Basic water conservation practices at home


Due to several factors, such as population increase, the human race faces a threat of clean water shortage. And so, we are enjoined to observe water conservation practices at home.

The twentieth century has seen a significant rise in human population. Because of this, the need for renewable water resources also increased six-fold. Studies even concluded that this generation produces and discharges more wastewater than any other period in the history of man.

Faucet

According to statistics, more than one out of six persons, or 1.1 billion people globally, is deprived of clean drinking water, and more than two out of six persons, or 2.6 billion people, do not have access to even the basic sanitation facilities. Also, thousands of children die everyday due to waterborne diseases. It should be noted, though, that these figures represent only those people with very poor conditions.

In other words, the actual data could be much higher. As population and urbanization continue to grow, it is not a remote idea that we might experience shortage of potable water in the next 20 to 40 years.

Given this fact, therefore, would it not be wise to do something to prevent water crisis?  Can you imagine living without clean water? Or, seeing your child die because of water-borne diseases?

We should not have to deal with such a choice.  After all, there is a saying that goes something like, “it is not your fault that you were born poor; but it is your fault if you die without striving to improve your quality of life.”

So, let us make it a habit to conserve water now – and let’s start it at home! Besides, when we save water, we are also cutting on our utility bills.

There are several ways to conserve it, to name a few:

  • In washing your hands, do not leave the water running while you lather.
  • Clean your vegetables in a stoppered sink or a pan of clean water, instead of doing it under running faucet.
  • Collect the water you use for cleaning vegetables and fruits and reuse it to water your houseplants.
  • Keep a pitcher or bottle of drinking water in the refrigerator, instead of running the tap.
  • In order to cut down on the number of drinking glasses to wash, designate one glass for your drinking water each day, or refill a water bottle.
  • When you wash your dishes by hand, use the sink instead, rather than let the water run while rinsing.
  • Soak pots and pans before scraping them clean.
  • Instead of using running water to thaw food, defrost it in the refrigerator, instead, in order to maintain water efficiency and for food safety.
  • Train your children to turn off faucets tightly after each use.
  • Turn off the water while brushing your teeth and fill a glass for mouth rinsing.  This way, you will be able to save 25 gallons of water per month.
  • Consider washing your face or brushing your teeth while in the shower.  This saves you both water and time.
  • Turn off the water while you shave, and rinse your razor with a few inches of warm water in the sink.  This will save you up to 300 gallons of water a month.
  • Cut your shower time by a minute or two and you will certainly save up to 150 gallons of water per month.
  • Do not throw cigarette butt, facial tissue, or other small bit of trash into the toilet as it would cost you up to 7 gallons of water every time you flush these items.

The list of ways to conserve water can be very long, but even if we just start with these little personal practices, we can already make a difference.  You may even want to share your own version of water conservation practices.

Air pollution triggers autism


Recent studies have found compelling evidences that suggests air pollution triggers autism.  Although there is little scientific data to support these findings, other researches show that pregnant women living in major thoroughfares are twice more prone to give birth to autistic children because the polluted air they breathe can adversely affect the biochemical set up in their fetuses’ DNA. Thus, putting their children at high risk of acquiring physical and emotional problems when they grow up.

Besides, a baby’s exposure to polluted air during his first few months of life has been associated with delayed cognitive development.  It was even discovered that children living in high traffic places have a greater likelihood of faring poorly in intelligence examinations and suffer more emotional conditions than those who breathe cleaner air.

Experts have particularly identified some car exhaust chemicals that are associated with defects on growing fetuses and mental functions of young children, such as:

Carbon monoxide (CO). This colorless, odorless, and toxic gas is produced from vehicle combustion and significantly stops the blood’s ability to deliver oxygen throughout the body parts, particularly the heart and the brain. If a person does not receive enough oxygen in his blood from the lungs, his brain is also deprived of it.

Even if takes time for the carbon monoxide to reach critical levels in the fetus than it does to its mother, the unborn baby is still susceptible to poisoning since the gas can get into the placenta and penetrate its blood, and eventually reduces its supply of oxygen.  There is even a greater chance of the fetus to develop either short- or long-term ailments if its mother lost consciousness due to her prolonged exposure to high levels of CO concentration.

Nitrogen dioxide or nitrous dioxide (NO2).  This can be an asphyxiant, especially when it reaches high levels of concentration.  At lower concentration, this reddish-brown gas can critically affect the central nervous system, the heart, hepatic, hematopoietic, and reproductive systems of humans.

autismSulphur dioxide (SO2). Short-term exposure to this poisonous gas can cause wheezing, chest tightness, and shortness of breath. While longer exposure can cause respiratory ailment, changes in the lung’s defenses, and can exacerbate existing heart disease. High concentrations of this gas can also lead to breathing problems among children with asthma, and adults.

Benzene.  This hazardous component created from exhaust fumes can cause both short-term and severe effects on humans. Its short-term effects include:

  • disorientation
  • drowsiness
  • rapid pulse
  • loss of consciousness
  • anemia
  • damage to the nervous system
  • suppression of the immune system
  • death.

While constant exposure to benzene leads to critical ailments, like: acute myeloid leukemia, other types of leukemia, secondary aplastic anemia, severe anemia, and damage to the reproductive system.

These are but few of the harmful chemicals emitted from car exhausts that can lead to many diseases and disorders, including autism.

Can we afford to see more of them?  If we conscientiously do something to cut on these harmful effects, we will surely be saving many children from poor health conditions.

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