I have reached the halfway point of 40 Days of Water (really it is 46, but who’s counting really?). I decided it was time for an update and some reflection.
I have stuck by my only one non-water drink per day thing and went water only for at least two days… But that just cancels out the two drinks I had on Match Day and my small group Match celebration night. Whoops.
First of all, some clarification… The 40 Days of Water Project is put on by Blood Water Mission to raise money for the installation of safe water wells in Uganda. According to the site, 30% of the 32 million person population lives without safe water. The basic premise for this fundraiser is that as a participant, I am giving up drinking all beverages except tap water during lent. I am donating the money I would have normally spent on these drinks (or a guesstimate, since a bottle of juice is four dollars and would provide about 8 glasses).
I chose this project (as I discussed in my post “Lint”) because I have some mixed feelings about Lent, but I wanted to do something that would impact the greater community and would serve some sort of purpose.
Thus far, I have given up 44 drinks for a total of $50.
I really like water and generally choose to drink tap water as opposed to bottled water, as in reality they are one in the same (there are actually few regulations in what bottled spring water should actually contain). There are some exceptions, for instance at my parents’ house where the water is so high in sulfites and iron it tastes smells like rotten eggs. Here, it is not so bad, so I just drink tap water anyway. But despite my liking tap water, I generally drink one to two glasses of juice per day, have pop as a treat when I go out to eat and drink at least one coffee per day, usually another coffee or tea with friends if I study. So, it adds up over time, for sure!
I still find it difficult. I don’t want to complain too much because really, that struggle is between me God and me, but it isn’t easy to forgo the beverage type treats, especially when fruit juice is good in moderation and tea and coffee are social drinks in my circle. Generally, I have made it a joke. I went down to hang out with a few people in my class last night and while they had tea… I had tap water… again. They suggest I boil it and pretend it is tea. So not the same.
The whole project has made me more aware of the money we waste on drinks we don’t really need. Pop in most restaurants is 3 dollars and all it is are empty calories. Juice is good, but so is real fruit. There are more economical approaches to drinks… For instance, when I would have had juice at home, I would only really by paying about 50 cents or less, but at work, it is 2 dollars. How much we would save and be able to give if we all cut back our non-water intake. Especially with the mark-up on bottled water and drinks, not to mention the overall energy usage and environmental costs..
I have also become much more grateful for the fact that our water is free. I saved $50 in just 3 weeks. Can you imagine if you had to pay for each glass of water? We would spend so much more. Especially given how much water is used in cooking and cleaning. And here we are with it at our fingertips and we don’t even really think about it.
We don’t have to work for our water. Just turn a tap. Or ask awkwardly for it at a restaurant (people get very confused when you request tap water, even though pop is included in your meal). People in other countries walk for hours, carry the water, and sometimes endanger themselves for water. And here, we waste it with leaky faucets and 20-minute showers.
Also, I love that our water is inherently safe. You turn on a tap, you drink… End of story. We don’t get dysentery or giardiasis. We have boil water orders every now and again. Let’s be realistic, we could probably drink the water and be fine, it is more of a precaution. But, we are protected. Because our water cleaning system is that stringent. What a blessing is that? Our government is wealthy enough to manage the water that closely. It is not like living in a place where people commonly get ill from the water, where babies die daily from diarrhea, where a safe supply may become unsafe without warning.
I am grateful that I am able to do this. That I can learn these lessons. That they can become more tangible. That I have the money to be able to donate these savings to help those who need clean, safe water. I am glad God gave me a heart for this cause and these people.
If you are interested in donating to the 40 Days of Water Project, please follow this link.