10 Ways to Celebrate World Water Day

World Water Day is March 22! This year’s theme is Water for Peace. As articulated by the United Nations:

When we cooperate on water, we create a positive ripple effect – fostering harmony, generating prosperity and building resilience to shared challenges.

We must act upon the realization that water is not only a resource to be used and competed over – it is a human right, intrinsic to every aspect of life.

This World Water Day, we all need to unite around water and use water for peace, laying the foundations of a more stable and prosperous tomorrow.

Unfortunately, most of us take water for granted, and it’s only when faced with a shortage of it—say, in a drought—that we start to truly appreciate it.

How did World Water Day come about? How is Nat Hab committing to this cause and other conservation concerns? And what can you do? Read on!

World Water Day, Then and Now

World Water Day has been recognized since 1992. It was originally intended to tackle the global water crisis of the 2.2 billion people living without access to safe water. The United Nations observes the day in coordination with UN-Water, aligning it with the annual publication of the UN World Water Development Report.

According to UN-Water, “Back in 2015, the world committed to Sustainable Development Goal 6 as part of the 2030 Agenda—the promise that everyone would have safely managed water and sanitation by 2030.”

Less than a decade later, we are significantly off track to meet that goal. There remain billions of people, as well as schools, businesses, healthcare centers, farms and factories, who lack of access to water and sanitation. What’s more, the UN estimates that “under the existing climate change scenario … over 5 billion people could be living with water scarcity by 2050.”

Read more from World Wildlife Fund about the vital ways in which water supports a growing human population.

Last year’s UN Water Conference kicked off the Water Action Agenda, inviting commitments from people all around the world to change the way they use, consume and manage water in their lives. Personal commitments were added to larger-scale promises from governments, companies, institutions, coalitions and the like to, hopefully, spur significant change. It’s also an opportunity to unite us around solving the world’s water and sanitation crisis, which affects every single living thing on our planet.

Nat Hab’s Commitment to Conservation: Water and Beyond

Why does World Water Day matter so much to us here at Nat Hab? That’s an easy question. We love this world, and we thrive on helping you explore it. Our mission, “conservation through exploration: protecting our planet by inspiring travelers, supporting local communities and boldly influencing the entire travel industry,” aligns perfectly with UN-Water’s ask that we each make a personal commitment to water conservation.

We firmly believe that our product—conservation travel—brings value to natural habitats, brings economic resources to local communities, and inspires those same communities (along with our travelers!) to protect wild places and the wildlife that thrives there. When we deliver you deep into nature, we help you discover what it is to love what is threatened. Our hope is that our travelers go home transformed, as ambassadors for conservation, bent on finding political and technological solutions to address the climate crisis.

A gray whale greets Nat Hab travelers during a Great Gray Whales of Baja trip

A gray whale greets Nat Hab travelers during a Great Gray Whales of Baja trip.© Bill Gent / Diana Russler

Walking the Walk

In the case of World Water Day, that means committing ourselves to water conservation and protection and clean drinking water initiatives. (And celebrating big water wins like the blocking of Pebble Mine!) It also provides us with an opportunity to share with you a few of the practical actions our green office community takes daily to help better the world around us.

Our Green Team is a group of Nat Hab employees who are passionate about finding ways to further weave sustainable practices into our home office and field operations. We promote e-bikes, alternative transportation, green energy, intensive recycling, use of recycled materials and eco-volunteering.

Through alternative transportation choices alone, we estimate at least 14,000 fewer miles commuted in single-occupancy motor vehicles, preventing at least 16,000 pounds of C02 and other greenhouse gas emissions. Every employee was gifted an electric bike in 2018, we participate in an organic garden (and grow some of the produce used in our cafeteria), and even our catalog is printed in a green manner, saving 1,121,248 gallons of water!

Read about our many Nat Hab philanthropy projects that support local grassroots efforts worldwide, from the Bwindi School Farming Project in Africa, to saving Ethiopia’s Simien Mountains National Park.

10 Ways to Celebrate World Water Day

You know how Ted Lasso inspires his players to “be a goldfish”? Well, World Water Day is asking you to “be a hummingbird.” Consider this story:

“One day in the forest, a fire broke out. All the animals ran for their lives. They stood at the edge of the blaze, looking at the flames in terror and sadness.

Up above their heads, a hummingbird was flying back and forth to the fire, over and over again. The bigger animals asked the hummingbird what she was doing.

‘I am flying to the lake to get water to help put out the fire.’ The animals laughed at her and said, ‘You can’t put out this fire!”

The hummingbird replied, ‘I’m doing what I can.’”

When it comes to protecting our water, every drop counts. That’s why it’s important to take a tip (or a few) from the hummingbird. Find out a few ways you can help this World Water Day (and every day):

1. Save water in obvious ways.

Think: shorter showers and fewer baths and turning off the tap when you’re brushing your teeth, doing the dinner dishes, or cooking.

2. Keep pollutants out of your water.

Don’t pour obvious pollutants down the drain or into your toilet, such as oils, medicines and chemicals.

3. Eat local.

Shop locally for in-season ingredients and products, since these are usually made with less water.

4. Protect nature.

Use natural solutions that help reduce flooding and store water for future use. Some examples: planting a tree, installing a rain garden, or using rain barrels.

5. Clean up the planet.

Engage in local clean-ups of your community’s rivers, lakes, wetlands and beaches—or organize one yourself!

A hippo in Tanzania, Africa

A hippo in Tanzania © Gene Hollander

6. Crack a book.

Check out The Lazy Person’s Guide to Saving Water. This guide, put together by the UN Department of Social and Economic Affairs, offers simple solutions you can take with minimal effort, and a few for those who want to dive deeper. Get further informed by reading a book from the suggested SDG Book Club list.

7. Shop for sustainable (not fast) fashion.

Did you know it takes 10,000 liters of water to produce just one pair of jeans? This equates to how much the average person drinks in 10 years. Check out these sustainably minded fashion companies.

8. Don’t waste food.

When it comes to what’s left on your dinner plate, what you do with it can make a big difference. Approximately 1/3 of all food produced on the planet is either lost or wasted. Learn how to cut down on food waste with these 15 tips, from storing food the right way to picking “ugly” fruits and veggies. You’ll reduce the demand on agriculture, one of our biggest water consumers. And speaking of food …

9. Eat plant-based meals a few times a week.

According to the UN, “It typically takes between 790 and 1,320 liters of water to produce 2.2 pounds of rice, 528 liters for 2.2 pounds of soya, 237 liters for 2.2 pounds of wheat and 132 liters for 2.2 pounds of potatoes.” Compare that to an estimated 1,847 gallons of water to produce 1 pound of beef.

10. Write to your legislators.

Sit down and write a letter (bonus for a handwritten one!) to your legislators to ask for their support in providing clean water for all. Stress how off track we are as a planet in our attempt to meet Sustainable Development Goal 6: water and sanitation for all by 2030.

Make a Commitment to Start Saving Water Today

Raise your hand in favor of water today. Visit the World Water Day website and submit your personal goal and how you plan to achieve it. After all, most of us are more likely to follow through on something when we write it down.

We hope to see you on a future Nat Hab trip that will further open your eyes to the beauty of our world and the need for clean water and sanitation for every creature, great and small, who shares it with us!

The post 10 Ways to Celebrate World Water Day first appeared on Good Nature Travel Blog.

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