More than a billion people all over the world, or one-sixth of the human population, do not have access to safe drinking water. In those areas, the lack of safe sanitization processes, combined with dangerous microbes in the water, causes 80 percent of diseases and kill more people annually than all forms of violence combined — that includes war. Children’s weaker immune systems make them especially vulnerable to deadly health problems like diarrhea and dysentery.
This global water crisis is also a huge contributing factor to varying levels of poverty in many countries. Water collection often requires travelling miles on foot to the nearest collection source, where the water may be unsafe to drink. The time it takes for women and children to complete the task of simply getting water from their families then takes away from their ability to get an education and rise above poverty.
How Is the World Combating Unsafe Water?
Thankfully, advances in water purification technology are allowing companies to bring clean water to massive numbers of people all over the world. The systems’ processes range from desalination to the creation of chlorine to other efficient ways of killing deadly microbes and purifying water.
MECO, a world leader in water purification technology for decades, supplied three vapor compression desalination plants for installation at an LNG facility accommodation camp in Qatar. As a result, more than 6,000 people in the village of Ras Laffan received 720,000 gallons of fresh drinking water each day.
There are a great number of benefits associated with integrating desalination plants into water supply networks. It’s an efficient way to meet the need for efficient water management, including flood mitigation and water storage in places all over the world, according to a 2016 study that examined how desalination plants could create environmental and economic benefits for the world’s cities.
The researchers focused on Warragamba Dam, which is Sydney, Australia’s main water reservoir. The dam shows existing infrastructure and technology can generate renewable energy, which can go right into these city systems without having to also designate additional mitigation measures such as purchasing building new dams.
Cheaper, Sturdier Water Purification Systems
Global Samaritan Resources, which has provided millions of dollars of humanitarian aid, water purification and disaster relief since 1999, has a different way to get clean drinking water to cities and villages in need. The 501(c)3 Texas Corporation partnered with New Life International to bring much-needed water purification systems to people all over the world. Their purification system chlorinates water using table salt and DC voltage, a process that results in pure drinking water.
The New Life International Water Purifier is a simple and cost-effective purification system that’s also constructed to withstand harsh environmental conditions. The water purifier uses a battery or AC with transformer in addition to table salt, which creates bacteria-killing chlorine in the water.
Depending on the initial quality of the water and the size of the purifying unit being used, this system can treat up to 55 gallons per minute. While each kit can provide millions of gallons of clean and fresh drinking water, it only costs about $3,000, making the system an incredibly cost-effective means of getting lots of safe water to people in need.
Another system uses filters and ultra-violet light to purify water. Global Water Group Inc. provides easily transported equipment that purifies water from available sources such as rivers, lakes, wells and more. Its basic system includes three elements: multiple parasite filters, a multi-media pod used for removal of hazardous chemicals, and a UV lamp to kill bacteria and viruses. Each unit can process 10 gallons of water per minute.
Experiencing the Benefits of Clean Water
These systems are just a few ways non-profits and huge companies alike are tackling the issue of unsafe water that threatens the lives of more than one billion people. As these systems become the norm in villages and cities all over the world, families can focus on other priorities. In many countries, new generations of children will no longer have to assist with water collection, allowing them to focus on their education rather than travelling for water.
When finding safe, fresh drinking water is no longer a problem, the ability for developing countries to move out of poverty can be closer on the horizon.
Bobbi Peterson loves writing and regularly posts on her blog Living Life Green. She’s also a freelance writer, green living advocate and environmentalist. You can find more from Bobbi on Twitter.
Want to Connect With Nature? Start by Disconnecting From Busyness
Have you ever found yourself staring at one of your (many) devices and feeling slightly disgusted with how much time you waste on technology? If so, you aren’t alone. We all have moments like these and it’s important that we use them as motivation to change – especially if we want to be more connected with nature.
How Busyness Impacts Your Connection With Nature
Whether you realize it or not, you live an ultra connected life. Between smart phones, tablets, computers, and wearable devices, you’re never very far from some sort of technology that can connect you to the internet or put you in touch with other people. That’s just the world we live in.
While it could be argued that this sort of omnipresent connectivity is a positive thing, it’s also pretty clear that being permanently tethered to technology impacts our ability to strip away distractions and connect with nature.
When you’re always within arm’s reach of a device, you feel a sense of busyness. Whether it’s browsing your social media feed, uploading a picture, reading the news, or responding to an email, there’s always something to do. As someone who wants to spend more time in nature, this is problematic.
