Blog Action Day – Water

Today is Blog Action Day, when blogs around the world post on a common topic on the same day. I’ve participated in Blog Action Day since its inception in 2007. Past topics have been the environment, poverty, and climate change.|Start Petition

This year, the topic is water. Hoo boy… That’s a hard one to tie into candy. Water is a great palate cleanser for chocolate tasting?

On a more serious note, nearly a billion people in the world don’t have access to clean drinking water. In many nations, women risk being beaten and raped as they journey miles and miles to fetch water for their families. Every week, tens of thousands of children die from drinking unsafe water. All this, in a world where money is spent on pretending that ostriches can skydive?

So what can you do? The Blog Action Day website has links to charities that you can donate to. I highly recommend that you read the book The Big Necessity by Rose George. It’s a serious look at the linked problems of poor sanitation and contaminated drinking water, and it will really change the way that you think about the world. And poop. Slate’s got some excerpts online.

And finally, with regards to an issue that I take personally – stop buying bottled water! If you live in the U.S. or many other Westernized nations, tap water is perfectly safe to drink. And if the idea of tap water gives you the ookies, filters are cheap and easy to use. 17 million barrels of oil are needed to produce the plastic water bottles that the U.S. goes through each year. 86% of those bottles will never get recycled, and even recycling isn’t as good as never using in the first place!

Check out the Story of Stuff for a compelling look at the silliness of bottled water. If you haven’t already, please invest in a reusable bottle; I’ve relied on my Intak for years.

Okay – I’m climbing off my soapbox now, and bringing it back to candy: leave a comment with a neat water fact by next Friday, October 22, midnight EST. I’ll choose my favorite commenter and mail him or her a bunch of Sour Patch Kids. Because I’ve got a lot of Sour Patch Kids lying around, and because they can um… remind you of the sour life that kids around the world lead… because they don’t have access to clean water… or something…

Only U.S. readers are eligible to win because international shipping is expensive, but all are welcome to comment!