Reversing your Carbon Footprint using Water Filters

Let’s face it: We’re killing the earth.

Every time we take a shower, go to the toilet, turn on lights, power up the computer, get in the car or buy packaged products, we suck the earth of its natural resources. Everywhere we see death, disease, obesity, pollution, and war. Innovation gives us the invention of earth-destroying products to make up for the damage of previous earth-destroying products. It seems inevitable that every move you make will do more harm than it will good. It’s easy to feel apathetic about what to do. However, there is a way to slow this earth-destroying, soul-shattering cycle.

First, become aware of your carbon footprint by doing some carbon calculations. There are plenty of free carbon calculators online. To find a good one, visit the World Wildlife Fund’s website, which has a list of carbon calculators that are optimized for particular countries. To have accurate carbon calculations, you need to start with a good calculator that has been made with your area in mind. (No point filling in information about air conditioners if you live in Antarctica.)

So, how do they work? Carbon calculations are usually made by asking for basic information about your lifestyle and weighing up your information against the particulars of your area to determine your carbon footprint.

To make carbon calculations about the carbon footprint caused by your home electricity, for example, the calculator asks for your energy consumption and weighs it up against the size of your house, the price of power, and the type of energy provided in the state or area you live in (the state emissions factor). Then the carbon calculations are moderated if you use any natural gas, propane or renewable energy.

It’s a similar deal to make carbon calculations to determine your carbon footprint from transportation. Although most people don’t keep scrupulous records of how much fuel they buy and how many buses they catch (hey, life’s too short), carbon calculations can be made depending on your vehicle’s make, model and mileage, and any habitual trips on public transport

After asking a whole range of questions, most calculators take about 30 seconds to compile the information and then provide you with a figure determining how many tons of CO2 you produce annually: this is your carbon footprint.

At this point, the anxiety and apathy may start to seep in again. But don’t worry; politics, industry, and technology are beginning to think about carbon footprints seriously, and hopefully, they are making carbon calculations of their own. There is so much you can do to reduce your carbon footprint.

Wherever possible, opt for renewable or green energy in your home. Long-term investments like solar panels, greywater systems, and water tanks really do make a huge difference, and although they cost a packet upfront they’ll save you money in the end. In the meantime, however, just changing the light-bulbs to energy-saving ones and taking shorter showers will help.

As individuals, we can all reduce our carbon footprint simply by being more aware of how our lifestyle impacts the earth. Wherever possible, try to reduce your impact by catching public transport instead of driving, buying more ecological products and trying to convince your friends and family to do the same. That way, next time you do your carbon calculations, you won’t be sent into a black hole of existential angst.

Folks, the guilt is over, and the recovery stage has begun.

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Contaminated Water

Contaminated Water

How contaminated water can cause cancer and gastrointestinal illness

Water contamination is a serious issue that causes thousands to die every year. The causes [of water contamination are wide and varied, meaning anyone can be affected, and there is a wide range of effects.

The most dramatic of these effects is cancer. Several water contaminants have been shown to cause cancer, and unfortunately, many are expected.

One typical example is asbestos. Asbestos is a naturally occurring fibrous mineral. It has been mined to be used in thousands of products because it is incredibly resistant to heat and chemicals. Unfortunately, asbestos can lead to highly contaminated water. This is usually the result of industrial wastewater or the gradual erosion of materials that contain asbestos, such as concrete pipelines, in water supply systems.

More People dieing form water diseases than Covid-19

Asia, old woman with grandchildren

Other chemicals and minerals that can cause cancer when ingested through contaminated water include chlordane, PCB, radium, radon, toxaphene, trihalomethanes, uranium, and volatile organic compounds. Of course, there’s no need to swear off water altogether. These contaminants are not harmful in very small doses and can be easily avoided with a good water purification system.

Less severe but more common are instances of gastrointestinal illness as the result of contaminated water. The most common contaminants to cause gastrointestinal illnesses are cryptosporidium, giardia, and E.coli. Contaminated water containing cryptosporidium, giardia, or E.coli is usually the result of sewage pollution, often carried into the water supply by precipitation.

