Tag Archives: a water softener

WATER AMBASSADORS’ GLOBAL IMPACT

WATER AMBASSADORS1

How two members dug deep to bring sanitation to developing nations – by Susannah Maxcy of Renaissance Winter 2012 magazine.

WATER AMBASSADORS5On the impact Water Ambassadors has had on volunteers: “We’ve had big, macho Canadian men tear up.  When some village person shakes your hand and says, ‘thank you’ for saving the lives of our children, it’s pretty humbling.  It becomes a marker in people’s lives and that will change them forever.  I think people realize the blessing that Canada has.  You will never drink a glass of water out of the tap and think about it the same way again,” Barry expresses.

WATER AMBASSADORS4MAGAccess to water and proper sanitation are easy to take for granted when you live in a country with the world’s largest fresh water supply.  We will neither know what it is like to walk for kilometres to a well nor will we ever know what it is like not to have access to a clean toilet.  Enter Barry Hart, District 18, Haliburton and John P. Smith, District 13, Hamilton-Wentworth, Haldimand whose twists of fate inspired them to change the world one well and one latrine at a time.

… Barry Hart, founder of Water Ambassadors Canada, discusses the pressing need to bring clean water to third world countries … The interview is conducted by Lorna Dueck, host of Listen Up TV, a weekly television program exploring news and current affairs from a Christian worldview ~uploaded to YouTube on Nov 19, 2009

Barry Hart and his wife, Heather Alloway, first heard about the global water crisis 10 years ago at a conference they attended.  “It went from our heads to our hearts.  Within a year we were in Guatemala building a well in a remote location, a little scary at first, but totally blew us away … we remember sitting in the Houston airport coming home.   By memory we were calling people using a phone card back in Canada to try to tell them what we had seen, heard and experienced.  It was absolutely life-changing.”

WATER AMBASSADORS6Upon returning home, Barry and Heather formed the Water Ambassadors of Canada, a faith-based non-profit organization dedicated to improving and providing access to clean water to impoverished communities throughout the world.  Since its inception, Water Ambassadors has sent approximately 300 Canadians to Central America, the Caribbean and Africa to help build wells, install water filtration systems and teach hygiene.  Empowering the communities they help with the tools and knowledge to maintain these systems, Water Ambassadors provides water security in a time of increasing water instability.

… “Access is a big deal, because many of these places, people walk miles to get water from wells.  We repaired on well in November that had been broken for 14 years, which forced the people to walk by that well to get to the next town to get their drinking water … when you fix wells you’re giving them access to clean water close by, or in some cases access to water period, rather than drinking out of the local mud hole.  People totally appreciate it; they know what’s going on.  It’s a matter of their time and their health that you’re giving them … kids can go to school with healthier tummies and a lot of little girls are not spending hours getting water each day,” says Barry.

WATER AMBASSADORS2Get involved.  Are you interested in becoming a water ambassador?  Water Ambassadors offers travel volunteer opportunities in Central America, the Caribbean, Africa and Asia.  Learn more about Water Ambassadors of Canada at http://www.waterambassadorscanada.org.

COMMENTS ON “WAYS TO SAVE WATER”

We highly recommend “WAYS TO SAVE WATER” –  an excellent article written by Sarah F. Berkowitz, as posted on Mother Nature Network, March 02, 2011 (link to article at the end of this blog). 

You will find interesting comments and Sarah’s  list of ten ways to conserve our precious water resources.

According to Sarah, “The easy access and plentiful availability of water in America and other highly developed countries can be blamed for the often wasteful attitude toward water use. For some consumers, it takes a major drought to make them aware of water waste.” and she points out ways  that we all can, by utilizing “small steps” daily,  make a “big difference”, while at the same time feel good about “preserving our limited water supply.”

 Sarah’s article points out ways to save water in your kitchen and laundry room.

In your bathroom she has hints for brushing your teeth and taking showers or baths.   

Tips also on Sarah’s list include a composting hint and a method to conserve  water in your toilet tank each time you flush. 

  Sarah has a hint for recycling your fish tank water and also one for lawn mowing.  

