…Not a drop to drink
A lizard fell into our pool, one rainy day. I assumed it has died by drowning and decided to wait for the pool guy to fish it out. The next day, DH pointed out, that the lizard has moved. How is that possible? Maybe, the waves in the pool water moved it, I thought.
DH said “It walked in water.”
“Impossible, it is dead, just like I would be if I was at the bottom of the pool for 24 hours.”
The next morning, it was in a different spot in the pool, by late afternoon, it had moved again.
I checked on Google. Lizards can still be alive after falling into water.They can live without food and water for some time. They use the fat they have stored in their tail And they can hold their breath under water. Not sure if these are true for the garden lizard variety but check this out.
Other fun facts about lizards:
They have no voice box so can’t make sounds except Geckoes.
Everyone knows, they can re grow their tail.
And if you shine a light from one ear of a Gecko, it comes out of the other!
They smell by tasting, so you will see them sticking their tongue out all the time.
Well, DH took the lizard out on the weekend. Left it to dry on the side of the pool. Next morning, it was gone. So what do you think happened?
Water is the essence of life. Every living being needs water. Humans can survive with out it for three days only!
2/3rd of human body is made of water.
Water helps with many body functions;
- maintaining body temperature,
- maintaining blood pressure,
- boosts energy by increasing metabolism,
- help with brain function and improves mood,
- helps in digestion of food, helps in nutrient absorption,
- help with flushing out toxins and waste in urine, stools and sweat, and
- helps soft stools formation among other functions.
Lack of water causes dehydration, this in turn causes stress hormone release in the body and poor functioning of brain, both of which in turn cause poor decision making and grabbing high calorie high sugar and high fat junk foods.
What are the causes dehydration? High activity levels, pregnancy, illness, not drinking enough water.
Are all fluids created equal? No.
- Sugary drinks cause kidneys to lose water and leach calcium from bones. Not all juices are created equal. So check the sugar in the label and divide by 4 to know how many teaspoons of sugar it contains. Less is better. Eg if it says sugar 12 g, that is 3 tsp of sugar and if it is 40 g, that is 10 tsp. Also, check the serving size and multiply by it if you finish the whole bottle.
- Caffeine drinks does the same. not all are created equal either. Mountain dew and an energy drink like Red Bull have high caffeine content compared to Coca Cola.
- So how about soda? Also, leaches calcium from the bones.
Sure if you have any of these maybe once a year, it is going to not be as harmful as something consumed daily or multiple times a day.
What about other living beings and plants?
Well, water is necessary for all life forms, many have adapted to scarcity like the camel and other desert plants and animals, and others migrate in search of water.
Quality of our water?
A study conducted by Mary Kosuth, University of Minnesota, shows contamination of sea salt, tap water and beer by micro plastics. USA had the highest contamination rate with 9.18 particles/liter. Bottled water is contaminated as well.
Since plastic was first manufactured during and after WW2, we have made 8 billion metric tons that is 8,000,000,000,000 Kilograms. As most of you are aware, plastic takes forever [plastic bag takes 450 years] to decompose in a landfill. But decomposition occurs more rapidly when it gets in contact with water. And decomposition produces micro plastics [size 5 microns]. We are creating Planet Plastic and a plastic ocean.
So, have you heard about how plastic affects the human body? Have you switched out the plastic food/water containers for BPA free plastics or glass? If yes and yes on both counts, I am glad you are aware of the health effects of plastic on the human body. Microplastics, is it healthy for you? it is being researched. What do you think they will find?
Why is there plastic in our water?
Synthetic fibers used to make clothes are the biggest culprits. examples would be polyester, elastane, lycra, spandex, nylon, rayon, acrylic etc. Washing them releases microfibers into the water. How can we stop to stem this release?
What will we do about the plastic in our water?
4Rs: Refuse, Reduce, Reuse, Recycle.
At inter/national level, there are several independent efforts that are underway.
At local level, please check with your city council. In Sunnyvale, plastic bag ban has resulted in significant decrease in plastic bags in trash.
At a personal level,
- Switch to clothes made of natural fibers or ethical fibers.
- Washing clothes less often would be another option.
- Having the washer fitted with filters to capture the synthetic fibers that are released. But what does one do with a big bag of these microfibers? Same as one does with the lint, I would think, put it in trash.
Single use straws, cups, bottles, and utensils, bags, to- go food containers:
- Carry your own container, utensils, reusable cups and glass or steel straws
Clam shell goods or plastic wrapped goods:
Plastic bagged frozen food and veggies/ small plastic bags of lentils or beans or nuts or cereal etc./ plastic bag for produce:
- Refuse to buy clam shell goods/ plastic wrapped goods.
- Carry your own container for bulk purchase.
- Carry your own muslin bags for produce.
- Buy paper wrapped goods.
What am I going to do?
Start living like I did when I was growing up in Mumbai.
- Buy in bulk and store.
- Shop for produce in a bag stitched from old clothes.
- Cook and eat at home.
- Prepare snacks at home.
- Make yogurt at home.
- Use old clothes for other household purposes.
- And so on.
I feel like I have come a whole circle, leaving my home in Mumbai to now live like I did in Mumbai but in the USA and raise DD with awareness of our impact on other living beings, just like my mom did me.
So what will we drink?
Till we figure out how to replace our dependency on plastics, our fast, unplanned life and full time need for disposable products, we can filter our water. Our choices:
What can you commit to today, to have a healthy life?