Charities That Promote Clean Water

Gathering water puts a burden on many poor families in developing countries. Often people have to travel for hours just to get water. Sometimes this task falls to the children. In recognition of the global water crisis, the United Nations designated March 22 as World Water Day. Here are some charitable organizations whose mission is to bring clean water to underserved communities throughout the world.

Charity: Water is a ten year old New York based charity that has helped to fund 20,000 water projects in over 20 developing countries in Africa, Asia, Latin America and the Caribbean. 100% of public donations go directly to clean water projects including wells and water filtration systems. The charity uses social media platforms to bring attention to the global issue of water.

MIYA focuses on reducing non-revenue water (NRW) or fresh water that is lost from the distribution system before it reaches the consumer. These municipalities suffer a loss of millions of cubic meters of clean water every day. MIYA also promotes community awareness about water preservation. In addition to delivering more clean water, cities save energy and get lower costs for water. The program currently operates in the Philippines, Brazil, Canada, South Africa and the Bahamas.

WaterisLife cites its mission as bringing clean water to needy populations through short and long term solutions. The organization developed a water filtration system call The Straw. When this device is immersed in a water source, water borne bacteria is removed with each sip. The device lasts up to one year. In terms of long range goals, the program promotes sanitation, hygiene and education about how diseases are spread. Countries served by WaterisLife are Haiti, Indonesia, India, Pakistan, Afghanistan and parts of South America.

PureMadi is non-profit organization composed of faculty and students from the University of Virginia. Working with the University of Venda in South Africa, the team produces ceramic water filters using local materials to efficiently purify water. They also created MadiDrop—a simple water purification tablet that can disinfect water for up to six months. is an organization co-founded by Matt Damon and Gary White. The organization provides information about good hygiene and basic sanitation to local communities in developing countries. They also work to secure safe water by building wells. Donors to the charity can track progress by using  GPS coordinates. The co-founders also created WaterCredit, a nonprofit which connects micro-financiers with individuals and communities who use small loans to build wells and toilets.


Toronto Travel Guide

In Canada’s province of Ontario lies the country’s biggest city, and Ontario’s capital; Toronto. If you’re planning on traveling in the near future and don’t mind colder temperatures, this city is perfect for groups and families of all sizes. Though Canada may not be the first country to come to mind when thinking of vacation spots, Toronto hosts a buzzing entertainment district, and attractions everyone can enjoy. Below are just a few of the city’s best offerings.

The CN Tower

Perhaps Toronto’s most famous landmark, it would be hard to miss this building, standing at an impressive height of 553 meters. After its completion in 1976, it briefly held the title of tallest freestanding structure in the world, though that record was broken long ago. For a truly breathtaking view, the CN tower allows you to ride the Sky Pod, which reaches 447 meters off the ground. From here, so long as the weather permits, views allow you to see as far as Niagara Falls and parts of New York.

For thrillseekers, the CN Tower offers what is called the “Edge Walk,” a hands-free trek around the structure’s main pod 116 stories above the ground. It is also worth noting that the ledge you walk across is only 5 feet in diameter, so if an adrenaline rush is what you’re looking for, this is the attraction for you.

Toronto Islands

Just a short ferry ride outside the city lies these beautiful islands that permits kayaking, sailing, swimming, and hiking around the perimeter. Marinas lining the coasts bring a touch of class as well, attracting everything from yachts to fishing boats, while the Centreville Amusement Park provides entertainment for the kids. During the summer, the islands host numerous open-air events like aerial acrobatics and airshows.

Distillery District

Once a historic area of brick victorian buildings serving as a whiskey distillery turned a scenic downtown shopping area, the Toronto Distillery District has boutiques, art galleries, and restaurants of all kinds. Restored nearly 10 years ago, developers managed to combine the beautiful aesthetics of the industrial revolution with modern architecture and eco-friendly technology. Additionally, the district hosts a variety of performing arts schools and venues for those interested.

Niagara Falls

Of course Niagara Falls was going to make the list of best tourist attractions in Toronto, though it isn’t technically in the city. However, a little over an hour ride in a cab or Uber will bring you to one of the world’s most famous waterfalls. Once you’ve reached your destination, it is highly recommended that you hop aboard the Maid of the Mist. This boat ride allows you to get up close and personal with the falls, without putting yourself in danger.

Ripley’s Aquarium of Canada

In the heart of the Toronto Entertainment District sits this newly established aquarium that features a moving walkway through an underwater tunnel, surrounded by a huge variety of sharks and other fish. As if it weren’t already extremely kid-friendly, the aquarium hosts sleepovers for children of all ages along with any parents interested in joining.

