I was mesmerized staring at this fountain outside of the Brooklyn Museum last Friday. Its patterns were in perfect symphony with the rest of the environment - the people, the traffic, the ice cream vending - that it felt as though the water were moving in agreement instead of on a pre-programmed track.
Walking for Water: Results and Reflection
Last week, I wrote about the global health issue of potable water access. I wore a pedometer for exactly one week and tracked all (8 oz) glasses of water consumed during that same time period. 25 miles and 30 glasses later*, I learned some things:
- I don’t drink nearly as much water as I should each day.
- I walk more than the average american (afterall, this is NYC) but not as much as I think I do.
- I drank ~2 gallons of water, which would be a lot to carry 3.7 miles one way. I would not have been able to get water just for myself in a less fortunate country, so to drink even the small amount I had, I would need to make the trip several times.
- The few times I couldn’t have water whenever I wanted and wherever I happened to be in those 25 miles, I felt annoyed. That’s maybe where #firstworldproblems came from, but there’s something deeper than this internet meme; people in 3rd world countries simply do not know the ubiquitous nature of potable water that can come out of a tap, in giant bottles, from people, homes, and workplaces alike, and to anyone regardless of status. This was a startling, uncomfortable reminder.
- I didn’t count ice tea for a few days or foods directly prepared with or including water. This was blatantly wrong; we use potable water for more than meets the eye, which is a luxury that is not fact around the world.
On a lighter note, congratulations to Jeannie Rose, who won the pedometer giveaway! She was the 10th person to share the last blog post. Thanks to all who shared and played!
*There were a few times I do not believe I was properly wearing the pedometer (darn stockings!), and other times that it may have been overly sensitive. I did not wear it at the gym so as not to skew the results as it relates to the purpose of this experiment. I also drank items like iced coffee, coconut water, and beer, which I did not include as water consumed. My step length was conservatively estimated at 25 inches. Some argue these decisions; it’s how I chose to do it.
Walking for Water: DIY Education and Chance to Win
Starting today, I am wearing a pedometer to track how far I walk each day and how much water I drink to put the global issue of potable water in perspective as Earth Day approaches. 2.2 million people in developing countries, most of them children, die every year from diseases associated with lack of access to safe drinking water, inadequate sanitation and poor hygiene, and 80 percent of diseases in the developing world are caused by contaminated water. Even when safe drinking water is available, women in Africa and Asia must walk an average of 3.7 miles to and from the nearest improved sanitation facility to collect it, and they of course can only collect what they can carry. It’s still not enough. I will report back on Earth Day, but my hypothesis is that the distance I walk in about a week would only get me 10% of the water I drink.
Raise awareness of this issue and win! The 10th person to link to share this blog post (however you’d like…twitter, facebook, tumblr, email…) and let me know will win a pedometer from Timex so that you can try this at home. It’s yours to keep, so you can use it for exercise, calorie counting, and more!
Also, watch this video from this campaign’s sponsor, Rotary International, explaining more:
In my Earth Day post, I’ll let you know some actions you can take to improve global access to potable water, and I will include any reader suggestions, too.
We have replicated the characteristics of Brooklynized water to make a superior bagel. We could do this anywhere in the world.
Ira Marcus, Brooklyn Water Bagel’s general counsel
The context is an insane water war with the purpose of making the best bagels possible. Does anyone have an update on what happened with this and/or if there are other pending issues regarding bagel or water litigation? THIS is fun stuff!
So excited about the new bioswales that now grace Dean Street between Fourth and Fifth Avenues.
The four bioswales, which are enhanced tree pits that retain and filter 1,870 gallons of stormwater per pit every time it rains, are part of a $2.4 billion Green Infrastructure Plan to manage stormwater runoff, reduce combined sewer overflows and improve water quality in the Gowanus Canal in the next 20 years.
“We are on a living, working, New York City street,” said Department of Environmental Protection commissioner Carter Strickland at the unveiling of the bioswales, the first of their kind in the city. “I think what you see in front of you are elements coming together of a 21st century street.”
The green infrastructures, which are tiny ecosystems spanning 20 feet long, five feet wide and five feet deep, will prevent 7,200 gallons of stormwater from entering the sewer system each time it rains. They are designed with two curb cuts, so water comes in on one end, is absorbed by the plants and tree, a system of dirt, gravel and a filtering net, and what water is left comes out by the other curb cut and goes into the sewer.
“They help beautify the street, but most importantly, our infrastructure that is largely hidden under ground, is brought to the surface so people can understand the important work we do everyday by keeping stormwater off the streets,” Strickland said.
It’s about time. Better start buying property before everyone else figures out that it’s the Street of the Future!
I’m impressed by GM’s bold-but-doable statement of goals and strong display of leadership in corporate social responsibility. And, by this invention:
‘Scoop shower’ saves water
The ‘scoop shower’ is a new Häagen-Dazs innovation that gets ice cream scoops clean while conserving water.
A U.S.-European employee team worked on the scoop shower, which uses extreme water pressure to clean efficiently while reducing tap water use by 75 percent.
We’ve installed the showers in about 30 company-owned Häagen-Dazs shops and are now rolling them out to our franchised Häagen-Dazs shops.
Forge ahead, GM!