The hot Indian sun beamed down on my forehead, I wore sunglasses to shield me from the sizzling light and no shirt. I lay on my crash pad, waiting patiently for the boat to arrive, the boat to Hampi. I sat and watched dozens of family’s walk up to the edge of the river. They bathed, drank and cooled off, I was startled. This water was thick and greasy like Cambells Soup. But hey, they were adults, they could make decisions for themselves, I shrugged it off. Until I watched a mother gathering the toxic river water and feeding it to her infant son. The small boy drinking the whole cup down, trusting his family, craving nutrients. There weren’t any. I saw everything floating in this water. EVERYTHING and I could barely wade through it, let alone swim in it or drink it. I heard a stat that said nearly 90% of Indian people live with Giardia their whole lives. It doesn’t surprise me. There are too many people, and not enough systems in place to support them. Everything is overflowing, the rivers, the streets, the toilets. Not to say there aren’t nice places to visit, there are, but still, do you drink the water?
This was a choice I had to face in India, and I bought bottled water everyday. It made me sick to my stomach, nearly as much as the poisonous river could have. When I asked about recycling these bottles one local boy grabbed it from me and threw it to the edge of the river. I asked him where it goes, he shrugged and waved his hand and said “AWAY!”. Away from where? Here? This is what we as people have reduced ourselves to, throwing things away from ‘here’. But don’t be fooled, it always comes back. Every single action you make, has a reaction, can’t FORGET that, and it may come back to land in your living room one day.
At the camp site I stayed at, we continued to buy water, when I asked the kind hostess Sharmilla if she could switch to a filter system, she told me that if she installed a filter, the mob would destroy her business and ultimately her life. The MOB controls the people, and they make too much money selling bottled water to fat, greedy tourists like myself. When people ask me if I want to go back to India, I tell them yes, I tell them it was the most amazing country I’ve ever been to, but then deep inside my heart sinks and I wonder if I’ll ever board a plane for India again. We say we want to save the world, we want to cause the least amount of harm, but then we jump on planes and fly across the world to drink bottled water? How, in any way is this good? or sustainable? We are the cause, ME, YOU, HIM and HER. Everyone. And we need to ask ourselves when it stops? Maybe never, maybe one day it will be oure great great grandchildren feeding from a cup of spoiled rotten and contaminated water. I am an optimist at heart, but honestly, if we don’t start to change the way we live right now, we are all going to hell in a handbasket. We need to stop using so much plastic, stop supporting the manufacturers who make them, start building our furniture out of wood instead of buying all that plastic SHIT from Ikea. Stop being so lazy, uncreative and think about every action we make. By joining your local community you’re joing the global one too. The next time you feel thirsty, ask yourself this question, – What’s more important, the Economy or the Environment?
I realize this post is a bit negative, but it’s the harsh reality, and I don’t mean to sound preachy, I HATE preachers, but, if working with my sponsors has taught me anything, it’s to ask questions, express my concerns, and work together to make things better. Change is the only constant, and we need to roll with these changes to improve the quality of our life and the lives beyond, as our needs begin to change, our products need to reflect that. Here is my favorite quote this month. Read it carefully.
“Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed people can change the world. Indeed, it is the only thing that ever has.” — Margaret Mead
With that being said, the email that inspired this post and the video that followed.
Well. Happy Thusday.
This should depress even the staunchest heart. Once again, I weep for what we do to this planet. I thought I was morose before this, but now, I’m just sad and angry.