While on vacation visiting friends, we took all our children to a fantastic exhibit at the local Museum. In honour of World Water Day, the exhibit was all about WATER. Oh my goodness was there tons of information on display for us to explore. I, for one, got to educate myself about watersheds. Our area is part of the Little River Watershed, but honestly I knew little more about what it was than to visualize it as a shed full of water. Yay for knowledge. I now understand that it is the higher elevation land that surrounds a body of water, that feeds water into it by virtue of gravity and the water cycle.
My mind was blown by a variety of facts and figures. For example, did you know that using a swimming pool for one day uses an amount of water equal to the regional rainfall for the entire Tri city area? One Day!
Did you know that an average household uses 1400 litres of water everyday? I certainly didn’t.
Did you know that 80% of the pollution in our oceans is plastic that was washed out to sea from our very own watersheds? So when you toss that plastic fork from your lunch and miss the garbage, the rainfall will eventually carry it out to sea, and you become part of the problem.
The harm caused to wildlife is immense. Humanity’s toxic relationship with plastic is not only breaking the back of our planet, it is polluting the water that keeps us alive as well as driving many species of wildlife into endangerment or even extinction; all because we can’t break our addiction to plastic. Don’t even get me started on plastic water bottles
All of this was heartbreaking, and greatly elucidating, but it left me with a big question; how much of this info makes it out of the museum and into practice in peoples’ lives? The children got the message loud and clear. As we began our walk home, the children began to pick up garbage, quickly filling the reusable bag I keep in my purse. This was brought home and deposited into the proper receptacles. What struck me though was our immediate instinct as adults to tell them “No.” It was inconvenient, it slowed us down. It was dirty, the snow had just melted and all the litter was graced by a fine layer of grime. We nearly crushed the message before it had even had a chance to take root in their little green minds. We adults can be so rigid, so married to our own notions of how the world should be, how our days ought to go, and what we want that we resist the very changes that are needed to heal our planet and save ourselves.
It is unrealistic to expect a single drop of water to change the whole ocean, but it can change the drops it comes in contact with. If we can be fluid enough to go with the flow, change as we encounter something new and allow what we experience to mould us, together we can change the entire course of human history.