Blog Action Day: Clean Water Should Not Be a Burden

This morning, I readied the trash for my husband to bring to the community compactor as he takes our beloved pooch for her morning stroll.  We married folk have our share of chores, don’t we?  Unfortunately, the hubby gets the dirty ones most of the time (take out the trash, scoop the kitty pan) but every once in a while, he gets to do something fun (like vacuum the floor!), and I get the dubious honor of taking out the trash instead.

I usually don’t mind “sharing the wealth” so to speak…as long as the bag isn’t heavy.  When it is, oh boy do I loathe going the 100 steps or so it takes to make it to the compactor to dump it away!  I’m sure the silly noises (ok…grunts) I make as I wind my way down the sidewalk and to the compactor all the while switching hands (or stopping for a quick rest) probably cause a chuckle or two from a watching neighbor, or at the very least the stray cat around the corner.

When I take into account that as a female walking alone albeit to the trash compactor, it’s only 100 steps, and for the most part, I feel safe.  Even at night.  And I count my blessings that I can do that – I can take out the trash and I can walk safely in my neighborhood.


Water Fountain in Charlottesville VA, 2010


Now imagine being a female halfway around the world say…somewhere in Africa…only this time you’re not carrying trash.  You’re lugging a container that carries 40lbs of water when full.  And you’re not walking a mere 100 steps; more like miles from the nearest source of water (that might not actually be “clean”)…and that’s after walking the miles just to get there.

Imagine being that woman, hauling water sometimes daily just so you could cook your family a meal (or if you’re lucky more than one meal a day) or wash their bodies with or what limited clothing they might have.  Imagine the back pain that develops over time, and that’s only one problem that might arise.  Let’s not forget the subjection to harassment (even sexual) along the route to get to and from the water source.  Carrying that heavy trash bag from time to time doesn’t seem so bad after all.

We can make a difference!

That’s the thing though.  Every year 40 billion hours are spent just walking for water.  Forty BILLION!  Really?  Is that necessary?  It shouldn’t be.  Clean water should not be a burden.

We can make a difference.  We have the power to inspire people to encourage others to help make clean water accessible for all.  Don’t know where to start?  Here are a few ideas:

  • exchange your weekly purchase of a 24-pack of water bottles for a reusable water container to carry with you and/or install a water purifier at home
  • host a soiree in which admission is $5 and it all goes to a reputable charity like Charity:Water (think “5 Bucks is Change!”)
  • donate a percentage of your small business profit to a reputable charity that sponsors clean water initiatives
  • Leave a portion of your estate to the same charity


  • Go online right now and sign the petition to support the efforts of the UN to bring clean water to people everywhere

Today is Blog Action Day and this is my contribution to the encouragement of change in the advancement of providing access to clean water to people all over the world.  I’ve signed the petition.  Now, it’s time to consider what else I can do today.

I admit, I take water for granted but thanks to initiatives like Blog Action Day, I’m going to do my part to make a difference in this realm.

I tell ya what though – next time I lug that heavy trash bag, I won’t complain about it.  That’s for sure.

Special thanks to the folks at Blog Action Day on Twitter for sharing this video.

2 Responses to “Blog Action Day: Clean Water Should Not Be a Burden”
  1. elenasc says:

    Thanks for this post!
    Please read and share my post about Water’s footprint in Fashion
    You can make the difference!

    • lasullivan says:

      You’re welcome, Elena! And I just read your post. WOW. Lot of info that I never considered before. I’m definitely sharing your post via my Twitter handle too. Thank you for sharing that! 🙂

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