’m running late, instead of running back inside and grabbing a reusable water bottle in a whole 30 seconds more”, but in that action, I’m saying something about how I feel about the world.

Ways to engage our children:

1 – An excellent intro video to Water issues: (World Vision Water Video) – It is child appropriate and engaging ( There are other great solutions for disease control, like water filtration systems, but those doesn’t solve the problem of time used getting the water).

2 – Empower them with the story of another kid who changed the world of water:

3 – Offer our children muddy water for a meal- see how they respond, tell them this is what 1/6 of the world drinks, even though they know it makes them sick

4 – Use a large cooler and have children lift it to see how heavy water is that children their age have to carry long distances

Compare these stats visually for them:  The average American uses 176 gallons of water per day compared to 5 gallons of water the average African family uses each day

U.S is by far the biggest water users in the world:

5 – Do a water walk

6 – Limit the amount of water your household can use to an extremely small amount for a day – for all activities.  See how hard it is.

7 – Challenge your family to not buy waterbottles, unless they are ones you can use over and over.   (have your kids keep you accountable – they will!)

8 – Go off of all other drinks but water and use whatever money you’d use on other drinks and give to a water project.

The hope…that we might offer water for healthy life and true life:

” The Spirit and the Bride say, “Come.” And let the one who hears say, “Come.” And let the one who is thirsty come; let the one who desires take the water of life without price.”  Rev. 22:17

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