Saturday, March 21, 2009

World Water Day

(co-written by Lee Fox & Christine Guardia)

Water is an essential element of life, yet more than 20% of our world’s population is robbed of this basic necessity. The situation is tragic: 1-billion people worldwide do not have access to clean drinking water; another 2.4-billion consume water that has been improperly sanitized; and there are more than 5-million deaths each year from water-related diseases.

One child dies every eight seconds as a result of diseases caused by unclean water and poor sanitation. At any moment, almost half the population in a developing country is suffering from a disease linked to lack of access to clean water and sanitation. Women and children are most affected, because they walk some 200 million hours every day for water which often prevents them from earning a living or going to school.

While no single person or organization can resolve a global issue of this magnitude, we believe bringing our collective good-will together in social action can make a positive difference. Members of civic society, brands, not-for-profit organizations, and local governments have to unite.

Today’s kids can do some social good in this context as well.

From simple walks/hikes/runs (serving as a reminder to how far some villagers have to go to get clean water) to artistic contests, concerts and film festivals, there are a wide-variety of events being held around the globe in observance of World Water Day.

Encouraging the next generation to take an active role in ensuring the sustainability of the earth’s water supply is paramount. Some of the youth-oriented opportunities of which KooDooZ is aware includes:

  • Nature’s Voice Our Choice is the theme of this internet-based poetry competition.
  • The TAP project has partnered with restaurants in featured cities to help UNICEF provide safe drinking water to the world’s children.
  • Live online music concert to raise money and awareness for world water issues.
  • Dream Village, a children’s book publisher which allows kids to determine the outcome of their charitable donations, is sponsoring the World Changer Contest for children ages 6 to 10. Entries are due by May 1st for the opportunity to win a full scholarship to Beam Camp, a four-week summer program for boys and girls ages 7 to 17 in Strafford, New Hampshire.
  • Little Drops, Big Ripples, is new contest launched by Purex Natural Elements for Canadian residents to submit their tips on how to keep water resources clean. For every entry received, Purex will make a donation to the Clean Water Project. In the U.S. consumers can bid on a tote designed by a celebrity and proceeds will be donated to the Earth Day Network.
  • All The Way To The Ocean is a visual book developed to give kids the chance to understand the cause and effect relationship between our cities’ trash filled storm drains and the worlds water gateways.
  • Make your voice heard by signing an online petition to add Article 31 (right to water) to the Universal Declaration of Human Rights (UDHR) for adoption by the United Nations General Assembly.

Conceived 17-years ago by a United Nations committee as an international day of observance, March 22nd is not the only day we need to conserve our water. If current trends continue, the United Nations estimates that by the year 2025, two-thrids of the people in this world will not have sufficient access to clean water.

So what can you and your kids do? Start by looking at your water use at home:

180-gallons used to water your garden
60-gallons used to fill a bath-tub
60-gallons used to run the laundry machine
50-gallons used to run a shower (25-gallons if run "soft")
12-gallons used to run a dishwasher
5-gallons used to flush a toilet
2-4 gallons used to brush your teeth

On average, people in the U.S. use more than 100-gallons of water a day, while people in most developing countries use less than 2-gallons daily. If you shortened your shower by 1-or-2 minutes, you could save up to 700-gallons of water per month. Find more ideas on how to conserve from this phenomenal pdf published by UNICEF.

It takes just $37-dollars for UNICEF to provide a water filter, purifier, and disinfectant that can be used by an entire village.

How might your family raise money or awareness? We came across one family that has decided to turn off their house water for one week, thus saving a child's life for a year.

Monday, March 9, 2009

Change the Web to Change the World

The KooDooZ Team is excited to be part of Social Actions’ Change the Web Challenge because we believe in the power of the web to change the world! During the next couple of weeks, we are participating in two Change the Web events and hope you can join us:

1. On Monday, March 16th, the Change the Web Challenge Los Angeles Event will be held at 8:30 pm PDT, following Bloblive LA, at SOUTH in Santa Monica. If you are in the Los Angeles area, please stop by to hear how to apply your entrepreneurial ideas to change the world by listening to case studies, learning about the challenge and sharing ideas about how we can change the web. You can RSVP via or For those of you not in the LA area, the event will be streamed live via Thank you to our co-sponsors, Bloblive and Mixergy!

2. On Tuesday, March 24th, we will be moderating an online Change the Web chat entitled “Twitter for Good”. The featured guests are John Haydon, a blogger and social media consultant for nonprofits, Amanda Rose, global organizer of Twestival, which has already raised over $250,000 for charity: water, and Stacey Monk, of Epic Change and Tweetsgiving organizer. The guests will share their insights and suggestions with nonprofits, as well as volunteers, who want to mobilize people to take action in their communities. The chat will begin at 2 pm EDT/11 am PDT.

The purpose of the Change the Web challenge is to help people find and share opportunities to take action via websites, blogs and social networks. Joe Solomon, Director of the Change the Web Challenge, uses the example of someone reading a story about homelessness online and a pop-up window appearing with information about volunteer opportunities at a local shelter. Social Actions currently aggregates such opportunities from a variety of sources, including VolunteerMatch and, and is challenging people to develop applications to transform the web for change. For more information, please see

Although the Social Actions’ Change the Web Challenge does not directly involve youth, the applications resulting from the challenge will help turn the good will and passions of kids into skills and strategies for creating change for years to come. Although it often feels like there is not much good news these days, we are encouraged by the stories we are reading about how youth are choosing to spend their spring breaks volunteering and applying in record numbers to organizations such as Teach for America. These are the most difficult times that the Millennial generation has experienced so far and they have demonstrated their desire to be part of the change to make the world a better place for themselves, as well as future generations.