Oh, Life. I love where it takes me most of the time. Other times, it drags me into rabbit holes. Which are fun adventures in and of themselves, but perhaps not where I intended to go. I was reminded earlier today that it’s World Water Day. Not that I forgot but I hadn’t intended to do anything ZooFit related for the occasion. I mean, it’s also International Day of the Seal, and I planned on posting Sea Lion Jacks (technically, not a seal, but kinda sorta is, this isn’t the place to discuss…) as my Exercise of the Day.
But it’s World Water Day! WATER! My Sacred Place! How can I not honor a day celebrating water?! And so I planned a couple quick World Water Day posts for Instagram, and found images that sparked so much inspiration. And now, here I am, writing a post in the last few hours of World Water Day to share how we can celebrate water a little more.
Water, The Element of Life
I completely understand the necessity of hosting a World Water Day. Water is the element of life. (Okay, Air, you smartie pants, I hear you! We can live days without water but only minutes without air. But this is an opinion piece about my love for water, so go wait your turn) We live on a Water planet. She’s called Earth, but a more descriptive and accurate name would likely be Sea.
But it’s more than just our planet covered mostly by water. Water is essential for a healthy life. It’s almost a natural cure-all. Not immediately, but drinking water can clear complexions, help you lose weight, improve energy, reduce the severity or even prevent headaches (and hangovers– I’m looking at you, St. Patrick’s Day celebrators), and even flush out toxins and waste. (1)
If we treat the Sea right, she has the ability to provide nourishment, energy, and beautiful tranquility. Here are 5 ideas for celebrating water on World Water Day.
Water: What Really Satisfies (even more than Snickers)
My first idea when I think of water is the health benefits. And man, are there a ton of health benefits.
First and foremost, drinking water can help us eat less by staying properly hydrated. Our brains are slightly whack-a-doo. For some reason, when we are dehydrated it sends the signal for both thirst and hunger. Now, which one do you think we pay the most attention to?
But I created a healthy habit to help with this confusion. When I get a craving, before I eat, I drink about 4-6 oz of water. Why? Because at least 80% of the time, I’m not experiencing actual hunger. What my body truly needs most of the time is hydration. By establishing the habit of drinking water first, I am able to stave off crazy cravings, so I don’t feel remorse a little later on.
Less Soda, More Water
And this healthy habit can help us protect the planet, too. Want one small simple habit to have a profound impact on your health and the planet? Quit drinking soda. Soda is liquid sugar, which is ridiculously addictive and so not good for us, but also ridiculously detrimental to the environment. Sugarcane processing facilities that create our white drug (wow, it even looks like illegal substances…) pollute nearby waters and impact entire ecosystems. Independent scientists studying red algae blooms point to the agricultural industry, namely sugar, as the main culprits of the toxins in the water. (2)
And that’s not even including the plastic bottle the soda goes in. Even if we recycle the bottles, the amount of water used to make the plastic bottles is mind-boggling.
So, soda’s not good for us, and it’s not good for the planet. But really, water? I know. It took me a hot minute to make the switch myself (and by hot minute I mean about 3 years). I don’t remember actually using positive reinforcement for this habit, but I did turn it into a game. Download the free app Plant Nanny, and start on your way. Plant Nanny was truly the best way to really create a water drinking habit. Soon, after the habit was established, I weaned myself off the sugar-crack. Nowadays, you couldn’t pay me to drink soda.
So here’s to your health, but water does more than provide hydration. It can provide so much more for us.
The Sea Provideth
The sea is home to the most diverse groups of animals and plants on the planet. I mean, have you seen nudibranchs? LOOK AT THEM!
But more than nudibranchs, the ocean is teeming with life. And if we treat the oceans right, there is enough to provide for us for generations. Seafood is one of the healthiest sources of protein…when it is sourced sustainably. Wild-caught salmon is rich in omega-3 fatty acids, which is sooo good for us. It helps fight off inflammation, helps prevent heart disease, and is packed full of other nutrients that helps us lose weight and stay healthy. (3)
But we humans tend to see a good thing, and over-exploit it. Salmon is no exception. One of the most prized salmon on the market is the enormous king salmon, also known as Chinook. It’s delicious, but it also happens to be the only food source for Pacific Northwest resident Orcinus orca, killer whales. The southern resident orca population is considered endangered, and their biggest challenge is having enough Chinook salmon to sustain them. And unfortunately, they aren’t reproducing enough to sustain their populations. It’s tragic to watch, but we can help. Simply making sure this incredible food source that the sea provides us is sustainably sourced can help ensure orcas are around for generations to come.
Protect Water, Save Ourselves
I was waiting until I actually read the book to comment on this, but hey, it’s World Water Day. So…
Erin Brockovich has a new book out called Superman’s Not Coming. I love the title of this. It’s referring to the idea that many of us are waiting to be saved, but guess what? Superman’s not coming. We have to be the superheroes. The title alone is worth a Zoo-notable, really.
But what this book is discussing is the many problems our nation faces with different water crises. For instance, a recent study shows that 94% of water samples from across the United States tested positive for the presence of plastic fibers. We are drinking plastic, folks! This is not okay! (4)
Erin goes on to share about the many chemicals that are leaked, dumped, spilled, or otherwise finding their way into our water systems. And no one in government is doing much to step in to save us. It’s up to us, as individuals.
I am infuriated and profoundly moved by her words in this book: “If terrorists dumped unknown chemicals into a community, we would call it a chemical attack. But when it’s American industry, we let the chips fall where they may.”
If we want to have the healthy benefits of water, we need healthy water. I haven’t finished the book yet, so I don’t have all the answers Erin suggests, but so far, she is igniting a flame to which I hope becomes a beacon of hope.
To celebrate World Water Day, learn a little, just one small fact about water that could help your community maintain safe and pure water. When we protect water, we save ourselves.
Find Your Wave
Want one simple and wonderfully easy way to help honor World Water Day, every day? Find your joy with water. Have you ever kayaked a river? Or paddle boarded on a lake? Have you ever snorkeled with thousands of fish? Or simply walked along a beach? These are examples of Experiencing Nature, a form of what I call Passive Conservation. When we enjoy the outdoors, even without the thought or intention of protecting or preserving nature, our appreciation for the place grows. It becomes sacred to us, our Sacred Space. And once it finds a place in our soul, we will do anything to protect it, moving from passive to active conservation.
Water is my Sacred Space. When I am near water, I feel deep peace. While I don’t do it nearly as often as I would like, swimming fills my soul and motivates me more than any other activity. I bought a paddleboarding season pass this year, and I’m hoping to use it as reinforcement for my writing, as well as a refueling for my inspiration throughout the summer.
What are some ways you can connect to water in a healthy and positive way? Is it a visit to your local aquarium? Taking a relaxing bath? Committing to drinking more water and less soda? Or listening to a babbling brook while meditating? Celebrate our deep connection with water today and every day.
One Drop of Water
The story of the Hummingbird is my favorite story to tell. But I want to emphasize one of the most important parts of the story– the one drop of water.
Whether the Hummingbird could put out the forest fire isn’t really the point. Let’s just say she did put it out. Which drop of water was it that put the fire out? Was it the last one? Or the first one? Which one drop made the difference?
Today is World Water Day. So I ask all of you- What is your one drop of water? What difference can you make, today, tomorrow, and forever? Keep riding your wave, connecting to Sea, Earth, and all of nature in a healthy and positive way.
- Brockovich, Erin. Superman’s Not Coming. 2020, Penguin Random House, New York