FRIDAY, JUNE 29: Give thanks today for something you may take for granted: water.
It’s the Zoroastrian Gahambar (seasonal festival) of Maidyoshem that celebrates the creation of water, the sowing of the summer crop and the harvesting of grain. Zoroastrians observe this Gahambar with a community meal, but we all can learn something from Maidyoshem. Why? Because we all are affected by the global shortage of usable water. (Learn more from the World Water Council.)
Aside from Nowruz, nothing is more vital in the fire-central Zoroastrian religion than the six Gahambars throughout the year. For these festivals, each individual or family donates food anonymously, in accordance with financial abilities. (Get details from the Heritage Institute.) After everyone has eaten, participants are given small bags of dried fruits and nuts to take home; these bags of dried food are nicknamed “ajil” or “lork,” and the names translate into a larger phrase which means “problem-solving nuts.”
Astronomers recently found an abundance of water on Mars, which indicates that the red planet quite possibly sustained life at on time (check out an article here); however, it’s Earth’s water status that has most residents of this planet concerned. According to the World Water Council, the world’s population tripled in the 20th century—but the use of renewable water grew six-fold. By not utilizing water in an efficient manner, 1.1 billion people suffer from lack of access to clean water and thousands of children die; environmental imbalances occur, and water stress leaves natural resources in crisis. The World Water Vision Report says, “the crisis is not about having too little water to satisfy our needs. It is a crisis of managing water so badly that billions of people—and the environment—suffer badly.”
What can you do to help the world today, and to prevent a serious crisis in the future?
Eat less meat! Your doctor already tells you to eat more vegetables, and here’s another good reason: growing 1 kg of potatoes requires 100 liters of water, but 1 kg of beef requires 13,000 liters.
Go organic! Studies show that organic crops can survive with up to 30 percent less water than conventional crops.
Time your shower! Save hundreds of gallons of water per year by cutting just a couple of minutes from your daily shower.
Don’t be careless! Utilize grey water if you can; collect rainwater for uses other than drinking.
After all, the World Water Forum says: “Water is everybody’s business.”