Sunday, March 22 is International World Water Day, a day initiated nearly 30 years ago when the United Nations Conference on Environment and Development proposed to observe a day dedicated to recognizing water as a valuable resource. In response to this call, the United Nations General Assembly held the first World Water Day on March 22, 1993. The international day has since been observed annually.
Such a day could not be more timely. Since the outbreak of Covid 19, experts have constantly reminded us that washing our hands with water and soap is the most effective way to cleanse ourselves of this highly infectious virus that has been claiming thousands of lives worldwide.
“Hand sanitizers may kill viruses and certain bacteria, but it does not ‘clean’ your hands like soap and water do,” says Athanasios Melisiotis, physician with Penn Medicine, University of Pennsylvania, in a story for allure.com. “Sanitizer doesn’t remove actual dirt and debris. Soap kills germs, binds them, and helps physically remove them, with the water off your skin and down the drain.”
Clearly, water is anything but “plain”—it is a precious natural resource that is key to life. And with an estimated 2.2 billion people living without access to safe water, according to the United Nations, it is something we shouldn’t waste or take for granted.
Here are 10 ways to use it wisely:
- Turn the faucet off while washing your face, brushing your teeth, shaving, or taking a bath.
- Check sinks and toilets for leaks.
- Take shorter showers—or better yet, fill a pail with water and use a tabo to bath.
- Rinse dishes in a basin filled with water. Do the same with fruits and vegetables, then use the water to water your plants.
- Got a washing machine? Make sure to do the laundry with a full load. Use the water with detergent to flush toilets, clean car tires, or clean the garage floor.
- Refrain from using a hose to clean the car. Use buckets of water and a sponge or rag, or take your car to a car wash.
- Water your garden with a watering can and in the cooler times of the day.
- Bring your own water in a tumbler when you go out. In a restaurant, ask for water only if you plan to finish it, and politely refuse when a server offers to refill your glass.
- Collect rainwater and use it to wash the car or water the plants.
- Be a water advocate. Use social media to remind friends about the value of water and how to save it.