Fri, 31 Oct 2014 7:57am -06:00stMDT Fillanthropy's Blog en-us 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 22 23 24 The time to make a difference is always.... NOW. After a 10-day&nbsp;blogging hiatus due to the unprecedented amount of term papers and projects (Oh,&nbsp;senior year!) I am finally back. Just in time for my Earth day weekend blog.<br><br>Here it goes….<br><br>According to&nbsp;<a href="">Bloomberg</a>, Nestle, one of the largest bottled water manufacturers in Europe and&nbsp;North America has shown sluggish sales for the 6th consecutive year.<br><br>The reason?<br><br>Informed&nbsp;consumers.<br><br>Fueled by weak&nbsp;economy and widespread anti bottled water campaigns, more consumers are opting&nbsp;for the more cost-effective and virtually safer option - tap water.<br><br>Deborah Aitken,&nbsp;Bloomberg industry analyst explained in the <a href="">news report</a>,&nbsp; “Nestle is focusing more on value bottled water in&nbsp;developed markets, but the alternative for cash-strapped consumers across parts&nbsp;of western and southern Europe is tap water and there’s no getting away from&nbsp;this.”<p class="MsoNormal">In an effort to&nbsp;counter consumer dissatisfaction about bottled water issues and widespread pro&nbsp;tap water campaigns, Bottled water manufacturers are fighting real hard to&nbsp;maintain economic stability. The International Bottled Water Association (IBWA)&nbsp;has launched a campaign against anti bottled water movement.</p>IBWA audaciously&nbsp;framed the <a href=";feature=player_embedded">video campaign </a>as “freedom of choice issue.” According to <a href="">Chris&nbsp;Hogan</a>, IBWA’s head of communications, “restriction of bottled water&nbsp;removes the students’ freedom to choose packaged water and according to IBWA&nbsp;representative, that ‘is a serious issue.’”<br><br>Hogan claimed colleges and universities that restrict&nbsp;packaged water on campus are not providing students adequate options or the “right&nbsp;to choose” bottled water over tap.<br><br>I don’t know about you, but it seems as&nbsp;though Mr. Hogan’s bold statement about “freedom to choose” is a somewhat&nbsp;disparaging to informed and knowledgeable consumers.<br><br>I mean, just think about for a moment...<br><br>Why would an EDUCATED,&nbsp;CONSIDERATE, and ENVIRONMENTAL-CONSCIOUS consumer opt to purchase bottled water&nbsp;that contains <a href="">Bisphenol A (BPA)</a>, a packaged beverage that’s not essentially&nbsp;cleaner or safer than tap water and most notably, it costs 1000 times more than&nbsp;tap water?<br><br>Does he think college students are not capable of making a purchasing decision that promotes sustainability as oppose to consumerism?&nbsp;<br>How insulting…<br><br>Mr. Hogan also stated that bottled water is “one of&nbsp;the healthiest beverages available in vending machines,” Therefore banning this&nbsp;packaged beverage is a major “step back” against &nbsp;“the growing rates of obesity and diabetes in&nbsp;the U.S.”<br><br>Oddly enough, these bottled water companies such&nbsp;Nestle, Coca-Cola and Pepsi that Mr. Hogan is actively supporting are the very same companies that are manufacturing the sugary, carbonated sodas.<br><br>Dichotomy?<br><br>I sure think so…<br><br>Tomorrow is Earth day. Let’s pay tribute to our environment&nbsp;and prove to Mr. Hogan wrong. <a href="">Pledge </a>to stop buying bottled water. The time to&nbsp;make a difference is always… NOW.&nbsp;<br><br><br><br><br /> <br><br><br><br /> Right here... Right now... With spring season in full swing and Earth Day (Apr.22) just&nbsp;right around the corner, there’s never been a better time to revive or perhaps even&nbsp;initiate a commitment to a sustainable lifestyle.<br><br><div>We can all start by assessing our “water footprint.”&nbsp;<br><div><br><a href="">Water Footprint Network</a> defined water footprint as “the&nbsp;total volume of water that is used to produce goods and services for every&nbsp;consumer.”