World Water Day is coming up on Sunday, March 22! While news of World Water Day will understandably not get as much attention this year, a crisis like the COVID-19 pandemic is a reminder of why this day is so important.
In a time when we are (constantly) reminded to wash our hands and disinfect common surfaces, it’s frustrating to find grocery stores sold out of soap, cleaning products, and hand sanitizer. Yet for 2.2 billion people around the world, handwashing for disease prevention is difficult or impossible simply because of a lack of access to fresh, clean, safe water. This lack of safe water for drinking and overall hygiene leads to major health problems and epidemics year after year, not just in these extraordinary times.
The United Nations began World Water Day in 1993 as a way to take action on the global water crisis. This means recognizing the lack of fresh water worldwide, taking steps to help those without access to fresh water, and changing our own water consumption habits to help play a role in the solution.
Many of our DoneGood-approved brands are already taking steps through their business practices to conserve water and provide access to clean water for those around the world who don't have it. So if you want to give back to help provide clean water with things you would already buy anyway, make sure to check out...
Hand in Hand Soaps began in 2011 when founders Courtney and Bill read an article stating that 5 million children die each year from water-related illnesses. They later found out that 45% of these deaths can be prevented by handwashing alone. They believed that those kinds of numbers are simply unacceptable.
So they decided to do their part with a simple solution—a "buy a bar, give a bar" soap brand that donates a bar of soap and a portion of proceeds to help build and fix wells in the developing world. With the one-two punch of clean water and good soap, Hand in Hand Soap is giving tools to children in Haiti and Cambodia to fight disease and illness. To date, they (with the help of their customers) have provided over 1.6 million bars of soap and have built or repaired 4 wells that provide thousands of people with access to clean water.
And by the way, the soap itself is amazing. It smells incredible, looks great, and is vegan, cruelty-free, all-natural, sustainably-sourced, palm oil-free, and made in the USA!
20% off your first order with promo code DONEGOOD
Before we get to the water stuff, let’s just talk about DL1961’s jeans for a second. They’re high-quality, ethically-sourced, and sustainably-made; DL1961 offers an amazing selection and even inclusive sizing (up to size 26 for women). With those kinds of credentials, do they need to do any more?
DL1961 thinks so. They are passionate (passionate) about conserving water. Through creative problem solving and constant innovation, DL1961 is able to use insanely small amounts of water to produce their unique and high-quality jeans. While the average pair of jeans is made with about 1,500 gallons of water, DL1961 uses just 8 gallons on each pair (that’s less than 1% of the average water used!). They also have a state of the art water recycling system that reintroduces about 98% of the water they use back into municipal drains.
In 2018 alone, DL1961 estimates that they saved approximately 50 million gallons of water. One of the UN’s key points for World Water Day 2020 is that saving water will “ help reduce floods, droughts, scarcity and pollution...protect health and save lives...and reduce greenhouse gases.” It looks like DL1961 is helping us all work toward that kind of future.
You may already be familiar with Ten Thousand Villages (if not, you need to go ahead and get on board that train!), but do you know how their system works? Ten Thousand Villages buys goods from artisans and artisan groups all over the world. They pay these individuals and groups a fair price, and then Ten Thousand Villages gives us the opportunity to buy these artisans' amazing products.
Several of these partner artisan groups help provide clean drinking water and wells to their artisans, but Ten Thousand Villages highlights one group—the Association for Craft Producers (ACP) in Nepal—as going above and beyond. ACP features approximately 1,000 artisans, about 90% of whom are women. Along with fair pay and several other benefits (medical allowance, education assistance, paid maternity leave), ACP provides on-site meals and clean drinking water to these 1,000 workers in the developing world. And on top of providing drinking water, the ACP also takes measures to save water through their own wastewater treatment plant and rainwater harvesting system.
With these kinds of efforts in water conservation, as well as other fair trade and sustainable business practices, you’ll definitely want to check out Ten Thousand Villages for a great selection of home goods, decor, accessories, and gifts.
Writer, editor, and all-around language enthusiast who uses her love of words to help others.