Tuesday, December 01, 2009

Today I Drink... Water!

Today I drink… water! I will drink something else at some point, but I am amazed at how much this tiny lifestyle change has affected me for the good. I really can’t point yet to any physical good that drinking water only has done for my body, but I’m confident its there. What has amazed me is the mental good that it has done. I just feel better. And as silly as it seems it is really refreshing to not have any beverage options anymore. I’ve often heard that simplifying your life brings more freedom than regret and I think that must be true. Drinking only water has given me a sense of freedom that is strange to me.

Like I said before, I will drink something other than water, but I will probably stick to mostly water. And I am certainly willing to go on another water only streak if I can get some people to join me. So let me give you a little insight into what I did with drinking only water and why it even matters.

When I measured how much I drank in November of 2008, I also measured how much I spent. Two things about this exercise were very alarming to me: how little water I actually drank and how much money I spent on beverages. I was spending an average of $28 a week on drinks alone! That seemed pretty high to me, but when you factor in the 7/11 coffee every morning, another stop or two at 7/11 during the day for a 44 ounce Diet drink, a Gatorade or two, a couple of cans of Diet Dew at night, and a trip to Starbucks each week – you get to $28 a week.

So I decided to take that $28 each week and donate it to The Last Well where we are helping to eradicate the water crisis in Liberia. In fact, in less than 6 years Liberia will be the first African nation to have clean, safe drinking water for every single citizen! It costs $1 to provide the water needed for one Liberian for one year. So by $28 per week will help 28 people for an entire year… every single week! And it’s not even money that I’m donating as much as it is money that I’m redirecting. I was spending it on myself, and this tiny sacrifice allows me to spend it on Liberia.

As I got through my first week last December and I knew that this was going to be easier than I initially thought I started to think about my friend Scott’s advice to get other people involved in it. I began asking friends one by one to do an H2Only challenge with me – where they would drink nothing but water for one week and take the money they saved on not buying beverages and donate it to The Last Well. I would typically ask people to agree to donate $20 for a week –that way they are helping 20 people have clean, safe drinking water for one year. One week of small sacrifice for 20 people to have one year of fresh water – what a deal!

Since the first week is by far the hardest, I would typically ask my friends to consider doing it another week and to recruit someone to do it with them. Most people took the challenge and kept going!

Let me know if you want to take the H2Only Challenge. I’ll do it with you… because you’ll probably need someone to kick you in the butt in those first few days when you will be tempted to raise money to build a Starbucks in Liberia instead of water wells. Yes – the first few days do stink – so load up on the Advil, but it does get better. Much better!

Here is the link to donate to the Last Wellbe sure to type in the word RightNow under the climbers name so we can measure how much money we raise!

Here is a recap of what I drank in November of 2008:

30% of what I drank was Diet Coke/Diet Dr Pepper - 976 ounces – good with any meal
19.5% of what I drank was Gatorade – 636 ounces – for that deep down body thirst
14% of what I drank was Diet Mountain Dew – 452 ounces - must have been a slow month
13% of what I drank was 7/11 Coffee – 432 ounces – used to begin each day at 7/11
6% of what I drank was Starbucks – 200 ounces – all types of drinks!
5.5% of what I drank was water – 188 ounces – it made the list!
5.5% of what I drank was fake beer – 180 ounces – someone had given me a 12 pack so I took it down
4.5% of what I drank was juice – 144 ounces – I think it was OJ when I was sick
1% of what I drank was milk – 36 ounces – I think I had dozen brownies with that

Here is a recap of what I drank over the last 12 months:
100% of what I drank was water – 39,228 ounces – mostly from the tap!

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