Day 315 – About 71 percent of the Earth’s surface is water-covered, and the oceans hold about 96.5 percent of all Earth’s water. The remaining water is found in water vapor, in rivers and lakes, in icecaps and glaciers. When you consider how much water is drinkable you are down to 1 percent. That is not much water for over 7.9 billion people.
So, why can’t we drink ocean water?
“Seawater contains salt. When humans drink seawater, their cells are thus taking in water and salt. While humans can safely ingest small amounts of salt, the salt content in seawater is much higher than what can be processed by the human body. Human kidneys can only make urine that is less salty than salt water. Therefore, to get rid of all the excess salt taken in by drinking seawater, you have to urinate more water than you drank. Eventually, you die of dehydration even as you become thirstier.” – National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration
Thankfully, there are NGOs (non-governmental organizations) like GivePower that are trying to address the issue of unsafe drinking water.
“Their most recent success story is related to Kenya and the village named Kiunga, where they managed to install a solar-powered desalination system. This system transforms ocean water into drinkable water and can produce enough water for 35 000 people per day (around 70 thousand liters). Before Give Power, the inhabitants of Kiunga had to travel one hour each day to reach a water source, but it was one used also by animals and full of parasites. Such improvements, like Give Power’s initiative, are constantly needed as according to the World Health Organization, there are still 2.2 billion people around the world who do not have access to drinking water and 4.2 billion can’t access safely managed sanitation services.” – Goods Home Design
To see the amazing work that GivePower is doing, click HERE.
Tomorrow, the importance of old growth forests.
Day 231 – “Carbon dioxide levels today are higher than at any point in at least the past 800,000 years. Carbon dioxide concentrations are rising mostly because of the fossil fuels that people are burning for energy. Fossil fuels like coal and oil contain carbon that plants pulled out of the atmosphere through photosynthesis over the span of many millions of years; we are returning that carbon to the atmosphere in just a few hundred years.” – NOAA
Increases in atmospheric carbon dioxide are responsible for about two-thirds of the total energy imbalance that is causing Earth’s temperature to rise. That extra heat is driving regional and seasonal temperature extremes, reducing snow cover and sea ice, intensifying heavy rainfall, and changing habitat ranges for plants and animals—expanding some and shrinking others. The 10 warmest years on record have all occurred since 2005, and 7 of the 10 have occurred just since 2014.
Car emissions is a big culprit to the increase of greenhouse gases. Let’s take a look at the best and worst cars.
GreenerCars.org’s 2021 Greenest List features the most environmentally friendly cars now available. Most of the cars listed are electric or hybrid.
- Hyundai Ioniq Electric
- Mini Cooper SE Hardtop 2 door
- Toyota Prius Prime
- BMW i3s
- Nissan Leaf
- Honda Clarity
- Hyundai Kona Electric
- Kia Soul Electric
- Tesla Model 3 Standard Range Plus
- Toyota Rav4 Prime AWD
The top gasoline fueled or gasoline hybrids include:
- Toyota Camry Hybrid LE
- Hyundai Sonata Hybrid Blue
- Honda Insight Touring
- Toyota Rav4 Hybrid AWD
- Chevrolet Spark
- Kia Sorento Hybrid
- Kia Soul Eco dynamics
- Toyota Sienna
- Toyota Highlander Hybrid AWD
- Mazda MX-5
The cars with the lowest environmental rating include the following:
- RAM 1500 TRX 4×4
- Lexus LX 570
- Mercedes-Benz AMG G 63
- Toyota Land Cruiser Wagon 4WD
- Toyota Sequoia 4WD
- Toyota Tundra 4WD
- Dodge Durango SRT
- Jeep Grand Cherokee SRT 4×4
- Land Rover Range Rover LWB SVA
- BMW X5 M
You can see how your car ranks by checking out Green Scores of ranked vehicles, available in the GreenerCars.org interactive database, dating back to model year 2000. The database lists each configuration’s fuel economy, health-related pollution impacts, and greenhouse gas emissions.
Tomorrow, recycling facts.
Day 159 – Oceans Day was first declared on June 8, 1992 in Rio de Janeiro at the Global Forum, a parallel event at the United Nations Conference on Environment and Development (UNCED) which provided an opportunity for non-government organizations and civil society to express their views on environmental issues. In 2008, led by Canada, the General Assembly resolved that June 8 would be designated by the United Nations as “World Oceans Day”. The theme of the inaugural observance of World Oceans Day was ‘Our Oceans, Our Responsibility’.
This year’s theme is ‘The Ocean: Life and Livelihoods‘. The day will shed light on the wonder of the ocean and how it is our lifesource, supporting humanity and every other organism on earth.
The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) gives many reasons as to why we should care about the ocean.
- The ocean produces over half of the world’s oxygen and stores more than 50 times more carbon dioxide than our atmosphere.
- Covering 70% of the Earth’s surface, the ocean transports heat from the equator to the poles, regulating our climate and weather patterns.
- 76% of U.S. trade involves some form marine transportation.
- The ocean economy produces $282 billion in goods and services per year. Ocean dependent businesses employ almost 3 million people.
- The ocean provides so much more than just seafood. Ingredients from the sea are found in things like peanut butter and soy milk.
- Many medicinal products come from the ocean. Medicines that fight cancer, arthritis, Alzheimer’s and heart disease can be traced back to the ocean.
So, what can we do to help the oceans?
NOAA gives us 10 ways we can help.
- Conserve Water – Use less water so excess runoff and wastewater will not flow into the ocean.
- Reduce Pollutants – Choose nontoxic chemicals and dispose of herbicides, pesticides, and cleaning products properly.
- Reduce Waste – Cut down on what you throw away.
- Shop Wisely – Choose sustainable seafood. Buy less plastic and bring a reusable bag.
- Reduce Vehicle Pollution – Use fuel efficient vehicles, carpool or ride a bike.
- Use Less Energy – Choose energy efficient light bulbs and don’t overset your thermostat.
- Fish Responsibly – Follow “catch and release” practices and keep more fish alive.
- Practice Safe Boating – Anchor in sandy areas far from coral and sea grasses. Adhere to “no wake” zones.
- Respect Habitat – Healthy habitat and survival go hand in hand. Treat with care.
- Volunteer – Volunteer for cleanups at the beach and in your community. You can get involved in protecting your watershed too!
Even if you don’t live near the ocean, your actions can have an impact. Make sure your impact is a positive one.
Tomorrow, saving the fireflies.