<br><br>&nbsp;Although minimizing consumption of direct water such washing, showering and laundry can significantly reduce one’s water footprint,&nbsp;it’s important to acknowledge that indirect use of water accounts for a large&nbsp;portion of every consumer’s water footprint.<br><br>Indirect water footprint is attributed to the total amount&nbsp;of water consumed in order to produce consumer goods and products such as clothing,&nbsp;food, paper, and bottled drinks.<br>Water Footprint: Why should I care?<br><br>It’s simple.<br><br>Only one percent of the world’s water is considered&nbsp;drinkable yet, we are consuming water directly and indirectly beyond&nbsp;sustainable levels. Meanwhile, 883 million people around the world suffer each&nbsp;day due to water scarcity.<br><br>As global citizens, it is with utmost importance to&nbsp;understand the impact of our water consumption.&nbsp;</div><div>We have a high moral obligation&nbsp;to take care and consume our limited natural resources ethically and&nbsp;responsibly.<br><br></div><div><a href="">Water Footprint Network</a>&nbsp;suggested numerous&nbsp;ways to minimize your (direct and indirect) water footprint:<br><br /> <br></div><div>Minimize water consumption&nbsp;at home<br><ul><li>Turn off the tap water&nbsp;while you’re brushing your teeth</li><li>Take shorter showers</li><li>Use less water in the garden</li><li>Use water-saving</li><li>dishwasher, toilet flush system and showerheads</li><li>Use products that do not&nbsp;require high water consumption to produce. For example, drink tap water or use reusable water bottle instead of buying plastic bottled water.</li></ul></div><div>While we have been extremely fortunate to experience notable&nbsp;wealth and prosperity in this country, it is of greatest importance to&nbsp;<b>prioritize ethics and social responsibility</b>.<br><br>Our <b><font class="Apple-style-span" color="#000099">duty</font></b> to protect the environment is paramount.<br><br><b>It starts now…<br><br>It starts right here…<br><br>It starts with <font class="Apple-style-span" color="#000099">you</font>.</b><br><br><a href="">Pledge</a> to stop purchasing bottled water and reduce water&nbsp;footprint.<br><br><br /> <br><br /> </div></div> Not so healthy, not so clean, not so pure As I wait to receive my Google alerts about what’s trending&nbsp;in the world of water, I was certain my alerts would be filled with updates&nbsp;regarding World Water Week and other sustainability efforts that have occurred&nbsp;during the week.<br><br><div>However, to my surprise, my e-mail update was filled with&nbsp;news and blogs regarding bottled water recall in Dubai due to contamination.</div><div><br></div><div>Oddly enough, the product recall happened on Thursday, Mar.&nbsp;22, 2012 – <b>World Water Day</b>.</div><div><p class="MsoNormal"></p>The&nbsp;cause of contamination?<br><br></div><div>“The&nbsp;water was found to contain excessive amounts of bromate, a chemical formed&nbsp;during disinfection of water,” <a href="">reported</a> Shafaat Shahbandari of “Bromate in&nbsp;drinking water is undesirable because it is a suspected human carcinogen.Substances and exposures that are directly responsible to cause cancer.”<br><br></div><div>Soon&nbsp;after the recall was announced, one of Dubai’s leading water manufacturers immediately&nbsp;issued a statement to reassure the public that their product is safe to consume&nbsp;even though there was uncertainty if all tainted bottled water have been&nbsp;completely withdrawn.<br><br>Contrary to what manufacturers, advertisers or marketers&nbsp;claim. Bottled water is <font class="Apple-style-span" color="#ff0000">not</font> so <font class="Apple-style-span" color="#ff0000">healthy</font>, <font class="Apple-style-span" color="#ff0000">clean </font>or <font class="Apple-style-span" color="#ff0000">pure</font> after all.