By Rachel Peck, Volunteer
April 22, 1970 marked the first Earth Day, which has been credited as the beginning of the modern American environmentalist movement and would eventually lead to an international movement. Today, on April 22, 2017, we will celebrate Earth Day by raising awareness about environmental issues in communities far from our own.
According to the Earth Day Network, this year’s campaign will focus on education and climate literacy. Their goal is to empower people through knowledge on climate issues, as well as broaden the concept of environmental issues, and the impact they have on developing communities.
According to UNWater, 1.8 billion people lack access to water that has not been contaminated and 663 million people don’t have access to clean water sources. One of the greatest issues is that 80% of all water, used by society is wasted and flows back into the ecosystem, without being treated or reused. That’s water from factories and water that has been contaminated with chemicals, or agricultural fertilizers.
According to the World Health Organization, 2 million deaths, each year, are contributed to unsafe water and hygiene practices. 90% of those deaths are children in developing countries. Contaminated water directly contributes to a loss in workforce, education and community growth. When a parent gets sick, due to a waterborne disease, they can’t work. When a child gets sick, they can’t attend school. This perpetuates an endless cycle of illness, loss of education, loss of income and, for many, ends in death. Focusing on providing clean water and environmental education, not just in our neighborhoods, but worldwide is one step forward.
Pure Water for the World (PWW) works to address these issues in communities in Haiti and Honduras. Through education, biosand filters and community engagement, PWW has changed the lives of thousands of people. Earth Day is more than raising awareness and setting goals for education. Earth Day is about realizing how our everyday actions can impact, not only our environment, but our communities, for generations. Water is medicine. Water can heal. Water creates futures. Water is life.
Join Pure Water for the World in celebrating Earth Day by raising awareness on issues surrounding waterborne illnesses and water scarcity. Today, and everyday, be aware of how much water you use. Be aware of how much water you waste and what that can mean, not just for the environment, but for the community. Shut the faucet off while you brush your teeth. Take shorter showers. Don’t waste your water. Use only what you need. Visit Pure Water for the World for more information on how you can change the current water crises for many.