When I was a lifeguard, one of the lessons I learned right off the bat was that before I could extend help to someone who was drowning, I needed to make sure that I was stable and afloat myself. Never swim over to someone who is going under without adequate flotation devices to keep yourself buoyant; it won’t help anyone if you both drown! This is a great lesson for life, one to which I frequently refer when I’m in a position of wanting to give support to others, emotionally or physically. Taking care of ourselves is the first step to being able to reach out to others in a sustainable and healthy way.
Later on in an upcoming post I’ll be talking about the global water crisis – a complex issue to be sure, with widespread effects. But before we jump into understanding water in this broader context, I want to make sure we have some basics under our belts about H20 when it comes to our home turf. In my opinion, creating a safe home for ourselves and loved ones is a crucial foundation to providing help for others in need.
The need for safe water at home
While water coming from kitchen taps in America is generally much safer than water from the wells in rural Africa, it still contains chemicals like chlorine, lead, and bacteria that can cause various types of harm. Side effects from untreated tap water range from mundane aggravations like fatigue and muscle ache to severe, threatening illnesses like cholera and dysentery.
What’s the number one cause of fatigue in the US? Drum roll… Chlorine! I don’t know about you, but this really surprised me. Using water filters to rid our water of chlorine and its byproducts will not only give us more energy, but will also reduce the risk of many types of cancer including rectal, colon, bladder cancer, and even breast cancer. Drinking filtered water significantly lowers our chances of getting a gastrointestinal disease. As someone with ulcerative colitis – a type of GI disease both life-altering and potentially debilitating – I can say from personal experience that we’d all definitely like to avoid getting one of those! And that’s to say nothing of our obvious desire to avoid cancer.
Consuming clean water is part of making conscious decisions about our health. Water filters give us a simple, affordable way to help protect ourselves and our families against illnesses that are otherwise relatively beyond our control.
How unsafe water affects our children
For parents, unsafe water presents a slew of potential problems. For example, “lead in drinking water contributes to 480,000 cases of learning disorders in children each year in the United States alone.” Drinking unsafe water while pregnant can also “cause severe birth defects.” So drinking filtered water not only directly impacts our own health but the health of our children.
Proactive and conscientious parenting starts with something as simple as providing safe water for your children, even while they’re still in the womb. Being a parent is such a wildly complicated ride, full of unexpected ups and downs… isn’t it great to know that there’s such a simple, straightforward way to meet our families’ basic need for water? Easy solutions are the best.
How filters work
Untreated water can hurt us and filters are an easy, affordable, and – now with Soma – an environmentally friendly and sustainable solution to this problem. But how do they work? To get rid of the full spectrum of potential unpleasantness floating around in unfiltered water, a water filter’s tiny pores catch the microorganisms, essentially trapping them inside the filter.
This is why we need to be sure to change the filters on a regular basis because eventually the filter becomes clogged with all of the chemical and bacteria debris.
Forgetting to change the filter means drinking water that is re-contaminated with the excess bacteria from the filter in addition to the usual suspects swimming around. This is pretty gross, but let it remind you of the importance of changing the filter.
Companies like Soma make it really easy by offering a subscription service. Having new filters delivered to your doorstep on a regular basis alleviates the consequences of forgetfulness. Lastly, like any worthwhile household product, filters also need a little TLC. So be sure to follow the instructions on how to care for yours in order to let it function at maximum potential.
Awesome everyday benefits of using water filters
Aside from the serious health reasons I’ve mentioned, there are a slew of other fantastic benefits that using water filters provide us with. What else will benefit when we use filtered water instead of regular old tap water?
Food – Food cooked with filtered water tastes and looks better! Why spend time preparing a delicious meal only to have water unexpectedly undermine our culinary efforts?
Drink – The same is true for tea and coffee. The appearance and flavour of these delightful drinks will improve when we use clean water to make them. I’m an avid coffee and tea drinker, so this is reason enough for me!
Appliances – Do you have a beloved coffee maker, espresso machine or perhaps colorful Le Creuset cookware? Using filtered water with our kitchen appliances and cookware helps them to last longer, look smarter, and function better.
Pets – Living creatures in our homes will also reap the benefits when we use clean water. Many animals like dogs and cats can be quite sensitive to chlorine. Providing our furry ones with filtered water within which to drink and bathe gives their delicate digestive systems and bodies considerate care.
Plants – Even household plants and cut flowers will thrive more robustly and live longer when given filtered water to drink up. I love keeping fresh cut flowers in a glass vase with bits of colored sea glass sitting in the bottom, but I’ll make sure to use clean water for their home from now own!
Though I’m definitely not a fan of fear-mongering when it comes to health issues, the facts about unsafe water versus filtered water speak loudly and clearly for themselves. Disease prevention, increased energy, healthier kids and pets, better tasting food, longer lasting plants… the choice is clear to me. At the end of the day, using a water filter is something we can be proud of.
Living, highly structured water is healing and life enhancing. Conversely, debased and polluted water can carry deadly disease and the message of death. Between those two opposites are qualities of water we tolerate when we should not. We need to be much more discriminating and learn how to support life. – Alick Bartholomew, The Spiritual Life of Water