<p class="MsoNormal"></p><br>After reading the news report, I pondered for a moment…<br><p class="MsoNormal"></p>Developed nations such as United States, Canada and United&nbsp;Arab Emirates are so driven by consumerism and overconsumption. Our global&nbsp;society have managed to turn a very essential component of life into a&nbsp;commodity while 1/8 of the world’s population continuously suffer each day to&nbsp;due to lack of access to clean water.<p class="MsoNormal"></p>Ask yourself.</div><div><br></div><div>&nbsp;Is it really necessary to purchase bottled&nbsp;water when our country has access to one of the cleanest, safest water systems&nbsp;in the world?<p class="MsoNormal"></p>Isn’t time we put our own share of work?<br><p class="MsoNormal"></p><b>Commit to make a difference. <a href="">Pledge</a> to stop buying bottled&nbsp;water.&nbsp;</b><p class="MsoNormal"></p><br><br /> <br><br /> </div> Drop the freakin' bottle! <b>You wanna hear about the ultimate global economic idiocy and paradox?</b><br><br><div>Here you go...<br><br></div><div>Bloomberg reported that 9 billion gallons of bottled water were sold in America last year. Yet, 883 million people around the world scavenge each day to gain access to a very basic necessity - <b>WATER</b>.</div><div><br></div><div>I can't speak for everyone but I strongly believe that <b>access to water is a basic human right.</b> But here we are, spending millions of dollars supporting a product that's not essentially cleaner or safer than tap water. A product that harms the environment and contributes to the global oil crisis. Oh, and before I forget, it also costs almost 2000 times the price of tap water.</div><div><br></div><div>So please, &nbsp;drop the excuses...</div><div><br></div><div>It's time to let go of the bottle. Eliminate the demand for this unsustainable industry. Pledge to stop buying bottled water.&nbsp;</div> Love, Humanity and Sustainability We live in the world filled with chaos and madness. Yet, it's so fascinating to see that people can still come together through love and generosity.&nbsp;<br><br>We all have the power to make a difference. Start here. Eliminate the demand for bottled water. Pledge to stop purchasing &nbsp;bottled water.&nbsp;<br> World Water Week World Water Week is finally here! During this week, Fillanthropy will serve as an additional blog space for this important cause in order to extend sustainability and environmental awareness.&nbsp;<br><br>I will post various links and videos to help spread the word regarding the ongoing global water crisis.&nbsp;<br><br>To start off the week, I posted a very informative short video created by <a href="">illustrated-ideas</a> for the Water Day Film Festival.&nbsp;<br><br>Support World Water Day and let your voice be heard.<br><br><iframe width="480" height="360" src="" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen=""></iframe> Stretch your dollar Mar. 22, 2012 is&nbsp;a special day for Fillanthropy. It’s <a href="">World Water Day</a>. This day marks an&nbsp;important day for water sustainability efforts to further emphasize the&nbsp;increasing problem of water scarcity and pollution around the world.<br><br>While you make think this&nbsp;day is solely dedicated for environmental activists and people who are directly&nbsp;affected by the water crisis, there are simple ways you can do to help make a&nbsp;difference.<br><br>For example, The United&nbsp;Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF) initiated a water sustainability campaign&nbsp;called <i style="mso-bidi-font-style:normal"><a href="">Tap Project</a></i>. During World&nbsp;Water Week (Mar. 15 -25), patrons of participating restaurants can opt to&nbsp;donate $1 or more for their tap water that they usually receive for free. This&nbsp;monetary donation would be allocated to fund UNICEF’s efforts to provide access&nbsp;to clean water for millions of children around the world.<p class="MsoNormal">&nbsp;After further research, I&nbsp;found several participating restaurants around the area including <a href="">Hugo’s</a>&nbsp;<a href="">Restaurant</a> in Agoura Hills, <a href="">Zzyzx Cafe</a> in Camarillo and <a href="">Nico’s Café</a> in Oak&nbsp;Park, Calif.