Cryptosporidium is a single-celled parasite that inhabits the intestines of both humans and animals. Those who have consumed contaminated water containing cryptosporidium will have diarrhea for up to two weeks. Although this is unpleasant, it is only dangerous for people who are already in a vulnerable physical condition, especially anyone who is pregnant or has HIV, AIDS, or cancer.

Giardia is the other most common gastrointestinal illness. Like Cryptosporidium, giardia also causes contaminated water through the feces of humans and animals. Drinking contaminated water containing giardia causes giardiasis, which is a common cause of diarrhea.

The third and most serious common cause of gastrointestinal illness as the result of contaminated water is E.coli. Although there are numerous harmless types of E.coli, the strain 0157:H7 causes several deaths each year in North America alone.

Like cryptosporidium and giardia, E-coli also contaminates water as the result of feces. Between two and seven percent of all people infected with E.coli experience hemolytic uremic syndrome, a condition that destroys red blood cells and leads to kidney failure.

Hemolytic uremic syndrome is most common in children under the age of five and the elderly. The size of the harmful E.coli strain is minute (it is only 0.5 to 3 microns), making it too small for many water filters to catch. All SureAqua products are effective in filtering out E.coli.

 Cancer and gastrointestinal illnesses are not the only effects of contaminated water. Contaminated water can also lead to liver and kidney damage.

To avoid getting sick from contaminated water, make sure you always have access to safe drinking water by investing in a good water purification system.

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Be Water Efficient: How to Prevent Water Wastage in Your Home

Be Water Efficient: How to Prevent Water Wastage in Your Home

The facts About Household Water Wastage

 Sydney Water is an Australian state owned entity, dedicated to delivering essential and sustainable water solutions for the benefit of the community.  They have run extensive surveys on numerous households and these are the frightening facts that all of us should be aware of:

 

  • A toilet that continues to leak with out you realizing will be wasting more than 16,000 liters of water a year.
  • A dripping tap wastes up to 2000 liters per minute that it drips. At 24,000 liters worth of drips per year. That drip uses more water than the total average annual water usage of a household
  • If you had to leave a tap running it would waste a total of 17 liters, per minute

Hygiene is the #1 cause of Gastro

How to keep ‘Taps’ on your Water Usages

1.  Check For Leaks

Damp patches are a tell tale sign of a leak.  Have a look in your garden for damp patches on the lawn that might be caused by a leak in your swimming pool.  If there are random damp patches in your garden check that no roots are interfering with underground pipe systems.

Check your walls and ceilings for damp marks where pipes may be leaking.  Always check all your taps inside and outside the house for leaks.  When checking pipes and taps keep an eye out for rust and damaged joints.

2. Keep an Eye on Your Water Meter

One the easiest ways to keep an eye on your water wastage is to keep checking you water meter.  This will also help you find out if you have any leaks.  Pick a time during the day when no one can use the bathroom, laundry, kitchen or any taps in the house.  The best time to do this is in the night when everyone is sleeping.  After about an hour, or in the morning, check the water meter.  If it has gone up then you have a leak.

3. Update Your Taps and Facilities

You may feel like it’s a lot of money to spend on the spot, but in the long term upgrading or improving your bathroom, laundry and kitchen facilities will save you more money than you spend in the upgrade.

The western world is wasting so much water!

What star rating is your toilet?  A single flush toilet uses about 12 liters of water per flush.  If you upgraded to a 4-star rated, dual flush toilet you would only be using as little as 3 liters per flush, without sacrificing the much needed flushing effectiveness of your toilet.  This change alone could save you up to 25,000 liters of water per year.

By fitting aerators to the ends of your taps you could reduce your water flow up to 50%, but not sacrifice any effectiveness of the tap, just save water.  There are many options when it comes to aerators, but for example, fitting a 6 liter per minute aerator to your tap will save half the water used by an everyday household taps, at the very least.  Alternatives that you could look into are control valves and restrictors, which reduce the volume of water passing through a tap.