I whole-heartedly agree with Sarah that these steps will help us “contribute to world-wide water conservation efforts”  – and I believe they will save us money as well.

  There are two more great hints on Sarah’s list, and now that I have your interest piqued, you’ll have to check out her article on Mother Nature Network.

http://www.mnn.com/your-home/at-home/stories/ways-to-save-water 

AMERICA’S PROTECTED WATERWAYS

We highly recommend “AMERICA’S WILD AND SCENIC RIVERS” – a National Geographic article, published November, 2011 by Joel K. Bourne, Jr., and the associated Gallery of Photos of the Rivers photographed by Michael Melford (stunning!)

Links to the article, Photo Gallery and Michael Melford’s web site are listed at end of blog.

America‘s Spectacular Wild Rivers

These Scenic Waterways Thrive Under Federal Protection
in the United States


More than four decades after it became law, a little-known federal act safeguards hundreds of primordial waterways.

Photographs by Michael Melford

The Middle Fork of the Salmon River gorge is not so much a river as an exuberant expression of water at play… Today it is one of the ultimate white-water experiences in the United States, drawing thousands of visitors each year.

John Craighead, now 95, is legendary in the field of wildlife biology, … Yet the proudest achievement of John Craighead’s long and storied life, he says, is the passage of the Wild and Scenic Rivers Act.

 … “It took a decade of reports, lectures, and political wrangling, but when President Lyndon Johnson signed the Wild and Scenic Rivers Act in 1968, much of its language came from the Craigheads. The initial act spared eight rivers and narrow buffer zones around them from dams and development. Today the list has grown to more than 200 rivers in 39 states and Puerto Rico.”

Article link –

http://ngm.nationalgeographic.com/2011/11/americas-wild-rivers/bourne-text

      Photo Gallery link –

http://bit.ly/rL1Ng4

       Michael Melford’s web site –

http://www.michaelmelford.com/

EXAM TIME – DRINK WATER/GET HIGHER GRADES

Students Who Drink Water During Exams Get Higher Grades

Students who drink water during their school exams may improve their grades, according to new research.

Researchers from the University of East London and the University of Westminster theorize that the water boosts academic performance by keeping the students hydrated.

That is the finding of a study conducted by Chris Pawson from the University of East London and his collaborators Sarah Doherty, Laura Martin, Ruth Soares and Caroline Edmonds from the University of East London and Mark Gardner from the University of Westminster. Their findings were presented at this week’s British Psychological Society Annual Conference, held in London.

The researchers analyzed the behavior of 447 undergraduate students, looking at whether they brought drinks into exams. If a student did bring a drink into the exam, the researchers also looked at the type of drink it was.

Students who were in higher levels of the university were much more likely to bring drinks into the exam than those in their first year of undergraduate study, the researchers note.

The results showed that those who took water into the exam — and presumably consumed the water — did better in the exam than those who did not. The researchers did not check to see if the water was actually consumed, however.

“The results imply that the simple act of bringing water into an exam was linked to an improvement in students’ grades,” said Chris Pawson from the University of East London, who led the study. “There are several physiological and psychological reasons that might explain this improvement with water consumption.”

He raises the possibility that water consumption may have a physiological effect on thinking functions that result in improved exam performance. He also theorizes that drinking water may alleviate anxiety, which is known to have a negative effect on exam performance.

“Future research is needed to tease apart these explanations, but whatever the explanation, it is clear that students should endeavour to stay hydrated with water during exams,” he said.

These findings could have implications on school policies for access to drinks during examinations at all levels of education, he added.

They also suggest that information about the importance of keeping hydrated should be targeted at first-year undergraduate students who are less likely to bring drinks into exams.  By Janice Wood Associate News Editor Reviewed by John M. Grohol, Psy.D. on April 21, 2012

 Source: The University of East London

   http://www.uel.ac.uk/news/press-releases/2012/04/waterexams.htm

IVY COLLEGES SHUNNING BOTTLED WATER JAB AT $22 BILLION INDUSTRY

BOTTLED WATER IS COMING UNDER ATTACK ON COLLEGE CAMPUSESTo contact the reporter on this story: Andrew Theen in New York at atheen@bloomberg.net

More than 90 schools, among them Brown University and Harvard University are banning the sale or restricting the use of plastic water bottles, unnerving the $22 billion retail packaged-water industry in the U.S. The University of Vermont is the latest to join the movement, announcing in January it would stop sales early next year.