</p>&nbsp;In honor of World Water Day, you can dine in&nbsp;at any of these participating restaurants, donate $1 and help UNICEF provide&nbsp;clean water for kids around the world. Your $1 can provide access to safe water&nbsp;for 40 children across the globe.<br><br>Access to safe water is a&nbsp;basic human right and yet millions of people suffer each day due to water shortage.&nbsp;Now is the time to make a difference. Drink water… Give water…<br><iframe width="500" height="284" src="" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen=""></iframe><br><br><br><br><br><br><br /> Absolute Dominion, Absolutely Wrong! In my quest to expand my knowledge about the&nbsp;bottled water industry, I decided to watch the documentary film, <a href=""><i>Tapped</i></a>. While&nbsp;I had a substantial idea of the negative impact of water privatization, I was&nbsp;extremely dismayed when I found out about this little rule called “Absolute&nbsp;Dominion”.&nbsp; The Water System Council explained&nbsp;that under Absolute Dominion&nbsp; “a&nbsp;landowner is allowed to intercept ground water that&nbsp;would otherwise have been available to a neigh- boring water user and even to&nbsp;monopolize the yield of an aquifer without incurring liability.” Basically,&nbsp;according to this rule, any person or entity with the largest water pump can&nbsp;secure the largest amount of water regardless of the environmental or social&nbsp;impact without any legal liability.&nbsp; As a&nbsp;result, large bottled water manufacturers such as Nestle, Coke and Pepsi are&nbsp;continuously capitalizing on this flawed water rule which yields countless&nbsp;negative effects in the environment and within the local communities. This law&nbsp;allows corporations to exploit our natural resources without any regards for&nbsp;the dire consequences of their actions.<br><br>There are eight states that have&nbsp;adapted this rule including Connecticut, Indiana, Louisiana, Maine,&nbsp;Massachusetts, Mississippi, Rhode Island and Texas.&nbsp; Local communities are struggling to fight&nbsp;these big corporations to stop them from depleting their water resources&nbsp;without any legal repercussions. &nbsp;In&nbsp;addition to exhaustive water usage, these large corporations are selling&nbsp;bottled water (which should essentially be free) for large amount of profit.&nbsp;So the next time you reach for that&nbsp;bottled water, stop and think about the real impact you have on these&nbsp;companies’ ability to profit.<br><br><br><br><br /> The ideal water bottle While I was diligently browsing through web pages of H2O&nbsp;information (in preparation for my next blog post), I stumbled upon an article&nbsp;from Recreational Equipment Inc. (REI) that provided in-depth information about&nbsp;various types of water containers that are currently available in market.<br><br>With several <a href="">water filling stations</a> installed on campus,&nbsp;I&nbsp;think it’s only fitting to feature an expert advice report on “<a href="">How to Choose a&nbsp;Water Bottle</a>”<br><br>While you may think purchasing one or two bottles of water a&nbsp;day does not have any substantial impact on the environment bear in mind that&nbsp;numerous studies and research have shown that less than half of the plastic&nbsp;bottles consumed every year gets recycled. This means that more than half of&nbsp;these bottles will end up in the landfills.<br><br><b>We can all make a difference: one reusable bottle at a time.</b><br><br><br /> Rage against the bottle. After Grand&nbsp;Canyon decided to <a href="">ban sales of bottled water </a>at the national park, the battle&nbsp;against bottled water rages on. College campuses across the country including&nbsp;University of Vermont and Loyola Phoenix strive to ban bottle water sale on&nbsp;campus.&nbsp;Student&nbsp;activists and non-profit campaigns like <a href="">Ban the Bottle</a> are gaining strong&nbsp;momentum and awareness through student government and campus support. &nbsp;In an <a href="">article</a> written by Rob Gilmore, Julia Poirier,&nbsp;chairperson of Loyola Phoenix Unified Student Government Association’s Justice&nbsp;Committee (USGA) stated, “the administration loves working with the students&nbsp;and they’ll do anything if they know we’re in support of it.”