What rating is your dishwasher?   Did you know that most standard automatic dishwashers use more than 40 liters of water in one load of washing?  By upgrading to a AAA-rated dishwasher you will only be using 18 liters per cycle.

Get Creative

Leaks in the bathroom can be tricky to pin point.  If you have a suspicion that your toilet maybe leaking, try adding a few drops of water coloring into your water cistern.  Now, with out using the toilet for about an hour, if the coloring show up in the toilet bowl then you’ve got a leak.

 When rinsing your plates or washing your vegetable before cooking, always do so in a half filled sink instead of rinsing under running water.  This may seem like a minor detail, but it can save you 6 liters alone.

Rising Population means Increased Wastage

Cutting down on water waste around the household to save money is not the only reason to be reducing wastage.  In 1960 the world population was three billion. In 1990 the world population was little over five billion. In 2011, the world population reached 2011. Overpopulation has begun and will continue to take its toll on our water resources, and water will become more scarce, and therefore more expensive. The above methods to identify and cut down on water waste are precautions to protect our water supply as much as they are to cut down on household expenses.

No matter where in the world you live, we recommend that you use to the water efficiency targets set by Sydney Water as a guideline. For more information on world water, visit the official SureAqua website for more articles.

Other Household Water Saving Tips

  • Use water-friendly equipments and accessories which cut down the wastage of water. For instance-low flow showerheads, dual flush toilets and water efficient dishwasher. Even installing water saving powerheads can help save gallons of water per minute while brushing or shampooing.
  • Stop the use of bottled water at the earliest because it contains carcinogen, neurotoxin xylene and neurotoxin styrene which are very dangerous for health. Moreover bottled water is the same tap water only which many governments already provide. This tap water tested by the concerned authorities is safe and also has a better taste compared to the bottled water. Bottled water leads to increase in carbon content to a great extent so don’t buy it until and unless a necessity. Be safe and drink healthy water. Substitute bottled water with RO water.
  • Practice rainwater harvesting by digging a rain barrel and using the collected water for irrigation. This way the water which was used for watering plants could be put to some other useful purposes. The rain water which is waste could be utilized in a proper way.
  • Sometimes we waste a lot of water at home like by washing car. It is better to get the car cleaned at a place where recycled water is used. Also be precise in doing your task and do it in the best way.
  • Conserving water does not just mean storing the water in tanks and keeping the taps closed. It also means keeping our lakes and rivers clean which we contaminate by disposing off chemicals or other pollutants. This way water becomes of no use and makes you ill.
  • Dripping of water can result in loss of large amounts of water. Get all the leaking taps, pipes, sinks or toilets in your home fixed to avoid water wastage. Be careful and handle the water-related accessories in your kitchen, toilet and bathroom properly and keep a check on any water drip.
  • All the waste water goes into the soil and contaminates it. So be wise in using water especially while brushing or shaving and wash the dishes and laundry with full load. With little caution today, you can get a joyful life tomorrow.
  • It is essential to water the plants but do not overdo it. Also watering the plants in the morning or in the evening when rate of evaporation is low is the best practice. It is good to have lots of plants in house but choose to have the ones which consume less water.
  • Make the best use of grey water (the water clean enough to be used the second time) to stop the menace of water wastage. Water from sinks, dishwashers and laundry washer is grey water which is treated to obtain clean water for re-use.
  • As the proverb goes’ charity begins at home, similarly follow it in case of water also. Start conserving water at home first and then report against those who waste water. Also inform about any leakages or water-run off to the concerned authorities.

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The Effects of Polluted Water Part 2: Preventing Water Pollution

The Effects of Polluted Water Part 2: Preventing Water Pollution

This article is a follow up article to The Effects of Polluted Water Part 1.  In this article we will discuss ways to prevent water pollution.  Click here to view ‘The Effects of Pollution Part 1’ before continuing, to learn what water pollution is, what causes it and what the health and environmental consequences are.

 As discussed in The Effects of Water Pollution Part 1, “…water pollution is a problem that all of us should be aware of.  Water Pollution and contamination is an increasing topic of concern and all the health risks involved should be well understood.”

