Alright, it’s time for some real talk. We have a serious global and local problem in our hands and not only are we the ones who initiated it, but we’re also the ones who need to urgently fix it unless we want some real, terrible hardships in our future as well as the future of our legacies. I’m talking water. There’s not only one, but several problems concerning our world water supply and we need to become more aware of all of it and find new ways to help reverse these issues. So, stick with me, be dedicated, genuinely care about this topic as it concerns our planet as a whole, and let’s dive into these issues and what we can do on our end.
(gif via googleimages.com)
To start off with this long list of our water problems, we’ll begin with something a little more local, i.e. within the United States. Normally, when we think of the struggle to receive and use clean water, our thoughts typically lead to third-world countries. However, many of us are unaware that this happening right here in our country, because yes, even we have problems with our water supply even if it goes undiscussed or untaught. We are so negligent of what is going on because it may not be affecting us all, but it’s happening.
In the small town of Flint, Michigan, many residents do not have access to clean water and must use water bottles as their source of doing anything water-related. This is solely because their state government decided to switch their water supply in order to be received from their Flint river, which is lead-infested, as a means to save money. This can lead to many residents of Flint gaining serious illnesses and diseases because of the lead found in their water, which forces them to take pre-cautionary measures, such as using only water from water bottles in order to do basic errands like washing dishes or taking showers. Moreover, families have to use over a hundred bottles of water per day, which is another problem in and of itself (which we will get to a little later).
I am appalled at the fact that many U.S. residents are still unaware of the tragedy and injustice that the citizens of Flint face everyday as they have for the past couple of years, and still nothing is being done to help these people. To me, access to clean water is not a privilege, but a right that isn’t to be second-guessed, so of course I believe this situation among the people of Flint is extremely inhumane and needs to be addressed and resolved quickly; it shouldn’t have to continue any longer than it already has.
(image via googleimages.com)
Now, this may be something that we are a little more aware about, but most likely have no idea what to do or how to help, but even if we are facing our own clean water difficulties with Flint, Michigan, there are still many third-world countries that are facing similar (worse) problems with accessible water, or lack thereof. By simply typing into Google naming each country that people struggle with accessing clean water, I received my answers within 0.1 seconds and it was this very first result that popped up: 10 countries. When I think about it, it’s hard to believe that there are 10 whole countries that have terrible water conditions. And what do we do about it? Nothing. But then again, what can we do?
Now, I’m only a college student who dreams and hopes for a world without struggle and wants change. But even I have no clue as to an approach we can all easily make to help these people or to help lessen their burden. But I do applaud the many people who have made donations to countries, such as Mexico, Congo, Pakistan, Bhutan, Ghana, Nepal, Cambodia, Nigeria, etc. so that they can implement change and show these people that they do not stand alone and that they matter. The many innovators who have dedicated their work to inventing items that will help these people, whether it’s with water filters or energy sources, are helping to make the lives of these underprivileged people better.
Our society often neglects, or forgets, that there are thousand or maybe millions of men, women, and children who spend up to 18 hours of their day just trying to retrieve clean, drinkable water for their families every day. Unfortunately, this is their norm- what they are accustomed to; they know nothing of a life that does not consist of this! We must continue to invent, to think, to share ideas, and find solutions for these people because as I mentioned before, clean water, accessible water, is NOT a right or privilege, it is REQUIRED, for everyone, all over the world and I refuse to accept anything less!
(image from googleimages.com)
We are such intelligent and capable humans, yet for some reason, many people can’t wrap their heads around the concept of the hazards and damage that our waste, especially plastic, has caused by being dumped into oceans. Every day, we are continuing to harm our nature and world by taking advantage of the spacious beauty we call our oceans. Humans have convinced themselves of the motto “out of sight, out of mind,” and I believe this idea is why people have justified their barbaric actions towards ocean and marine life- because we had no clue as to what was going on or how it would affect anything. Well, not anymore.
We can no longer justify these actions, nor can we allow them to continue on. Because of our quick solution to diminish waste into our oceans, marine life of all types have been dealing with the consequences. Aquatic animals have been continuously exposed to mercury, diseases, and many are close to extinction because of the garbage we have disposed into the ocean. Animals are dying twice as fast than they would be naturally because of our carelessness. As if this wasn’t concerning enough, or for those people who are still blinded by the severity of issues if they do not automatically effect them, well news-flash, this effects you as well. Humans eat seafood very often, especially depending on culture, demographics, and preference, therefore this increase in disease among ocean animals does harm you as well.
You are consuming these mercury-infested animals, which will damage your own health, spike your intake in these exposed chemicals (caused by all wastes that our sea creatures swim alongside), and possibly lead to worm growth in your body. So, if you didn’t believe me or others before, our actions with our oceans affect everyone and this devastation needs to stop. According to many scientists and environmentalists, if we keep up with garbage disposal in our oceans like we have been, there will end up being more trash, plastic, and waste in general within our oceans than actual animals and clean ocean water. We need to stand up and be the change, reverse our wrongs, and advocate for our nature and animals for once in our lives.
(image from googleimages.com)
Be mindful this Earth Day. Take the time to genuinely learn and understand the problems that have been initiated within our environment. Try to brainstorm ways that you could help solve or decrease how crucial these issues have become, or will become in the future. Let’s unite and fight for our planet, it’s the least we can do for getting ourselves stuck in these sticky situations. What can you do? Every little thing can help, who knows, you may cause a ripple of change among those around you!
Become an advocate, educate yourself, speak to your local government or city council, talk to people about these situations/ share them on social media, volunteer/ participate at organizations that are fighting to resolve these issues, think outside the box and innovate, donate, switch from plastic to something actually recyclable and eco-friendly, literally anything. The power is with you and you have a voice, so use it and stand up for what’s right- protect our beautiful planet, it’s the least we can do!
(gif from googleimages.com)