<br>Campaigns against bottled water not only promote campus sustainability but&nbsp;also help students come together to promote awareness and achieve a common goal.“It really just comes down to the students having another opportunity to share&nbsp;their voice,” said Poirer. “It’s really making them more interactive with USGA&nbsp;and more interactive as a whole campus-wide movement.”<br><br>Can CLU make an&nbsp;environmental difference?<br>We can make this&nbsp;happen. In 2007, a group of students under the guidance of Dr. Jean Sandlin&nbsp;launched Fillanthrophy, a sustainability program focused on utilizing reusable&nbsp;water container to counter the adverse effects of plastic bottles to our&nbsp;environment.<br><br>It's a tremendous undertaking but we can start now. Support campus sustainability through Fillanthrophy.<br><br>Re-fill with&nbsp;ease…one reusable bottle at a time.<br><br /> <br><br /> Twitter time! <p style="font-family: Museo-300; font-size: 13px; ">New update! Fillanthrophy has officially joined the Twitter revolution. It's time to show some love and support: follow CLUFillanthrophy on Twitter!</p><p style="font-family: Museo-300; font-size: 13px; "></p><p></p><p><iframe allowtransparency="true" frameborder="0" scrolling="no" src=";id=twitter-widget-0&amp;lang=en&amp;screen_name=CLUFillanthropy&amp;show_count=false&amp;show_screen_name=true&amp;size=l" class="twitter-follow-button" style="width: 194px; height: 28px; " title="Twitter Follow Button"></iframe></p><p><script id="twitter-wjs" src="//"></script><script>!function(d,s,id){var js,fjs=d.getElementsByTagName(s)[0];if(!d.getElementById(id)){js=d.createElement(s);;js.src="//";fjs.parentNode.insertBefore(js,fjs);}}(document,"script","twitter-wjs");</script></p><p></p><p><b><i>"The future will be green, or not at all. This truth lies at the heart of humankind's most pressing challenge: to learn to live in harmony with the Earth on a genuinely sustainable basis."</i></b></p><p><i><b>~Sir Jonathon Porritt</b></i></p><i><br></i><p></p><p style="font-family: Museo-300; font-size: 13px; "><br></p><p style="font-family: Museo-300; font-size: 13px; "><br></p> Tap or Bottled? Do&nbsp;you prefer to drink bottled water or tap water?<br><br>Chances&nbsp;are you would opt for the former.<br><br>I&nbsp;can’t blame you.<br><br>Bottled&nbsp;water advertisers and marketers are continuously promoting their products as&nbsp;the safest and healthiest beverage in the market. But, have you ever wondered&nbsp;where the “purified” water really comes from?<br><b style="line-height: 20px; ">Bottled water is safe</b>&nbsp;<b style="mso-bidi-font-weight:br /br /br /br /br /br /br /br /br /br /<br /> normal">water… not exactly.</b>According&nbsp;to researchers of Natural Resources Defense Council (NRDC), “no one should assume that just because he or she&nbsp;purchases water in a bottle that it is necessarily any better regulated, purer,&nbsp;or safer than most tap water.” NRDC conducted a four-year assessment of the&nbsp;Food and Drug Administration’s (FDA) policies and standards with bottled water&nbsp;manufacturers compared to the Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) rules&nbsp;over tap water. Based on NRDC’s findings, the FDA’s water regulations are less&nbsp;stringent and more lenient compared to EPA’s rules. For example, NRDC reported,&nbsp;“any violation of tap-water standards is grounds for enforcement -- but bottled&nbsp;water in violation of standards can still be sold if it is labeled as ‘containing&nbsp;excessive chemicals’ or ‘excessive bacteria’ (unless FDA finds it&nbsp;‘adulterated’, a term not specifically defined).” Dismayed yet?You can access EPA's website if you're interested to find out the <a href="">quality of tap water</a> in your area.