CLEVELAND — Water is life for everyone and everything in this world. With the urgency of climate change, water guru Erin Huber doesn’t take it for granted.
What You Need To Know
- Conserving water helps combat climate change
- The negative effects of climate change that other states experience first-hand, like the raging wildfires out west, are connected to Ohio in ways most never realize
- Drink Local. Drink Tap is a nonprofit based out of Cleveland that focuses on water equity, work, education, and engagement
- The typical U.S. family unnecessarily uses hundreds of gallons of water every day
- In Uganda some families live off of five gallons of water per day
Huber is the founder and executive director of Drink Local. Drink Tap — a nonprofit based out of Cleveland that focuses on water equity, work, education, and engagement.
“It's not water directly when you look at it, but water is involved in everything. In this chair, this computer, our cars, my sunglasses, every single thing is connected to water,” said Huber.
Huber’s doing her part to educate fellow Ohioans on how they can help save the earth, rather than destroy it.
Starting by reminding people that water is used for more than just bathing, cooking, and drinking.
“Think about that one shirt that we all have bought at a store. That shirt came from either a manmade produced chemical, something or other that was created through water and processes, processes that take fossil fuels. They take energy to make all of this, and then the shirts get transported to somewhere. Maybe it's coming from China or it's coming from Mexico or somewhere it comes here and then they get trucked to stores. And then we go to the stores and we buy these things and we take them home in a plastic bag, all of that fuel, energy, time, everything just for one shirt,” said Huber.
Huber said the extreme weather happening in other states and countries is connected to Ohio as climate change expresses itself through water.
“Climate change expresses itself through water — too much, too little, too dirty. And so you have flooding, you have superstorms and then you have runoff, which creates dirty water. And so as these water systems and climate systems are all connected, right? If we're extracting more and more fossil fuels out of the ground to produce the hundreds of gallons of water coming to our house every day, those fossil fuels are hurting people the most between the tropics around the globe. And I work right on the equator between the tropics in East Africa and Uganda. And there's a climate migration crisis, super droughts, no more predictable rainy seasons. People can't grow food,” said Huber.
Huber said the typical U.S. family unnecessarily uses hundreds of gallons of water every day.
“This is called a Jerry can in Uganda and it's about five gallons of water. And this is what an entire family will use in one day to do everything in a rural area to wash, to cook, to drink, bathe, everything,” said Huber.
Think a person can live off of five gallons of water per day? Huber has some tips to conserve water.
“You can put a brick in your toilet. If you don't have a low-flow toilet, put it in the back of the tank and it'll take up some space. So it will fill it with less water and that'll happen every flush it’ll just be conserving water you don’t have to think about it. Recycle water, where you can, whether that's water from a cup that you didn't finish, pour in a plant or to give it to the dog, or it's setting up a rain barrel...Forego the plastic wear with your takeout food forego, the plastic bag at the grocery store like, think about how you're using water in your home,” said Huber.
Huber said some more obvious things that may be done to conserve water include taking a shorter shower, turning off the water while brushing teeth and in terms of appliances like a washer and dryer or a dishwasher, only use them when needed, not multiple times per week.
She said it might not feel as if one individual may make a large impact on climate change, but they can. Through leading by example and inspiring others to live sustainably and not take water for granted because after all, water is life.