4 Practical Ways to Disconnect
If you want to truly connect with nature and live a greener lifestyle, you have to be proactive about finding ways to disconnect. Here are a few practical suggestions:
1. Switch to a New Phone Plan
It’s not always practical to totally unplug from the world. Family and work responsibilities mean you can’t go off the grid and continue to fulfill your responsibilities. Having said that, there are some ways to scale back.
One suggestion is to switch to a prepaid phone plan. When you have a prepaid phone plan, you’re far less likely to spend hours and hours of your time making phone calls, sending texts, and surfing the web. It forces you to be more conscious of what you’re doing.
2. Get Rid of Social Media
Social media is one of the biggest time wasters for most people. Whether you realize it or not, it’s also a huge stressor. You’re constantly being exposed to the best snapshots of everyone else’s lives, which makes you feel like you’re missing out on something (even when you aren’t).
If you want to feel a sense of relief and free yourself up to spend more time in nature, get rid of social media. Don’t just delete the apps off your phone – actually disable your accounts. It’s a bold, yet necessary step.
3. Create Quiet Hours
If you aren’t able to get rid of social media and disable various online accounts, the next best thing you can do is establish quiet hours each day where you totally detach from technology. You should do this for a minimum of three hours per day for best results.
4. Build Community
Do you know why we’re drawn to social media and our devices? Whether consciously or subconsciously, it’s because we all want to be connected to other people. But do you know what’s better than connecting with people online? Connecting with them in person.
As you build real life, person-to-person relationships, you’ll feel less of a need to constantly have your eyes glued to a screen. Connect with other people who have an appreciation for nature and bond over your mutual interests.
Untether Your Life
If you find yourself constantly connected to a device, then this is probably a clear indicator that you aren’t living your best life. You certainly aren’t enjoying any sort of meaningful connection with nature. Now’s as good a time as any to untether your life and explore what a world free from cords, screens, and batteries is really like.
6 Tips for an Eco-Friendly Move
Moving can be a stressful and challenging time. No matter how many times you’ve done it in the past, the process of packing up, transporting, and unpacking isn’t very fun. It’s also not very eco-friendly. As you prepare for your next move, there are things you can do to ensure you leave less of a footprint behind.
6 Tips for a Greener Move
Because of the stress and pressure felt when moving, it’s pretty common for people to rush through the process and focus on getting it done. In fact, a lot of people take an “at all costs” approach; they’ll do whatever it takes to make the process as cheap and fast as possible. Don’t be one of those people. It doesn’t take much effort to turn a standard move into an eco-friendly move.
1. Maximize Each Trip
When moving across town, it’s imperative that you make as few trips as possible. Each trip requires more gas, more emissions, and more waste, and more time.
If you’re taking your personal vehicle, consider pulling a trailer behind it. You’d be surprised how much stuff you can fit into a small trailer. Not only will it make your move greener, but it’ll also save you a lot of time.
2. Donate Things You Don’t Want to Keep
The longer you live somewhere, the more junk you accumulate. This isn’t always obvious until you start packing for a big move. Instead of bringing all of these things with you to your next home, get rid of the stuff you don’t need! If the items are useful, donate them. If the items don’t have much value, toss them.
3. Reuse Moving Boxes
Not only are moving boxes expensive, but they’re also wasteful. If you need a bunch of cardboard boxes, consider looking around on Craigslist, asking friends, or checking the dumpsters behind stores. You can usually find a bunch of recycled boxes of all different shapes and sizes. Here are 12 places you can get them for free.
4. Get Creative With Packing
Who says you need moving boxes? You may find that it’s possible to do most of your move without all that cardboard. Things like storage containers, trashcans, filing cabinets, buckets, and dressers can all store items. Blankets and sheets can be used in lieu of bubble wrap to prevent your items from getting damaged.
5. Use Green Cleaning Supplies
Once you arrive at your new place, resist the urge to pull out a bunch of harsh chemicals to clean the place. You can do yourself (and the planet) a favor by using green cleaning supplies instead. Ingredients like vinegar, baking soda, and ammonia are great to start with.
6. Forward Your Mail ASAP
Don’t delay in forwarding your mail from your previous address to your new one. Not only is it wasteful for the Postal Service to route your mail to a place where you don’t live, but the next owner is probably just going to toss your letters in the trash.
Moving Doesn’t Have to be Wasteful
Most people only move once every few years. Some people will go a decade or more without a move. As a result, the process of moving often feels strange and new. The less experience you have with it, the less likely it is that you’ll be as efficient as you should. But instead of just diving into the process blind, take some time to learn about what an eco-friendly move looks like. That way, you can leave behind the smallest footprint possible.
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