     A forklift moves bails of plastic bottles at the San Francisco Recycling Center. More than 9 billion gallons of bottled water were sold in the U.S. last year.

The industry is growing 5.4 percent annually. Photographer: Justin Sullivan/Getty

    

Discarded water bottles lay in a trash can in Washington, D.C. Students at Brown, in Providence, Rhode Island, started a campaign to reduce bottled water consumption in 2010 and more than a dozen U.S. schools have campus-wide bans on the sale of plastic water bottles. Photographer: Karen Bleier/AFP/Getty Images

Freshmen at colleges across the country are being greeted with  stainless-steel bottles in their welcome packs and encouraged to use hydration stations where free, filtered water is available. Brown, which used to sell about 320,000 bottles of water a year in vending machines and campus stores, ended sales in dining halls in 2010. Harvard and Dartmouth College are installing hydration stations in new buildings to reduce trash.

“The product just doesn’t make common sense,” Sarah Alexander, 20, an environmental-studies major at Hanover, New Hampshire based Dartmouth, said by e-mail. “Companies are taking something that is freely accessible to everyone on the Dartmouth campus, packaging it in a non-reusable container and then selling it under the pretense that it is somehow better than tap water.”

In response to the growing movement, the water industry released a video on YouTube last month poking fun at “Ban the Bottle,” an organization that advocates banning one-time-use plastic water bottles. The spot, which features “Star Wars”- like music and flashbacks of antiwar demonstrations, says bottled water is a safe, convenient product that is “one of the healthiest drinks on the shelf” and that its packaging is recyclable.

‘Serious Issues’

There “are really serious issues over here, and now you’re dealing with bottled water?” Joe Doss, president of the International Bottled Water Association, based in Alexandria, Virginia, said in a phone interview.

 While “there are anti bottled-water groups   going from campus to campus,” Doss said he doesn’t consider it “a big threat” at this point.

More than 9 billion gallons of bottled water were sold in the U.S. last year, and the industry is growing 5.4 percent a year, according to Gary Hemphill, senior vice president of the Beverage Marketing Corp., a New York consulting firm. Sales to colleges and universities aren’t tracked separately.

The bottling industry may be worried about losing brand loyalty from college kids, said Eric Meliton, an industry analyst with Frost & Sullivan.

“If they lose that access, yeah, you would see a big drop-off on that demographic,” Meliton said in a phone interview. College students are “on the go, they’ve got backpacks and they may not choose to use bottled water.”

Saving Money

Reducing or eliminating plastic bottled water saves students money and has the environmental benefit of reducing the need to truck bottles across the country, Niles Barnes, project coordinator with the Association for the Advancement of Sustainability in Higher Education, said in a phone interview.

“It’s a really tangible, sustainable activity that students can get behind,” Barnes said.

Students at Brown, in Providence, Rhode Island, started a campaign in 2010 to reduce bottled water consumption and the school stopped selling it in dining halls that September. Brown holds about 50,000 bottles in reserve in case of a natural disaster or to distribute at graduation or other events, Chris Powell, director of sustainable energy and environmental initiatives, said in an interview.

“There’s an environmental impact to the waste” of disposable water bottles, Powell said. “We realized there were alternatives that we could put in place that everybody was agreeable to.”

Culture Shift

Dartmouth is trying to “shift the student culture” about purchasing bottled water, said Rosi Kerr, the school’s director of sustainability. Princeton University, in Princeton, New Jersey, promotes a “Drink Local” initiative to reduce plastic bottle waste.

Some departments at Cambridge, Massachusetts-based Harvard have banned the purchase of bottled water for meetings. Cornell University has a reduction campaign, as does Yale University.

 The University of Pennsylvania encourages administrative offices to use   hydration stations rather than bottled water.