 The world pollution problem can easily be improved and prevented if everyone takes responsibility for their own pollution.  This is easier than most people may think, it all starts with taking precautions in your own home:

  • Don’t litter and be sure to recycle.
  • Don’t throw chemicals, oils, paints or medicines down the drain
  • Use environmentally friendly household cleaning products
  • Plant trees and plants around your home to improve the natural filtration process in the ground. This will stop nasty chemicals draining into natural water systems.
  • Don’t over use pesticides and fertilizers

Hygiene is the #1 cause of Gastro

Almost any every day household activity can possibly translate into water pollution.  From the fertilizers in your garden to the oil from driveways, paint and solvent residues from walls and decks, and even pet feces.  When it rains these are all washed into the storm water sewage systems as well as rivers, streams and lakes.  These are all water sources where we get our drinking water from, and how contaminated the source is determines the quality of our drinking water.

Below are a list of easy and essential steps in preventing water pollution around the house:

Have fewer hard surfaces:

Hard surfaces such as asphalt and concrete don’t allow the water to seep into the ground and therefore run off your property and into the storm water systems. Good alternatives to solid surfaces would be grass, gravel, deck wood, paving stones or inter locking bricks.  These all allow water to run into the soil.  You can also control where the water on your roof flows by redirecting your gutters.  It’s best to position them so that rain water flows off into the garden where it can seep into the soil.

Preventing Pollution in your Garden:

Use native plants and environmentally friendly fertilizers.  Plants that are native to a certain area use less water because they are accustomed to the climate.  They are also accustomed to the habitat and are great hosts for other flora, as well as fauna.

 You should always use chemical free, natural fertilizers like compost.  It is easy to create your own compost at home by buying a compost bin.  This helps keep waste from becoming land fill.  Alternatively you could use natural fertilizers, soil conditioners or rotted manure.  These will all help your soil retain moisture and keep your minimize your pollution.

Be sure not to over water your garden.  A large percentage of household water use and wastage is due to home irrigation systems.  If your garden isn’t flat, try not to use inefficient sprinkler system that don’t cover all areas of your garden.  Install a rain gauge so that you know exactly how much water your garden is getting.  This way you know not to water your garden if you don’t need to.  Over watering gardens is one of the main reasons for chemicals draining from the soil and running into water systems.

Did you know nearly 96% of people suffer from Gastro in their life

Throw Away Household Products Properly

Ideally before you choose your everyday household products, you should be looking out for non-toxic alternatives.  You can research products on your chosen supermarkets website and take note of the environmentally friendly products.  When you are finished with them you can make sure that they make their way into the recycling bin or what ever recycling program your city or town offers.  As long as the container and it’s contents don’t go into the ground, then you are making a difference.

Educate Yourself

Lastly, go onto local government websites to find information on your local water situation.  This way you can know the risks you face and aim to make a difference in your community.  Be an activist in all the movements for better protection of our environment. WIth your support laws will be made and ultimately change will be made for the better of our planet.

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The Effects of Polluted Water: Part 1

The Effects of Polluted Water: Part 1

“Dirty water is the world’s biggest health risk…threatening both quality of life and public health.”

 The above quote was taken from the official web page of an American environmental protection agency, the NRDC (Natural Resources Defense Council).

Even though drinking water quality may vary in different parts of the world, water pollution is a problem that all of us should be aware of.  Water Pollution and contamination is an increasing topic of concern, and all the health risks involved should be well understood.

What exactly is contaminated water?

Water pollution is the contamination of water bodies.  Water is said to be contaminated once enough pollutants are introduced to render it unsafe and unacceptable for human consumption or unable to support human life.

    Hygiene is the #1 cause of Gastro

    A World-Wide Crisis

    According to the Australian National Health and Research Council, “….in recent decades, there have been numerous examples throughout the world of poor water quality having an adverse impact on human health. 

    The most common and widespread health risk associated with drinking water is contamination, either directly or indirectly, by human or animal excreta and the microorganisms contained in feces.”

