Change the World Wednesday Challenge & Summit on the Summit

Water conservation was the theme of this week's Change the World Wednesday Challenge.

"This week, when using the faucet, turn it on at a trickle instead of full blast. Simple, right?"

I generally try to do this anyway, but this week I tried to be extra conscious. Brushing my teeth, washing my hands, washing my face, washing vegetables--for all of these things I tried to turn the sink on to only a trickle. Sure, it takes a few more seconds to get enough water for whatever you're doing, but it's not enough time that it's infeasible. I noticed that the kitchen sink is the faucet that most often gets blasted. Waiting for hot water, washing vegetables and washing plates each end up wasting a lot of water because of the high-blast faucet issue. I noticed the water issue most when I was doing homework and my parents were using the sink. It was almost always at full blast. It's just a matter of reminding people, I think, until it becomes a habit. I instinctively turn the faucet all the way and then have to adjust it.

I washed some potatoes this week before putting them in the oven and realized that you can totally scrub them with the water at only a trickle. Same thing works when scrubbing dishes (which isn't necessary for newer dishwashers apparently), but I don't know about the hot water thing. I never wait for the hot water, but then again I'm not the main kitchen sink-user in my house, so I don't know. If you turned it to a trickle and waited would it get hot as quickly? Hmm...

On the subject of water, on Sunday evening I watched the premiere of the documentary Summit on the Summit about the climb up Mt. Kilimanjaro that some famous celebrities took to raise awareness about unclean drinking water in Africa. They teamed up with PUR (who will donate a week's worth of clean drinking water to a child in Africa for every PUR pitcher or faucet mount system purchased in the U.S.) to get the word out. The documentary was on MTV, which as my sister remarked, is pretty cool. MTV is a widely-watched station by young people, many of whom aren't necessarily very informed about humanitarian issues. It was neat that they played the documentary on that channel.

I heard about the event through a Google alert. Actor Emile Hirsch participated in the climb, and because I get Google alerts for the phrase "Chris McCandless," it showed up on an alert referencing Hirsch's previous acting performances. (Hirsch portrayed McCandless in Sean Penn's film Into the Wild.) I'm quite enthusiastic (AKA a tad obsessed) with Jon Krakauer's Into the Wild. I managed to write about the book and McCandless in some of my college application essays, and last year I bought my friend the book and made sure he read it despite the fun he made of me throughout the year whenever I related McCandless to anything in our English class discussions. Anyway, the climb consisted of singer Kenna (who created the Summit on the Summit concept), rapper Lupe Fiasco, actress Jessica Biel, water expert Alexandra Cousteau, actor Emile Hirsch, Kick Kennedy (granddaughter of Robert F. Kennedy), photographer Jimmy Chin, actress Isabel Lucas, photographer Michael Muller, singer/songwriter Santi White, UN humanitarian Elizabeth Gore, and others.

They posted Twitter and Facebook updates during the climb, as well as videos and pictures. The mountain is 19,340 feet high and took the group six days to climb. They created a pretty cool interactive website, too. Here's the trailer:


  1. My bro is a very successful lawyer. He is also an eco warrior. He keeps all the water from the kitchen and throws them to his trees. He also throws the vege and fruit scraps. They either get composted or eaten by birds.

    Now, I am doing the same with my kitchen water. i water my veg garden.

  2. In our house, it definitely takes longer to get hot water when it's going at a trickle. That's why I'm saving our gallon milk containers and filling them up with the cold water that's going at full blast while I wait for the hot water.

  3. I've been doing the trickle trick and "shut off the faucet" maneuver for years, whether doing the dishes or brushing my teeth. I cringe when I see faucets going full blast.

    Thanks for this great reminder and for the recap of Summit on the Summit.


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