A holiday for H2O
Sunday is World Water Day, a United Nations initiative to celebrate clean water and bring attention to those who donâ€™t have enough of it. A new report released ahead of World Water Day warns about a looming shortage, and centers on this yearâ€™s theme: water and sustainable development.
Here are five ways to celebrate World Water Day
Learn about poop water
First charcoal juice becomes a thing, and now poop water? Hey, Bill Gates drinks itâ€”thanks to a new machine called the Omniprocessor that literally transforms waste into water through a steam engine. On his blog, Gates writes about drinking a â€œdeliciousâ€ fresh glass of it and marvels at the possibilities to improve sanitation in low-income countries. â€œThe processor wouldnâ€™t just keep human waste out of the drinking water; it would turn waste into a commodity with real value in the marketplace,â€ Gates writes.
Take a break from meat
Showering and hydration are hardly your main uses of waterâ€”but food is. The average American uses 7,500 liters of water each day, according to the U.N. If youâ€™re eating meat, your water usage shoots way up; a steak dinner for two requires 15,000 liters of water for the meat alone. Eating more meat and dairy has been the single greatest factor for water consumption in the past 30 years, says the groupâ€”so going vegetarian, even temporarily, can make a difference.
Wash your hands the right way
Only 5% of Americans do, according to a study of men using public restrooms. (If you need a refresher on proper technique, you should use soap and water and wash for at least 15 seconds.) Sounds grossâ€”and it is a public health hazard, according to UNICEF, organizers of Global Handwashing Day, another water-related holiday worth celebrating. â€œHandwashing with soap prevents disease in a more straightforward and cost-effective way than any single vaccine,â€ supporter UNICEF writes.