<br><b style="mso-bidi-font-weight:br /br /br /br /br /br /br /br /br /br /<br /> normal"><br></b><b>Bottled water</b>&nbsp;<b>is convenient water… certainly not.&nbsp;</b>While purchasing water that’s readily available and can be&nbsp;easily disposed is reasonably convenient than hauling around a water container&nbsp;all day, it is important to remember that improper disposal of plastic bottles&nbsp;will only cause further harm to the environment. Earth Policy Institute&nbsp;reported that "approximately 1.5 millions barrels of oil are used each year&nbsp;to manufacture plastic bottles.” Furthermore, Earth Policy Institute added, "Americans&nbsp;consume 22 gallons of bottled water every year."<br><br>Don’t you think it’s time to stop supporting an unsustainable&nbsp;industry?<br><br>Ready for more?<br><br>Here’s an <a href="">infographic</a> of the troublesome facts about bottled&nbsp;water.Presented by <a href="">Online Education</a><br><a href=""><img src="" alt="The Facts About Bottled Water" width="500" height="1000" border="0"></a><br><br><br><br><br><br><br><br><br><br><br><br><br><br><br /> <br><br><br><br><br><br><br><br><br><br><br /> <br><br><br><br><br><br><br><br><br><br><br><br /> Springtime and new beginnings! With the new year in full swing and the semester hustling&nbsp;right along, it is only fitting to breathe new life into one of CLU’s sustainability&nbsp;project.<p class="MsoNormal"></p>That’s right!<br><p class="MsoNormal"></p><br /> <b>Fillanthrophy is back!</b><br><p class="MsoNormal"></p>For those of you who are not aware of this project,&nbsp;Fillanthrophy is a sustainability campaign pioneered by CLU students to raise&nbsp;awareness about the adverse effects of plastic bottles to our environment. One&nbsp;of Fillanthrophy’s primary goals is to encourage students to use reusable water&nbsp;containers in order to minimize the purchase of plastic bottles on campus.<p class="MsoNormal">This semester, we’re going to kick off our first blog with a&nbsp;short video from <a href="http://">The Story of Stuff Project </a>featuring <a href="http://">“The Story of Bottled</a>&nbsp;<a href="http://">Water”</a>. &nbsp;This movie depicts the story&nbsp;behind our dependence on bottled water and how “manufactured demands”&nbsp;significantly affects consumers’ buying decisions.&nbsp;So sit back (for a few minutes) and enjoy this very&nbsp;insightful<a href="http://"> film</a>.&nbsp;</p><p class="MsoNormal"> </p><p class="MsoNormal"></p> <iframe src="" style="border:0px;" name="SoBW_embed" scrolling="no" frameborder="0" align="top" height="600px" width="738px"> </iframe><br><br><br><br><br><br /> <br><br><br><br><br><br /> Live in California? Like to Drink Water? Then read this... California's 2 main river basins and their joint aquifers have lost nearly enough water since 2003 to fill Lake Mead. &nbsp;This is largely in part due to the draining of aquifers from agricultural farms. &nbsp;Farms in the arid Central Valley usually tap into aquifers instead of irrigating water from far away, which comes at a much higher cost. &nbsp;<div>Satellite pictures show that the amount of water left in the 2 aquifers is disappearing at a faster rate than it can be replenished.</div><div>The answer? &nbsp;Everyone should begin to harvest rainwater. &nbsp;It's an easy solution. &nbsp;Cities, such as Los Angeles, wouldn't have to have their main water sources so far away. &nbsp;In fact, Los Angeles could be self-sufficient for it's water needs if rain harvest became mainstream. &nbsp;So, check it out and be a harvester, not a consumer.</div> Glug, glug, glug... <p style="margin: 0.0px 0.0px 0.0px 0.0px; font: 12.0px Helvetica"><img src="webkit-fake-url://AA5CEC83-3879-420E-A564-ECD4A0E2569D/small_sigg.jpg" alt="small_sigg.jpg"></p><p style="margin: 0.0px 0.0px 0.0px 0.0px; font: 12.0px Helvetica"><br></p><p style="margin: 0.0px 0.0px 0.0px 0.0px; font: 12.0px Helvetica">Sigg is so cool. &nbsp;I'm just saying. &nbsp;They've created some fun and fancy bottles which make it hip to be green. &nbsp;BPA-free and tough enough to survive being dropped off a cliff (true story) they're worth the purchase. &nbsp;Find your own Oh, and it's free shipping too. &nbsp;Too cool.