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How to Inspire Natural Resource Conservation at the Consumer Level

Image credit: Colgate-Palmolive

October is Campus Sustainability Month (CSM), an international celebration of sustainability in higher education. One focus of this year’s CSM is the conservation of water, a natural resource that humans need to survive. As it stands, one in ten people (663 million people — twice the population of the United States) are currently living without access to safe water. This water crisis stands in the way of the health, safety and economic empowerment of people in both developing countries and first-world nations.



TerraCycle's
Tom Szaky
will discuss
The ROI of
Eliminating Waste

at
SB'17 Copenhagen

Water is used to grow our food, generate energy and has other agricultural, industrial, household, recreational and environmental uses that require fresh water (a renewable but depleting resource). In the developed world, taking long showers, shaving or brushing in the mirror with the water running, washing less-than-full loads of laundry and running tap water to cool it off for drinking are ways we waste water without even thinking about it. Being that humans are made up of 65 percent water, we can do so much better.

Thus, Colgate’s ‘Save Water’ initiative leverages CSM in order to engage youth to be more conscious of their water consumption; earlier this year, Michael Phelps, one of the most decorated athletes of all-time, joined the company’s water conservation awareness effort as global ambassador with the goal of reaching 10 million youth to save water and educating them about the benefits and needs of water conservation.

By leaving the faucet on, the average US consumer can waste up to four gallons of potable drinking water while brushing his or her teeth for two minutes. Together with Phelps and The Nature Conservancy, a leading conservation organization dedicated to restoring waterways in the US and educating people about the importance of water, Colgate’s 2017 mission is to reach people with the simple but powerful message that #EveryDropCounts.

Though Phelps may be a household name, bringing ‘Save Water’ into the home isn’t a task that the 28-time Olympic medal winner can do alone. Colgate products are found in more than two-thirds of households around the world, more than any other brand, and nearly all Colgate products require consumer water use. The brand aims to offset its water impacts at the consumer level through the ‘Save Water’ initiative, and its plastic impact through its partnership with TerraCycle. Great for youth (or people with a crafty side), Colgate and TerraCycle have created a series of upcycled DIY projects to further educate on the value of resource conservation.

Alexa, the intelligent personal assistant by Amazon, has also been recruited by Colgate ‘Save Water’ to deliver tips and facts that can help families and individuals learn about water conservation. Users can simply ask Alexa to “ask Colgate Save Water for a fact” or “ask Colgate Save Water for a tip” for interactive ways to save.

Individuals can spread awareness for Colgate ‘Save Water’ using #EveryDropCounts on social media and by learning more at http://everydropcounts.colgate.com/.


Tom Szaky is founder and CEO of TerraCycle Inc., a leader in eco-capitalism and upcycling. In 2001, Tom left Princeton University as a freshman to launch a worm-poop-based fertilizer company. In 2007, the company expanded to start collecting difficult-to-recycle… [Read more about Tom Szaky]


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