Sitting back and “doing nothing” as environmental groups campaigned to ban bottled water wasn’t an option for the water industry, the water association’s Doss said. His niece, a student at The College of Charleston, alerted him to an effort on her campus, and he said there is an “active movement” across the nation.

More than a dozen U.S. schools have campus wide bans on the sale of plastic water bottles, according to Barnes.

Sweetened Beverages

Some colleges with a history of activism have rejected bans on packaged water. The University of California, Berkeley opted against the idea on concern it would drive students toward sweetened beverages, said Trish Ratto, a university health services official. So did Columbia University, after students said they’d buy it elsewhere, according to Nilda Mesa, assistant vice president of environmental stewardship at the New York based college.

http://www.bloomberg.com/news/2012-03-07/ivy-colleges-shunning-bottled-water-jab-at-22-billion-industry.html

Brown philosophy major Terrence George, 21, calls the university’s policy an “unwarranted assault” on bottled water.

“The bottled water ban is downright absurd,” he said. “I’m buying apple juice and tea every night instead of water. Last time I went to the dentist, I have a few more cavities than usual.”

Here are a few links both for and againstBottled Water Bans: (Some views also express the other side of the coin)

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Iy5p7at7vf0

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZZGDueSjf8o

http://www.banthebottle.net/

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JfgaIJ_LQzY

RAINSOFT OTTAWA’S FUN FRIDAY – PUNOGRAPHY PART I

PUNOGRAPHYa joke exploiting the different possible meanings of a word or the fact that there are words that sound alike but have different meanings.

Food & drink:

 Jokes about German sausage are the wurst.

How does Moses make his tea? Hebrews it.

This girl said she recognized me from the vegetarian club, but I’d never met herbivore

Class trip to the Coca-Cola factory. I hope there’s no pop quiz.

How do you make holy water? Boil the hell out of it!

Venison for dinner? Oh deer!

I got a job at a bakery because I kneaded dough.

Haunted French pancakes give me the crepes.

Electronics:

I do not enjoy computer jokes. Not one bit.

I changed my I Pod name to Titanic. It’s syncing now.

Energizer bunny arrested. Charged with battery.

What does a clock do when it’s hungry? It goes back four seconds.

Arts:

A guy got arrested for playing the guitar. For fingering A minor.

I did a theatrical performance about puns. It was a play on words.

I’m reading a book about anti-gravity. I can’t put it down.

Cartoonist found dead in home. Details are sketchy.

Sports:

I wondered why the baseball was getting bigger. Then it hit me!

I couldn’t quite remember how to throw a boomerang, but eventually it came back to me.

I used to have a fear of hurdles, but I got over it.

The indecisive rower couldn’t choose either oar.

If you wear a blindfold at the shooting range, you won’t know what you’re missing.

 

Link

http://www.talkclassical.com/18592-more-punography-groan.html

One sports item from Pun a Day

  See you back here next Friday for Part II

PROFITS POUR IN FROM RAIN BARRELS

Excerpt from EMC Ottawa Newspaper, Mar. 2012

The United Nations designated the first World Water Day on March 22, 1993, to highlight the importance of freshwater and to advocate for sustainable management.

More than 80 non-profit groups throughout Ontario officially launched rain barrel sales in their communities on World Water Day, Thursday, March 22 … Rain barrels will be sold for $55 each and all funds will to wards the two local projects.

Rain barrels capture and store rain water collected from roofs through downspouts. They provide chlorine-free and fluoride-free water, which is ideal for flowers, vegetables, lawns, shrubs and trees.

Interesting that they mention the chemical free water is good for plants—Good for People too!!!

Rain barrels divert clean water from sewer systems and can provide cost savings for homeowners who currently pay to have water trucked in or who have a water meter installed.

Each rain barrel is equipped with a mosquito and leaf debris filter basket, an overflow hose, an outlet to join rain barrels together and a spigot at the bottom, which can be connected to a standard garden hose.

These environmentally friendly products were once used to import fruits and vegetables and have been refurbished and repurposed to offer years of reliable service as rain barrels.

They are available in three colours including grey, terracotta and black. All orders must be placed online in advance at http://www.RainBarrel.ca/gssandouc/ or by calling Margaret at 613-824-3599.

