Tag Archives: health

Water WAnTER: Waste Not Want Not

Water: Think Globally, Drink Locally

Whenever I think about what’s important, water comes to mind. Nothing does a body more good than water. I fill myself with water, I immerse myself in water. The closer I live to water, the happier is my life.

UN Water World Water Day

UN Water World Water Day

Water is it.

I would not claim that I use less water than others, but I think about how I use water, and I appreciate water. We use water the way we use the word “it“, without thinking about it, without considering what it means or where it came from or how we would get by without it. It’s crazy how it is always there for us.

Will water always be there for everyone?

If you don’t know what happened in 2000 when an American corporation bought all the water in [Cochabamba,] Bolivia, including the rainwater, then you have not yet seen the most important film so far this century The Corporation (2003).

Another film that should interest all fresh-water drinkers is Blue Gold: World Water Wars (2008), just one of the films being shown at the Ecologos free Thursday evening film series Water Docs in Toronto from March 22 World Water Day until April 22 Earth Day.

If documentaries aren’t your thing, consider the political weight of Canada’s water as examined in the dramatic Paul Gross mini-series H2O(2004).

Paul Gross mini-series H2O

What can one person do?

Appreciate your water. http://www.davidsuzuki.org/issues/freshwater/

Let others have their water. http://www.blueplanetproject.net/Involvement/index.html

Don’t stop bathing, but think about how much goes down the drain. Here are a couple of habits I’ve acquired:

  1. When running the water till is gets cold/hot, I collect that “waste water” in a pitcher and save it for my plants.
  2. BYOTW. I almost always bring a bottle of tap water whenever I leave the house. I’ve rarely had a day when I didn’t wish I had some water, so I try to always have some with me. (The only time to buy bottled water is when travelling in regions where the local water system carries little beasties my gut is not accustomed to and the other options are dehydration or dysentery. I’ve learned to go for sparkling water to make sure it is not bottled tap water).
UN Water World Water Day, How Much Water Is Needed For That

How Much Water Is Needed For That?

But water is wasted everywhere you look, and it’s not just about tap water and bottled water. Water is inextricable from agriculture, food security, the oil sands, etc., etc., etc. Water is everywhere wasted.

Happy World Water Day!

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Filed under conscious consumption, documentary, habits, sustainable

New Moon Resolutions

Here we are, 2nd day into the 2nd week into the 2nd month into the year. How’s that New Year’s Resolution working out for you?

Mine was to start and maintain a blog. How am I doing so far? I’ve made other resolutions this year, and I’m sticking to them too.

New Year’s Resolutions are too few and too far between. It doesn’t take a year to make a resolution stick, and it doesn’t take a month to let it slip.

Try this. A New Moon Resolution. Make a new one every month. A habit can be formed or broken within less time than that. Some may say it takes three weeks, but cut yourself some slack and give it a month.

Within that amount of time, you can establish an exercise routine, or improve your diet, or change your sleeping pattern, or learn the basics of a language, or straighten up your home or your finances or almost anything! OK, maybe you can’t do it all within a month, but you can firmly establish a habit of taking care of whatever item of business you choose as your focus for the month.

Want to loose 100 kg? You won’t do that in a month (without cutting something off), but you could start walking. Set a reasonable goal (e.g. walk 15 minutes 3 times a week). If you can keep that up for three weeks you can keep it up forever. And if you can stick to that routine, maybe you can do more the next month.

Jumping Boy, by Arnold Burrell 1968

“I can’t” is usually a lie. If you can walk, you can walk three times a week. If you can do it for a week, you can do it for three.

“But” is not a lie, but it’s cheating yourself. “But I sprained my ankle.” Then save the walking for another month and make a different resolution in the meantime. Make the goal something you can do now, and do it now.

You will probably get off track, probably more than once. Now what? Get back on track. Stick with it until you can do what you promised yourself you would do for three weeks. If you can’t go three weeks without slipping up, then renew the resolution for the next month. If the first goal was too hard, make it easier — more realistic.

If it works, and you find you continue the new habit effortlessly into the next month and the month after that, then it’s time for a new New Moon Resolution!

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Filed under beginnings, habits, Optimism & Inspiration

Locavore Doesn’t Mean “Eat Locals”

Locavore is a new book (if you read as slowly as I do) by Toronto food writer Sarah Elton ( CBC Radio’s Here & Now). It’s a good book — published locally without pesticides or antibiotics, low-fat and high in fibre — but the title could be misleading.

An herbivore (“a” herbivore? now there’s something to fight about) eats herbs, a carnivore mangia il roastbeef, an omnivore eats a family car “specially designed for India”. So I opened this book expecting to learn something about how to take nutritional advantage of people in my neighbourhood. Sure the Emersons are lovely people, but could they be an important part of my diet?

Turns out “cannibalism” isn’t even in the index. Locavore is about choosing, when the choice is there, to buy food that is produced closer to home. Why is that such an important thing to do? Read it yourself, you lazy bugger!

Locavore by Sarah Elton

Locavore, by Sarah Elton

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Filed under book reviews, conscious consumption, food, sustainable

Bananas: Guilt-free snacking

My father remembers when bananas used to arrive only periodically. They would come off the boat in Saint John harbour and it would be an event. Now everyone expects bananas to be available everywhere, all the time. And they’d better be cheap.

Last winter I saw Chiquita bananas with a sticker that said “Guilt-free snacking”. I thought, Hooray! Chiquita has come a long way since it was known as the oppressive “United Fruit CompanyPablo Neruda wrote about. Then I thought, Wait a minute, this isn’t labelled Fairtrade.

Of course, “guilt-free” didn’t mean “no blood on your hands”, it meant “not detrimental to your well-being”. Far from guilt-free. Most supermarket bananas are the fruits of corporate malice. Buy bananas that really are guilt-free or do without.

Corporations on Trial: The Banana Murders

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Filed under fair trade, food