    The greatest risks to you when drinking water are pathogenic (capable of producing disease) microorganisms. Waterborne pathogens which can cause outbreaks of illness in communities, in some cases causing death.

    Did you know nearly 96% of people suffer from Gastro in their life

    Dangers and Consequences

    Pathogenic microorganisms are disease producing microorganisms such as viruses, bacterial diseases and parasitic worms.

     What is a virus?

    A virus is a microscopic parasite of plants, animals, and bacteria in well water that can cause disease.

    Some of the more common viral infection effecting world water today are: Gasroeneritus (cause of Diarrhea), Hepatitus A, Polio, Dengu Fever, Salmonella infection and dysentery.

    What is a bacterial disease?

    Bacteria are single-celled, microscopic organisms found in all environments.  These environments include soil, water, and the bodies of animals and humans.

    Some of the more common bacterial diseases effecting world water today are: Cholera, E.coli, Dysentery, Salmonella, and Typhoid Fever.

    What is a parasitic worm?

    Parasitic worms are worm like organisms that feed on their living host, using them as a source of nourishment and protection.  Parasitic worms live in the intestines and other organs.  They cause disruption to their hosts nutrient absorption which causes disease and illness in humans.

    Some of the most common by parasitic worm related diseases effecting world water today are: Guinea Worm Disease, Schistosomiasis, Enterobiasis, Ascariasis, and Tapeworms.

    How are our waters polluted?

     When it rains the water picks up  human and animal feces and harmful chemicals from the ground.  These travel with the water and end up in rivers, lakes, and underground water supplies.

     In most cases water pollution begins at the water source.  There are two main sources of water.  The first is surface water from rivers and lakes.  Surface water can become contaminated from acid rain, polluted storm water, pesticide in the ground, and industrial waste making its way into the water source.

     The second is groundwater, which comes from private wells or public water supplies.

    Groundwater can be polluted by contaminants that drain into the water source from: landfills and septic systems, careless disposal of hazardous products, chemicals used in farming and agriculture, and leaking underground storage tanks.

     The above ways of contamination are avoided when the water is passed through modern water treatment techniques and facilities.  However, this in itself introduces its own dangers.  Strong chemicals are used in the water treatment process and these chemicals can be harmful when consumed over long periods of time.  According to the Global Healing Centre some of the proven effects of long term exposure to strong chemicals in drinking water are: brain damage, Alzheimer’s disease, dementia and cancer.

     Some of the most common chemicals effecting world water today are: Fluoride, Chlorine, mercury, PCB’s (a man made chemical), MtBE (contained in gasoline), Dioxin, HCB (hexachlorobenzene), DDT (a organochlorine insecticide).

     Toxic metals enter our water systems and supplies through industrial process as well as from materials used in your plumbing system.  These include arsenic, barium, chromium, lead, mercury, and silver, and can cause acute poisoning and cancer, as well as other health effects.

    Diarrhea – A Global Epidemic

    The biggest world spread disaster of contaminated water is Diarrhea.

    The World Health Organization has pin pointed Diarrhea as a main fatality, causing 4% of all deaths world-wide.  Each year there are approximately 4 billion cases of diarrhea world-wide. In 1998, Diarrhea was estimated to have killed 2.2 million people, most of whom were under 5 years of age.

     

    Make sure you take all precautions necessary when drinking water. For added safety in the home and out the home, we recommend the use of SureAqua water filter products.

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    Ban on bottled water: Hydration with the Environment in Mind

    Ban on bottled water: Hydration with the Environment in Mind

    As the movement towards a complete ban on bottled water becomes an increasing possibility in society today, we can no longer ignore or avoid the effects of bottled water on our environment.  As the facts of the environmental consequences of bottled water are becoming more and accessible and apparent, certain communities are beginning to respond, such as the small town of Bundanoon in southern NSW, Australia which, on the 26th of September, became the first town in the world to ban bottled water.

