This is the advice on the back of my packet of tea bags, which I fish out each morning to make myself a cuppa (it's green tea or peppermint these days, due to my new dietary restrictions). I don't always bother refilling the kettle with fresh water; sometimes I do.
However, I can't help but think of those who have to walk miles and miles to 'use fresh water'. And this 'fresh' water is not clean. It carries diseases which cripple and kill. Thousands of children die every day from water related illnesses. Do we think of that, when we boil the kettle in the morning? When the box of teabags instructs us that we should go to the tap and get some more?
Blog Action Day 2010: Water from Blog Action Day on Vimeo.
Today is Blog Action Day 2010, and this year's theme is water. This has been a topic I've been thinking about for months - water and sanitation, and how they can change the world. I'm still wrestling with an article on the subject, trying to get across the point that if these things were dealt with, the ripple effect would be incredible. It would free up resources and money. It would re-energise economies and prevent so many sick days. It would save the lives of millions. It would protect the vulnerable, who collect water in dangerous areas and have no safe place to use the toilet. It would vastly improve maternal health. It would help the poorest people in the world. It would give girls better opportunities - think. Women and girls do most of the water collecting. Girls drop out of school because there is no toilet.
Water related illnesses kill more people than war.
How is this acceptable?
How is this acceptable when I refill my kettle and dunk my teabag? When I wash my hair whenever it needs it - in water far better than millions have to drink? When I run a bath to 'wind down' at the end of the day, when elsewhere in the world people have to go to the toilet feeling tense, undignified and afraid?
I for one want to raise my voice.
I want to raise my voice and say:
This is unacceptable.
This is unjust.
This is appalling.
This is unnecessary.
And I want to be heard.