Keep It Fresh: On the Campus Consciousness Tour with Wiz Khalifa
Phaedra Ellis-Lamkins is the CEO of Green For All
While you were brushing your teeth this morning, did you ever, for a moment, think that the water coming out of your faucet would make you nauseous or damage your kidneys?
Probably not. But, unfortunately, not everyone has that luxury.
One in three people lack access to quality water. At least fourteen states are currently experiencing crisis-level water shortages and contamination. And, the nation's water infrastructure is outdated and crumbling, putting our fresh water supply at risk.
Clearly, there is a need for action; every child deserves to grow up with access to clean water. That's why, on this World Water Day, Green For All, with its partner SIGG USA, is proud to launch a public education campaign called "Keep It Fresh" for the Campus Consciousness Tour featuring Wiz Khalifa. This effort will raise awareness about the need for safe drinking water, and empower others with tools to fight for environmental sustainability in their own neighborhoods.
Dirty water is an issue facing communities across the nation. From Florida to California, chemicals and pollutants are toxifying our water supplies at levels that exceed health guidelines – and, in some cases, standards set by the United States Environmental Protection Agency. And who does a lack of access to clean water impact the most? Our nation's rural communities, low-income communities and communities of color.
This is unconscionable and unacceptable. We must take steps now to ensure that future generations have access to safe, clean drinking water.
First, there must be consistent and large investments in infrastructure. Our current water network is made up of old and leaky pipes – 20th century equipment can't handle America's 21st century needs. By replacing these antiquated and rusty systems with modern infrastructure, we will both ensure better quality water, and create projects that put people back to work.
Secondly, we have got to conserve. Fresh water is a limited supply; we cannot let it go to waste. We have all heard someone tell us to turn the water off when we're not using it. While it may seem like a small measure, it can go a long way in protecting our water supply. By changing our daily usage habits and implementing water conservation techniques – such as installing low-flow appliances and rainwater catchment – we will help conserve a limited resource.
Finally, we need to dispose of chemicals and other pollutants properly to make sure we don't contaminate our underground water supplies or waterways. For example, yard waste will often times end up in our city's drainage system, especially during heavy rains. Most likely contaminated with chemical fertilizers, the yard waste gets carried through the drainage system and is dumped in nearby bodies of water without treatment. Before we blame anyone else, we must first ask ourselves what we can do better, including cleaning up our own backyards and joining the larger movement that is fighting for clean water.
I encourage you to join Green For All, Wiz Khalifa and the Campus Consciousness tour beginning on March 31st at Emory University in Atlanta.
We also urge you to check out the Keep it Fresh campaign at www.facebook.com/freshtour, find out what you can do and enter to win a limited edition Wiz tour water bottle and a new Ipad 2.
Be a part of our movement by educating yourself, educating others, volunteering, and being vigilant.