The good folks at Change.org have once again organized a collective effort, Blog Action Day 2010. The topic this year is Water. We also will be participating on October 15th. This is a great effort that uses the power of new media to bring awareness and drive action. Congrats to Change.org for once again leading the effort and for everyone writing and reading a blog on the 15th.
To get you thinking about the issue of Water, please read the following from Change.org:
We wanted to send out five facts that illustrate the severity of the global water problem, and why we think Blog Action Day 2010 is such an important opportunity to raise awareness about the issue:
- Unsafe drinking water and lack of sanitation kills more people every year than all forms of violence, including war. Unclean drinking water can incubate some pretty scary diseases, like E. coli, salmonella, cholera and hepatitis A. Given that bouquet of bacteria, it’s no surprise that water, or rather lack thereof, causes 42,000 deaths each week.
- 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.
- Every day, women and children in Africa walk a combined total of 109 million hours to get water. They do this while carrying cisterns weighing around 40 pounds when filled in order to gather water that, in many cases, is still polluted. Aside from putting a great deal of strain on their bodies, walking such long distances keeps children out of school and women away from other endeavors that can help improve the quality of life in their communities.
- It takes 6.3 gallons of water to produce just one hamburger. That 6.3 gallons covers everything from watering the wheat for the bun and providing water for the cow to cooking the patty and baking the bun. And that’s just one meal! It would take over 184 billion gallons of water to make just one hamburger for every person in the United States.
- The average American uses 159 gallons of water every day – more than 15 times the average person in the developing world. From showering and washing our hands to watering our lawns and washing our cars, Americans use a lot of water. To put things into perspective, the average five-minute shower will use about 10 gallons of water. Now imagine using that same amount to bathe, wash your clothes, cook your meals and quench your thirst.
While these facts may be grim, there is hope for real solutions as more and more people around the world are waking up to the clean water crisis. Earlier this year, the UN declared access to clean water a human right and groups like charity: water and Water.org continue to work tirelessly to bring water access to the developing world.
Participation before and on Oct. 15
You can help spread the word three ways:
- Send an email to friends: At the end of this email, we’ve included a sample letter you can send out to your blogging friends and family members letting them know about Blog Action Day.
- Post to a blogger forum or listserv: If you’re part of a blogging community, listserv or forum with lots of bloggers, you can use the same information below to encourage everyone to participate.
- Write an early blog post: In addition to posting on Blog Action Day this Friday, consider writing an announcement post earlier in the week letting the readers of your blog know about Blog Action Day. Many of your readers are likely to have their own blogs, and this will give them time to register before the big day.