</p> Vermont: Gay Marriage? OK. Bottled Water? Not OK. Representative Jim McCullough of Vermont is pushing the Vermont government to end their purchasing of bottled water and instead switch to tap water. &nbsp;McCullough claims his desire for the change is related to the environmental concerns which are associated with the production, packaging and transportation of bottled water. &nbsp;Intertwined with this though, is the additional concern of cost. &nbsp;In a time of layoffs, how can a government justify spending $228,874 a year purchasing bottled water for their employees? &nbsp;He just doesn't get it, and I totally agree.&nbsp;&nbsp;<div><div>McCullough stated "public dollars spent to support private water interests robs the public water system of available dollars. &nbsp;Many of these dollars could instead be spent to be sure tap water is safe." &nbsp;Again, I agree. &nbsp;</div><div>It's big business, people. &nbsp;Big business, advertising revenue and invested stake in a product. &nbsp;Someone, at sometime, had the brilliant idea that adding packaging to something, which can be attained by most for little to no cost, could make them an insane amount of money. &nbsp;And they were right. &nbsp;But now we must wean ourselves off the idea, and just drink the water. &nbsp;Water, from a cheap, clean and easily accessible source. &nbsp;Like, for instance, your kitchen sink. &nbsp;And if you're worried what comes out of your faucet is not clean, maybe you should do like McCullough and urge your local government to quit buying their employees fancy, bottled water and instead clean up the public water in your area. &nbsp;Because that's their job. &nbsp;And a government job description shouldn't include 'a daily bottle of water'.</div></div> Oh Canada! Gotta love the Canadians. &nbsp;A declaration backed by the Council of Canadians and the Canadian Union of Public Employees stressed the need for a national water policy which recognizes water as a human right, and fights to protect Canada's water resources which are threatened by privatization and.....wait for it....the bottled-water industry.<div>Governments are being asked to establish national enforceable guidelines for drinking water, work to stop sanitation problems and exclude water as a commodity from the North American Free Trade Agreement.</div><div>If laws such as these were passed, it would make it much more difficult for the bottled-water industry to continue to sell enormous quantities of bottled "fresh" water. &nbsp;That is, standards of water quality would be set, therefore not allowing the sale of bottled tap water to continue north of the US border.</div><div>Hopefully we'll take a hint from our neighbors and start to implement similar laws in the near future.</div> The Copenhagen push. <br><br><br /> <p class="MsoNormal">See, here's the thing about Copenhagen. &nbsp;It's kind of a big deal.&nbsp; It’s kind of a huge deal.&nbsp; Because, think about it.&nbsp; I can bring reusable shopping bags to&nbsp;Trader Joes when buying my 100% post-consumer recycled toilet paper.&nbsp; I can ride my bike to the farmers&nbsp;market and turn lights off when I leave the room to conserve energy resources.&nbsp; But the changes that countries,&nbsp;governments and huge corporations can make are the changes that will have the&nbsp;greater impact.&nbsp; </p><br /> This doesn’t mean we shouldn’t choose more sustainable options in our&nbsp;daily lives.&nbsp; It means that in&nbsp;addition to these decisions, we must also take part in the changes our&nbsp;governments are implementing.&nbsp; Our&nbsp;voices must be heard and our environment must be protected.&nbsp;<br><br><br><br /> Check out organizations such as <a href=""></a> and <a href=""></a><a href="" style="text-decoration: none;">&nbsp;<span class="Apple-style-span" style="text-decoration: underline;color: rgb(0, 0, 0); -webkit-text-decorations-in-effect: none; ">for more information.