    According to www.gotap.com.au, a website run by the not-for-profit organisation, Do Something, which promotes positive social and environmental change, these are the facts on the bottled water industry and why they believe things have to change:

     

    • 64% of all bottles consumed go to land fill with only 36% being recycled
    • The production of one liter of bottle water emits 100 times more greenhouse gases than a liter of tap water

    Hygiene is the #1 cause of Gastro

    Environmental Impacts

    There is no arguing that bottled water has detrimental effects on the environment right from when it is produced right through to its consumption.  According to www.celanup.org.au it all begins at the source.  Spring water used in bottled water is sourced from underground aquifers upstream from where the water surfaces.  This interrupts the natural aquifer flow, effecting eco systems relying on the water for nourishment and growth.

     In production, most bottles are produced from Polyethylene Terephthalate (PET), a plastic resin which is derived from crude oil.  It takes up to 250ml of crude oil to produce one liter of bottled water and in this process three litres of water is used.

     The water is then transported all around the world, burning fossil fuels that otherwise would not be taking a toll on the environment if bottled water was banned.

    Did you know nearly 96% of people suffer from Gastro in their life

    According to the 2009 ‘Rubbish Report’ by Clean Up Australia, plastic bottles are amongst the ten most common rubbish items picked up on Clean Up Australia day.  Bottles that are not recycled and go to land fill can take up to 1000 years per plastic bottle to decompose.

    So what are the main reasons people insisting on turning to bottled water?  Some would argue that bottled water not only tastes better than tap water, but that it is also a healthier alternative and is more convenient.

    However, there is no evidence to suggest that bottled water is a healthier alternative. Unless your bottle of water is spring water from natural sources, then it is simply sourced from municipal water supplies, i.e. tap water, but has received extra treatment.  Fortunately, as environmental awareness begins to rise, more people are beginning to wake up to the facts.

    Increasing Trend of Social Responsibility

     As mentioned in the introduction, Bundanoon, was the first town in the world to ban bottled water.  The town replaced bottles of water in their stores with refillable and reusable bottles that can be replenished from water fountains installed inside shops and in the streets.

    Following in the footsteps of Bundanoon, in January of 2011, the University of Canberra, Australia, declared that they were set to ban bottled water across their campuses.  They turned to the solution of vending machines called WaterVend, providing water refills for a dollar rather than students and university staff having to pay $3.00 for a bottle of water.

    On the 3rd of January in 20193 Concord, a town in the USA state of Massachusetts passed a law making single serving bottle water illegal.  According to Ninemsn, “…the ban is intended to encourage use of tap water and curb the worldwide problem of plastic pollution.”

    Solutions and Alternatives

    In an economic and environmental climate that forces us to reconsider bottled water, Australian’s  are fortunate enough to have the alternative of purchasing reusable bottles.  Australian water is said to be world standard drinking water, but you are encouraged to adopt the use of water filters.

     

    For water filtration on the run and in your home, SureAqua recommends their range of  filter and purification products, which you can view on our webpage by following this link:

    https://www.sureaqua.com/products

     

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    To research all the facts presented in this article, visit our trusted points of reference and support the promotion of ‘positive environmental change’:

    1 – http://www.gotap.com.au/Did%20you%20know/Research.aspx

    2 – http://www.cleanup.org.au/au/LiveGreener/bottled-water-at-school.html?kw=water

    3 – Pacific Institute, “Bottled water and energy / A fact sheet” http://www.pacinst.org/topics/water_and_sustainability/bottled_water/bottled_water_and_energy.html

    4 – Clean Up Australia, “Rubbish Report 2009” http://www.cleanup.org.au/au/NewsandMedia/rubbishreport.html?kw=rubbish%20report

    5 – http://www.theaustralian.com.au/news/nation/bundanoon-in-world-first-ban-on-bottled-water/story-e6frg6nf-1225779878437

    6 – http://www.gotap.com.au/en/Blog/Major%20Australian%20university%20bans%20bottled%20water.aspx

    7 – http://news.ninemsn.com.au/world/2013/01/03/10/20/us-town-bans-bottled-water

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