The 4th Orleans Fallingbrook Scout Group will also host a rain barrel sale on Saturday April 21 at Fallingbrook Elementary School, 679 Deanscourt Crescent, Orleans, from 10:30 to 1:30 p.m. Orders are now being taken for an April 21st pickup date. All orders must be placed online in advance at http://www.RainBarrel.ca/4thOrleans or by calling 613-212-5212.

Related link –  

http://rainbarrel.ca/

There is still time to book your fundraising rainbarrel.ca sale for this spring!  Non-profit groups, schools and organizations: We are booking now for May and June 2012 sales!

CLEVER IDEAS WORTH KNOWING! (PART 2 OF 2)

CLEVER IDEAS WORTH KNOWING!  (PART 2 OF 2)

Weed Control: Start putting in your plants; work the nutrients in your soil. Wet newspapers, put layers around the plants overlapping as you go cover with mulch and forget about weeds. Weeds will get through some gardening plastic they will not get through wet newspapers.

Broken Glass: Use a wet cotton ball or Q-tip to pick up the small shards of glass you can’t see easily.

 Place a dryer sheet in your pocket. It will keep the mosquitoes away.

To keep squirrels from eating your plants, sprinkle your plants with cayenne pepper. The cayenne pepper doesn’t hurt the plant and the squirrels won’t come near it.

Flexible vacuum  To get something out of a heat register or under the fridge  add an empty paper towel roll or empty gift wrap roll to your vacuum. It can be bent or flattened to get in narrow openings.

Reducing Static Cling: Pin a small safety pin to the seam of your slip and you will not have a clingy skirt or dress. Same thing works with slacks that cling when wearing panty hose.    Place pin in seam of slacks and … Ta DA! … Static is gone.

Measuring Cups: Before you pour sticky substances into a measuring cup, fill with hot water. Dump out the hot water, but don’t dry cup.  Next, add your ingredient, such as peanut butter, and watch how easily it comes right out.

 Foggy Windshield: Hate foggy windshields? Buy a chalkboard eraser and keep it in the glove box of your car When the windows fog, rub with the eraser! Works better than a cloth!

Re opening envelopes: If you seal an envelope and then realize you forgot to include something inside, just place your sealed envelope in the freezer for an hour or two. Voila! It   unseals easily.

Conditioner: Use your hair conditioner to shave your legs. It’s cheaper than shaving cream   and leaves your legs really smooth. It’s also a great way to use up the conditioner   you bought but didn’t like when you tried it in your hair.

Goodbye Fruit Flies: To get rid of pesky fruit flies, take a small glass, fill it 1/2′ with Apple Cider Vinegar and 2 drops of dish washing liquid; mix well. You will find those flies drawn to the cup and gone forever!

Get Rid of Ants: Put small piles of cornmeal where you see ants. They eat it, take it ‘home,’ can’t digest it so it kills them. It may take a week or so, especially if it rains, but it works and you don’t have the worry about pets or small children being harmed!

Info about clothes dryer lint filters: The heating unit went out on my dryer! The gentleman that fixes things around the house for us told us that he wanted to show us something and he went over to   the dryer   and pulled out the lint filter. It was clean. (I always clean the lint   from the filter after every load clothes.) He told us that he wanted to   show us something; he took   the filter over to the sink and ran hot water over it. The lint filter   is made of a mesh material. I’m sure you know what your dryer’s lint   filter looks like.  Well…. the hot water just sat on top of the mesh! It didn’t go through it at all!  He told us that dryer sheets cause a film over that mesh that’s what burns out the heating unit. You can’t SEE the film, but it’s there. It’s what is in the dryer r sheets to make your clothes soft and static free…that nice fragrance too. You know how they can feel waxy when you take them out of the box … ell this stuff builds up on your clothes and on your lint screen. This is also what causes dryer units to potentially burn your house down with it! He said the best way to keep  your dryer working for a very long time (and to keep your  electric bill lower) is to take that filter out and wash it with hot soapy water and an old toothbrush (or other brush) at least every six months. He said that makes the life of the dryer at least twice as long! How about that!? I learn something new every day! I certainly didn’t know dryer sheets would do that. So, I thought I’d share!

