Bottling up on Blog Action Day 2010: Water

Today, bloggers around the world, in over 100 countries, are spreading the word about the right to clean water.

For a few years now, I have done my best to avoid drinking bottled water. We have been convinced that bottled water guarantees that we will have safe, clean, tastier drinking water. In North America, that is a myth. And so, we take clean water from natural sources around the world, even in places where clean water IS at a premium, so that we can have a convenient plastic bottle of water to dispose of. Watch this video by Annie Leonard in the Story of Stuff series to learn about the environmental and economic impact of bottled water.

When I lived in India, the price of bottled water was regulated by the government for pennies a litre. Still, the minimal cost was still profitable because so many Indians drink it. In many other countries, pop is cheaper than water. Meanwhile, their natural water sources are being polluted by our outsourced industries and littered with our plastic bottles! So guess what happens? Bottled water becomes their only option, but only because of the bottled water industry!

I am not naive enough to think that if I boycott bottled water then companies will stop producing it. I carry my thermal water bottle when I drive and travel (and ask for refills) to remind others that we are privileged to live in a country where we do not need to worry about the state of our water. When our public drinking water is compromised, it is due to irresponsible industrial practices, and not the natural state of water. And so why should I give more profits to the industrial system that is responsible for harming our public water sources when it is compromised?

I have also worked with the Disaster Response Team of the Red Cross and have been grateful for the availability of bottled water for victims of natural disaster. Let’s keep bottled water as an emergency source, not a norm.

To celebrate Blog Action Day, this FANTASTIC piece by Lewis Black about the silliness of bottled water in North America as only Lewis Black can express.. Profanity warning. Enjoy.

Other posts today

Today bloggers are uniting to start a global dialogue about clean drinking water. Here are some from my blogger friends:

PWRDF blog: Happy Blog Action Day!

Elena_SC: Water footprint: How the fashion industry and your shopping impact the Planet

GreenBE’s blog: Hoy es el dia de accion del blog 2010 (with a cool short video in English about Blog Action Day)

Great Arquitect’s blog: Blog Action Day! (I think this is an English language version of the above blog)

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#GS2010 Day 3: Peace and Justice

Bishop of Jerusalem

I was very excited to know that Bishop Suheil Dawani and his wife, Shafeeqa, would be joining us to tell us about his ministry in the Diocese of Jerusalem. He told us of the rising extremism in his region that is growing out of frustration of the stagnation of the peace process. Christians, especially young Christians are leaving the Middle East in droves.

He described Jerusalem as the place where Jesus wept and resurrection was proclaimed. The people live in constant sorrow and hope. The King of Jordan described the Christians as “the glue of the Middle East”. He and Shafeeqa continue in their work of reconciliation, working particularly through children and young people.

As I am preparing to enter into a new position of youth ministry, I found this incredibly hopeful. Youth are (among their many other gifts) prophets. Kids for Peace, a program of the Office of Peace and Reconciliation, is teaching the children, but also their parents, and changing attitudes.

I have had the great pleasure of spending time with some youth delegates here. They are indeed our prophets. I hope we are listening.

Shafeeqa spoke about her work with women and with boys in the diocesan schools. She shared her “humble goals” for the women of her diocese.

  • To gather and pray together
  • To celebrate their gifts and “beat their shyness”
  • Holding interfaith gatherings

The women of Jerusalem, according to Shafeeqa Dawani, “If I can help one robin back in the nest, or heal one broken heart, it has not been in vain”

PWRDF

We heard a great and exciting presentation from the Primate’s World Relief and Development Fund. All I can recommend, and I strongly recommend it, is that you check out www.pwrdf.org and also the YouTube channel where General Synod delegates are sharing why they support PWRDF.

Youth

This presentation, by Judy Steers, was one of the best presentation yet. While PWRDF and other departments of our National Church have given great support to our youth, it showed a great disservice to youth to have Judy standing up there all by herself, our only committed staff for youth and she is 1/4 time. With that, she shared the awesome gatherings and ministries that have come out of our national youth ministries. I will commend to you a few websites to see some of the work Judy is doing.

Generation our youth website

Ask and Imagine our annual pilgrimage for high school students and young adults

CLAY 2010 our Anglican Lutheran Youth Gathering this summer

Youth Initiatives

I’m glad to say that this morning (Day 5, June 7) we passed a motion to create a National Youth Secretariat which includes another 1/4 time position. Let the great work carry on!

#GS2010 Day 2 (and then some): Dawn on film

This has been a very intense, valuable, fun, rewarding, gracefilled experience, joining with my national church. So intense, in fact, that blogging has been low on the priority list. So has sleep, I’m afraid. I am working on some blog posts which will go up over the next little while so I can get caught up.

In the meantime, you can hear from me in other ways. Simon Chambers, the Communications Officer of the Primate’s World Relief and Development Fund (PWRDF) and blogger of the PWRDF blog has been interviewing General Synod delegates about why they support PWRDF. Here is my piece. It’s 30 seconds so take a few to watch. Then check out some others.

I was also a contributor to Synod on Demand, Anglican Video’s daily webcast from General Synod. You can hear my comments twice on the Synod on Demand from June 4:

I am sitting in the gallery above the plenary floor charging up my laptop. Going paperless means needing juice. Tonight we are debating more resolutions and enjoying more wonderful evening liturgies.