This is my third year participating in Blog Action Day (BAD). If you aren’t familiar with it, more than 4,225 blogs (including the White House blog) representing over 131 different countries are registered to participate in this one day event. Bloggers vote on a topic of world interest and agree to write a post about it today (October 15, 2010) to heighten awareness. In the past, topics have included poverty and climate change.
And based upon the title of this post, you’ve realized this year’s topic is water. This is a subject very near and dear to my heart. You might think because I live in a peninsula, my city is nicknamed the “Venice of America” and my house is on the edge of the Everglades, that water is in abundance. Au contraire.
South Florida faces severe water shortages. We operate with year-round watering restrictions. Haven’t reached California proportions yet…but if we keep abusing our clean water supply, it’s only a matter of time.
But that’s not the point of my post. One of the things Change.org, who organizes Blog Action Day, shares with the bloggers who participate are statistics and facts about the topic. For example, this is one of the facts they sent:
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.
OMG! I immediately flashed back to my days planning conferences and the heated discussions we would have about attendees wanting bottled water. Any time the conversation steered toward setting up water stations and attendees could get water at the stations, … the push-back was incredible.
Here’s another statistic from Change.org:
The average American uses 159 gallons of water every day – more than 15 times the average person in the developing world.
If we could do one little thing to positively change the water situation in this world, it’s get rid of bottled water at conferences. Let’s make the commitment to actually use all of those water bottles the vendors give us as swag and not complain that we have to go to a water station for refills. Chances are, it will save the event a lot of money – which could be donated to The Water Project or Water.org. We could really make a difference! And, just think of all the water bottles that won’t end up in landfills too.
So join me and take action. Next time you have to fill out a conference evaluation…raise the water awareness issue with your meeting planners.0