We’ve got a lot going for us here in the lower mainland. A healthy lifestyle, opportunities to find work and a bevy of municipal surfaces keeping society afloat. 

That’s not the case in other corners of the world. Many of us have travelled to countries where they’re not as fortunate, and it’s a reminder of why we shouldn’t be complaining about our taxes so much. Sure, we’re still going to do it, but as your water is siphoned efficiently away from your home and your garbage is picked up right from your sidewalk, take a moment to appreciate where you live. 

Sorry, this isn’t about guilt, it’s about education. There are still things we could be doing to conserve energy and make our home even more healthy and more sustainable. 

Water Harvesting

We have a lot of water in the winter and hardly any during the summer, but we still like our lawns to be green and our plants to be big and beautiful. Installing water harvesting systems such as underground tanks or simple water barrels is an investment, but it will save money and energy in the longrun. Instead of dipping into our municipal reserves to wash our cars or hose off our driveways, we could be using water stored over the winter months. 

Other parts of the world, on the other hand, don’t have that choice. 


Best known for the terrifying animals trying to kill you, the real killer is the intense Australian sun. Australia is a dry continent that’s quickly learning to value every drop of water. They collect water from the roofs of buildings in major cities and towns as well as rural locations. In rural areas it’s necessary as they’re not connected to municipal water supplies, but in urban centres where they have that choice, the choice is still made to conserve. 

“By capturing water directly, we can significantly reduce our reliance on water storage dams. This places less stress on these dams and can potentially reduce the need to expand these dams or build new ones.” Source


In Africa, clean, safe drinking water is considered a luxury. 

Imagine walking downstairs in the morning, turning your faucet on only to be greeted with brown sludge. 

Most of us wouldn’t be able to handle it. 

In Africa, programs like The Water Project are more than just a life-giving source of sustenance, they’re the catalyst for young men and women to receive an education and push society forward.

One Planet

Africa and Australia are a long ways from North Vancouver, but we still share the same watery borders. Clean water is an essence of life no matter what country you’re from, and those with the means to do so ought to be taking every step within their power to contribute to our environment’s sustainability. 

In 2016, ask yourself:

  • What steps can you take to save water?
  • Is your home equipped to deal with sudden water surges?
  • How much of a dent in your budget is worth the sustainability of our planet?

We’re fortunate and privileged to live where we live, but beneath the ground and high up in the mountains flows a necessary natural resource that we need to protect and conserve. 

2016 seems like a great place to start.