 Note:  I went to my dryer and tested my screen by running water on it. The   water ran through a little bit but mostly collected all the water in the mesh screen. I   washed it with warm soapy water and a nylon brush and I had it done in 30 seconds. Then when I rinsed it… the water ran right thru the screen! There wasn’t any puddling at all! That repairman knew what he was talking about!

UN’S AD DESIGN COMPETITION FOR WATER CONSERVATION

AD DESIGN COMPETITION SEEKS TO RAISE AWARENESS ABOUT WATER CONSERVATION

Are any of our readers/followers into artistic design/graphic arts?

If so, read on and good luck if you decide to enter the competition.  Let us know so we can help raise awareness through your efforts.

 The United Nations is now hosting a design competition, calling on so-called European “Artivists” to design ads that support water conservation efforts.

 The competition is part of the DropbyDrop campaign for “The Future We Want” initiative for the Rio+20 conference. DropbyDrop’s aim is to get people motivated to conserve water, the earth’s “most precious resource.” Europeans are now encouraged to find a creative way to raise awareness to a global issue.

The goal of the contest is to design a print advertisement that motivates others to preserve water, for those in need now as well as future generations. Professionals and non-professionals are invited to submit ideas for a newspaper ad that will inspire the European public to change their water habits.

 The winners will have their work displayed on the website. There is a possibility that the work will also be exhibited, and of course placed in European print publications. A jury of graphic designers, photographers and environmental experts will choose who wins.

And, there are prizes, including a 5000 euro cash prize from the Nordic Council of Ministers, a potential internship at Fabrica communication research for participants under 25, and a public voting prize.

 The Future We Want is an interesting campaign aimed at raising awareness of the Rio+20 conference.”This global conference could change the way we think about our world in terms of economic, social and environmental matters,” says Drop by Drop.

“The UN is engaging all citizens to put forward their ideas. Initiatives and competitions like this one from all corners of the globe that will form a part of a global conversation about the Future We Want.”

The Rio+20 conference will focus heavily on the green economy and sustainable development, so the partnership between the conference and this competition make sense. Of course an ad is just a small contribution, but incentives like a competition to bring designers together for a common good shouldn’t be shrugged off.

All entries must use the provided logo, and will be accepted until the end of February. Winners will be announced this June.

http://www.smartplanet.com/blog/design-architecture/ad-design-competition-seeks-to-raise-awareness-about-water-conservation/3882?tag=search-river

WATER REDUCTION ACTIONS

Note:  – First column – Popularity in %

– Numbers following Actions reflect the number of gallons saved.

http://practicallygreen.com/actions/water-reduction

43%   Upgrade toilets that take more than 1.6 gal / flush to standard toilets   100
81%    Rely on nature for watering your lawn    100
3%      Replace lawn with plantings that need minimal irrigation    100
22%    Install or upgrade to a dual-flush toilet     50
4%      Bathe young children together    50
6%      Give young children a bath every other day unless it’s really needed    50
1%       Reset your automatic sprinkler to water once a week    50
26%    Install a high-efficiency toilet (less than 1.28 gallons per flush)   50
4%      Use drip-irrigation system    50
99%    Wash only full loads of laundry    20
26%    Use a broom instead of a hose to clean your driveway    20
25%    Reduce showers to 5 minutes or less    20
40%    Upgrade older faucets & shower heads (older than 1994)    20
6%      Add a rain sensor to your automatic sprinkler system    20
63%    Install low-flow shower heads in all showers    20
1%       Take navy showers    20
26%    Fix a leaky faucet    20
6%       Install one low-flow faucet    10
60%     Turn off the faucets while brushing teeth    10
52%     Turn off the faucets while shaving    10
7%       Install one low-flow shower head    10
51%     Run dishwasher only when it’s full    10
36%    Load dishwasher without rinsing dishes thoroughly    10
12%     Install low-flow valves in all faucets      10
1%       Use a car wash that participates in the WaterSavers Program    10
1%       Install a shower timer     5
24%    Track water usage monthly    5