</span><br style="text-decoration: underline;"></a><br><br><br /> <br><br><br /> <br><br><br /> <br><br><br /> <br><br><br /> Just filter as you la la la la la la... The day has come, boys and filter as you drink. &nbsp;Or so proclaims the new Hydros Bottle, available by the end of 2009, which filters heavy metals and toxins out of tap water while you drink. &nbsp;Amazing!<div>One recyclable filter lasts for 320 refills...which amounts to a saving of nearly $500 when compared to purchasing bottled water. &nbsp;Again....amazing!</div><div>Go get your own. &nbsp;Visit <a href=""></a> to do so.</div> Rainwater Rant <!--StartFragment--><br /> <br /> <p class="MsoNormal">As the winter storms approach, all I hear about is rain barrel<br /> this, rain barrel that.<span style="mso-spacerun: yes">&nbsp; </span>It may not<br /> be the latest, but it certainly is the greatest way to harvest rainwater for<br /> reuse.<span style="mso-spacerun: yes">&nbsp; </span>If you have a roof and<br /> gutters you’re pretty much set.<span style="mso-spacerun: yes">&nbsp;<br /> </span>Plus, it can save you a significant amount of money every month on water<br /> bills. </p><br /> <br /> <p class="MsoNormal">But, there is time involved for installation, or if you can’t<br /> be bothered with it, then a small cost is required to hire someone to do it for<br /> you.<span style="mso-spacerun: yes">&nbsp; </span>And then there’s<br /> maintenance.<span style="mso-spacerun: yes">&nbsp; </span>If you live in an<br /> area where the temperature drops below freezing in the winter, you must drain<br /> and properly store your barrel to prevent cracks.<span style="mso-spacerun:<br /> yes">&nbsp; </span>All of this takes time and dedication.<span style="mso-spacerun: yes">&nbsp; </span>So the real question is…do you really<br /> care enough?</p><br /> <br /> <p class="MsoNormal">It reminds me of those old anti-smoking ads that were quite<br /> popular when I was younger.<span style="mso-spacerun: yes">&nbsp; </span>Huge<br /> piles of expensive things were shown, ranging of big-screen TVs to skis,<br /> vacations and car payments.<span style="mso-spacerun: yes">&nbsp; </span>All<br /> these things you could have, and all you had to do was give up smoking.<span style="mso-spacerun: yes">&nbsp; </span>The campaign ended because it wasn’t as<br /> successful as one might think.<span style="mso-spacerun: yes">&nbsp; </span>The<br /> thing is…people don’t care.<span style="mso-spacerun: yes">&nbsp; </span>They’re<br /> happy to stick with their habit, knowing the damage it causes, because they are<br /> addicted.<span style="mso-spacerun: yes">&nbsp; </span>No pile of swag they<br /> could potentially have is going to make them quit.<span style="mso-spacerun:<br /> yes">&nbsp; </span>And it’s the same thing regarding water conservation.</p><br /> <br /> <p class="MsoNormal">We’re addicted to convenience.<span style="mso-spacerun:<br /> yes">&nbsp; </span>Whether it’s buying water in plastic bottles because it’s “fresh”<br /> and “clean” and we don’t have to filter it ourselves, or simply turning your<br /> hose on and watering your front garden with city water, and not having to go<br /> through the small hassle of setting up your own system of catching and<br /> reclaiming water.</p><br /> <br /> <p class="MsoNormal">We’re lazy.<span style="mso-spacerun: yes">&nbsp; </span>But<br /> that doesn’t mean we can’t change.<span style="mso-spacerun: yes">&nbsp;<br /> </span>Just like people can up and quit smoking cold turkey, we can prove to<br /> ourselves we’re stronger by making daily changes in our lives that benefit the<br /> earth. </p><br /> <br /> <p class="MsoNormal">So quit making excuses and go buy a rain barrel.<span style="mso-spacerun: yes">&nbsp; </span>Excuses don’t work anymore, not that<br /> they ever really did.<span style="mso-spacerun: yes">&nbsp; </span>It’s time<br /> for some dedicated action.</p><br /> <br /> <!--EndFragment--><br /> <br /> <br />