Here There and Everywhere

Expat wanderer

EnviroGirl on Tap Water

Welcome, EnviroGirl, our Guest Blogger on Blog Action Day, and thank you for being our Guest Blogger!

Thanks, Intlxpatr, for inviting me to be your guest blogger.

Intlxpatr knows that I am passionate about drinking tap water, as well as encouraging others to do the same. I’ve almost always chosen to drink tap water over bottled water, primarily because it’s cheaper that bottled water, and it’s readily available (just turn on the faucet!).

Over the last year I’ve learned that there are even more reasons to drink tap water (at least in the U.S.). So I’ll quickly share with you a few reasons why you should save your money and drink tap water. If you want to do more research on the topic, I’ve included a few links below.

Why you should choose tap water over bottled…

1) Tap water is tested stringently for chemical and microbiological contaminants. It is regulated by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and must comply with the Safe Drinking Water Act. Bottled Water is often regulated by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA), and does not fall under the Safe Drinking Water Act. (All water in the U.S. falls under the Safe Drinking Water Act.) This means that it is not tested as rigorously as tap water. In addition, your community water provider is required to send you a Consumer Confidence Report (CCR) every year. The CCR should inform you of the quality of your tap water and if any contaminants have been detected. Try finding this information on the label of a bottle of water.

2) Bottled water is not only more expensive to purchase, the environment costs are greater too. Bottled water must be shipped to your location, which means more fossil-fuel emissions into the air. After the water is consumed, the plastic bottle must be disposed of. If the bottle is not recycled, it will be tossed in a landfill where it will take about 700 years (plastic bottle recycling facts) to decompose.

3) Clean drinking water is a valuable resource. Recently, droughts and pressures from population growth have created water shortages. In communities experiencing water shortages, bottling water has become a hot topic because it depletes local drinking water supplies. Water use restrictions may be imposed on the community, while the bottled water company is still packaging and selling the amount of water it was permitted to use (For example – http://www.orlandosentinel.com/orl-bottledwater1307oct13,0,6642058.story). This also leads into the importance of conserving drinking water resources and implementing creative strategies such as water reuse (Info on water reuse – http://www.epa.gov/region09/water/recycling/index.html ).

Again, the information above regarding water quality is for tap water in the U.S. In countries that do not have adequate sanitation it is not advisable to drink tap water. If you live outside of the U.S., the World Health Organization (WHO) and the European Commission are two organizations that have water quality standards that many countries choose to adopt. You can search online to determine if your country follows any of these standards and if your tap water is safe to drink.

Links:
U.S. Safe Drinking Water Act:

http://www.epa.gov/safewater/sdwa/basicinformation.html

U.S. Environmental Protection Agency – Drinking Water:

http://www.epa.gov/safewater/

World Health Organization – Drinking Water:

http://www.who.int/water_sanitation_health/dwq/en/

European Commission – Drinking Water:

http://ec.europa.eu/environment/water/water-drink/index_en.html

Website for Water in the Middle East:

http://www.al-bab.com/arab/env/water.htm

National Resource Defense Council – Bottled Water Q & A:

http://www.nrdc.org/water/drinking/qbw.asp

Plastic bottle recycling facts (U.S.):

http://earth911.org/recycling/plastic-bottle-recycling/plastic-bottle-recycling-facts/

October 15, 2007 Posted by | Blogging, Bureaucracy, Cold Drinks, Community, Health Issues, Hygiene, Shopping, Technical Issue | 14 Comments

He’s Take-Away

This is for someone very special – hope it gives you a good laugh today.

YOU are dinner by candlelight; he’s take-away. ;-) OK, OK, he can redeem himself, but it has to be substance, not drama.

October 15, 2007 Posted by | Communication, Family Issues, Humor, Mating Behavior, Rants | 5 Comments

Kitchen Before and After

Wooo Hoooooooo! The ugly kitchen is gone! The new kitchen is finished!

Before:
kitchen-before.JPG

After:
kitchenafter.jpg

October 15, 2007 Posted by | Arts & Handicrafts, Building, Customer Service, Family Issues, Florida, Living Conditions | 14 Comments

Blog Action Day: Small Rational Acts

I am hoping to have a guest blogger later in the day – my sweet daughter-in-law, who is close to her masters in Environmental Science. She and my son are SO good – they work very hard, very conscientiously, to lessen their footprint on the earth. They recycle plastics, cans, paper, bottles and glass, making trips out of their way to the recycle bins. They make their own take-away coffee every day, and re-use their coffee cups rather than buying expensive coffee and throwing away the cup. (They bought a state-of-the-art coffee maker, which paid for itself very quickly.) :-) Every decision is evaluated from a bigger-picture perspective.

They have two “used” cats, adopting rather than buying. :-)

What can we do in Kuwait, where there are no recycle dumps?

First, we can refrain from trashing the environment. We can pick up our own mess after a picnic and make sure it gets put in a trash bin, or even (gasp!) take it home and put it in our own trash bin.

We can teach our children to put trash in a trashcan, not open the car window and throw it out.

We can throw out less food, by planning our needs with less waste.

We can organize a “second-harvest” kind of organization to which food can be donated and distributed to those who so desperately need it, yes, even in Kuwait.

We can support organizations like Operation Hope – Kuwait which gives volunteers an opportunity to put their idealism to work in a hands-on environment. Here is their mission statement:

Operation Hope – Kuwait
A Mission of Mercy

Operation Hope is a mission that seeks to Help Others Practically & Evangelically by providing gifts of coats, hats, scarves, gloves, and socks for those less fortunate during the colder season in Kuwait & to share the love of Christ by serving them as He called us to do.

Operation Hope is a non-profit, non-political organization operating in the State of Kuwait. Founded in 2005 by Sheryll Mairza, Operation Hope relies on volunteers and donors to fulfill its mission.

Here is how you can get involved with Sheryll’s selfless mission:

Please consider a contribution of your time, resources, or both to bring HOPE to those who are in seemingly hopeless situations. Your prayerful consideration of how you can help out is most appreciated. Kindly contact Sheryll Mairza (operationhopekuwait@yahoo.com) at your earliest convenience.

If you can provide one or more of the following please contact us soon:
-Financial support (any size is happily accepted)
-New or slightly used coats and/or other winter apparel
-Your time – to pack gift bags and/or organize inventory
-Deliver some of coat bags
-Fundraise in your workplace, social circles, and/or church
-Spreading the news of O.H.K. to all you know
-Prayer for this mission and those we are serving

Thank you for your support!

One of my commenters mentioned that her local mosque organizes dinner handouts for the poor in her neighborhood (thank you, Huda) AND that the imams also feed the local stray cats. What a magnificent example these kind men are setting with their dependable, humble service. Could your mosque do the same for your neighborhood?

Often, it just takes one person to get something started. One person with commitment and persistence, who believes in what he or she is doing and carrys through.

Sheryll Mairza is making a difference. The local imams who feed the hungry are making a difference. Where can YOU make a difference?

October 15, 2007 Posted by | Blogging, Community, Education, ExPat Life, Family Issues, Kuwait, Leadership, Living Conditions | 10 Comments

   

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