How You Can Help Local Wildlife

eirik-olsen-67776There are a large number of species currently considered endangered at the moment, and a fair amount on the brink of extinction. From elephants, to gorillas, to the black rhinoceros, all of these animals need our help if they are to survive, and hopefully, reproduce enough to become self-sustaining once again.

While journeying to the country of origin of the animal that you wish to help can be a truly rewarding experience, it can be difficult, and expensive. Rather, there are a number of simple strategies you can implement to do your part right at home.

Educate yourself

Learn about any endangered species in your area, and promote that education throughout your community. The more friends and family members know about the dire situation these species face, the more likely they are to do their parts. Understand how this wildlife plays a part in your community rather than just the anesthetic reasons. Plants and animals alike often play great roles in their local areas including the control of other population sizes, clean air and water, and commercial benefits.

Modify your home

Many wild animals are attracted to houses in their communities due to easily controllable factors. To prevent them from developing a dependency on human resources and becoming comfortable around humans in general, properly secure any garbage cans you have, feed pets indoors, and avoid feeding any yourself. The reason being, wild animals that regularly visit residential neighborhoods looking for food can pose as dangerous, increase their chance of being hit by cars, and may also begin to starve without the help of human-produced food.

Another great way to help out your local wildlife (birds specifically) is to place decals on your windows. An astonishing 988 million birds die every year due to window collisions, simply by misjudging the distance or not seeing the glass at all. By placing decals or stickers on a window that clearly indicate its distance, you can prevent this number from rising.

Be eco-friendly

Regular maintenance on your home garden and yard can help it maintain its visual appeal, but using herbicides and pesticides are hazardous on many levels. Beginning at one of the smallest levels of the food chain, insects and rodents that may eat these poisoned plants can lead to poisoning their predators i.e. foxes, hawks, owls, etc. The effects are damaging and long lasting. Instead, try attracting native bees and butterflies to pollinate your plants and flowers. By doing so, local plants will flourish, and invasive species are not introduced, which cause increased levels of competition for resources, promoting the extinction of native wildlife.

Drive slowly
A simple but effective strategy; slowing down when driving in wooded areas or communities in general allows you prepare for any sudden animal running across the street. Many species live in developed areas that introduced roads and neighborhoods right in the middle of their homes. This forces them to navigate a hazardous terrain on a daily basis. By driving slowly, you allow both yourself and the local animals to go about their ways safely.

Barcelona’s Best Market Restaurants

Barcelona is a city unlike any other. There’s beautiful architecture across the city and the food you find there is delicious. The city possesses a rich history and a wonderful local culture, which you’ll certainly want to experience if you travel there. A large part of the culture of Barcelona is their markets, which feature local food and enchanting places to eat. Visitors have the opportunity to purchase goods and food local to the area and can also sample some unique and incredible dishes.

Mercat de Santa Caterina, La Ribera, Ciutat Vella

This market is a favorite of the locals, so you’ll be able to get a real feel for what Barcelona is like if you visit Santa Caterina. Since it was originally opened, Santa Caterina has gone through some remodeling. In 2005, the market got a new multi-colored roof that fits in with Barcelona’s attempt to modernize its markets for the 21st century. There are many stalls you can stop at, but the main attractions are the produce, fish, and meat stands. There are also various restaurant stalls you can stop and get food at, such as Cuines Santa Caterina and Bar Joan.

Mercat de Sants, Sants

This stunning brick building opened a little over a hundred years ago after it was designed by Pere Falqués. You’ll want to take the time to truly appreciate the architecture of this market before you make your way inside. Inside the market is Montero, where visitors can take menjars casolans (homemade meals) home or stay and eat the meals at one of the tables located in the market.

Mercat de Sant Antoni, Sant Antoni

This market underwent an extensive renovation, but will be open once again come 2018. While you may not be able to walk around the classic marketplace of Sant Antoni, the market has been set up nearby so merchants can keep their stalls open while the original building is being remodeled. You can browse the food and clothes or wait until Sunday to look through the many books the marketplace features. Whenever you go, take time to stop at Rekons, which has a terrace where you can enjoy your empanadas.

Mercat de la Llibertat, Gràcia

Located in a nice section of town and out of the way of the usual tourists, la Llibertat is a wonderful market for you to explore. In this section of the city, you’ll find great restaurants and shops, outside of the market itself. While this market has been renovated over the years, the outside retains its original style and lacks the modern touches that many of the more popular markets have been given. The restaurant to check out at this market is El Tast de Joan Noi. It’s unassuming, but its chef used to work at one of Barcelona’s best seafood restaurants.