Sitting in a bus station in 38 degree weather Leah says “We’ve gotta take a selfie with this one.” A routine we had to face 2 to 3 times a day. In a foggy state of exhaustion, I look over to the middle-aged lady reading a paper beside me. “Stranger selfie?” I ask, she shrugs a “if you want to” and looks back down at her book.
This selfie and 299 others we’re a part of a project I did while traveling, to document the waste attached to drinking bottled water. My choice to do the project came on my first day when I realized that you can’t drink the water out of the taps in Asia. As naive as that sounds, when you come from a country like Canada (where fresh, clean drinking water flows out of every tap in your house) it’s easy to forget how good you have it.
The process became a daily routine, so we had to have fun with it. Many of the photos in the album are silly or staged, but every single one has a story behind it, a snapshot from a moment in our journey. These water bottles were with us every step of the way, as water is naturally in our everyday lives. To have this essential life resource bottled heightens awareness of how dependent we are on clean drinking water.
We brushed our teeth with bottled water, avoided swallowing in the shower, and food was unsafe to eat unless cleaned with purified water. The world as we knew it changed, yet for the most part this was the norm. Without being vigilant we could get sick for days at a time. This is not even news for many people, but it’s another reminder that this may very well be our future as well. How much longer will I be able to drink from the hose in my front lawn, get free water when I sit down in the restaurant, and drink water without fear of sickness?
I’m not writing this to tell you to join the clean water bandwagon or jam depressing statistics down your throat. I am reminding everyone to be aware that the most important substance in the world comes out of our taps for free and we should not waste it. If you live in a country with clean drinking water, #DRINKFROMTHETAP.
To watch a short video with all the photos click here: https://youtu.be/g0Vpbv7kxgM, if you want to scroll through the album: https://www.facebook.com/Levi.Jacob.Swann/media_set?set=a.10152791795091699.1073741830.582841698&type=3