By Jillian Loyas-Stryker, Graduate Assistant for Sustainability
Originally Published: March 9, 2022
Have you seen the Broncs Go Green “Fill it Forward” barcode stickers around Rider? Perhaps you noticed them at the Elkay bottle-fill stations around campus or have seen Rider Eco Reps promoting them at events? Maybe you already have one on your water bottle but often forget to use it? With World Water Day taking place on March 22, consider scanning your barcode sticker with every water bottle refill to contribute to clean water initiatives around the world from the Fill It Forward app.
Since 1993, the United Nations and people across the globe observe World Water Day. The purpose of this day is in part to inspire action that works toward the U.N.’s Sustainable Development Goal (SDG) six: water and sanitation for all by 2030. World Water Day is also an opportunity to celebrate this natural resource while raising awareness for the two billion people worldwide currently living without access to safe water. The theme for 2022’s World Water Day festivities is the hidden, easily overlooked yet crucially important water source known as groundwater.
According to Worldwaterday.org, “Groundwater is invisible, but its impact is visible everywhere. Out of sight, under our feet, groundwater is a hidden treasure that enriches our lives. Almost all of the liquid freshwater in the world is groundwater. As climate change gets worse, groundwater will become more and more critical. We need to work together to sustainably manage this precious resource.”
It is important to protect our local groundwater from contamination and everyone has the power to do so. As spring nears, if you find yourself walking around campus, why not include a stroll around the beautiful Centennial Lake? Increase your good karma by collecting any litter you see along the way.
Our lake waters and groundwaters collect in watersheds across campus and flow along, eventually reaching residents in Trenton and Philadelphia. Keeping our local groundwater clean is of crucial importance to not only our fellow Rider community members but also to everyone who resides along that route depending, at least in part, upon our groundwater for their everyday drinking, cooking and bathing needs. It is our ethical duty to keep the groundwater as clean and as uncontaminated as possible.
Rider senior musical theater major and Eco Rep, Ashlyn Whiteside shared her surprise after learning more in-depth about watersheds in a Rider honors environmental class, “It really shocked me to learn that water pollution on our campus from litter near Centennial Lake or our car spillage into watersheds around campus actually ends up in the Delaware river which is Philly’s drinking water. It’s crazy to think that our actions at our smaller university are really crucial to people’s water supply.”
May you embrace the popular anti-crime slogan, “If you see something, say something” and even take it further by doing something. Whether scanning an app, refraining from littering or having the courage to spread sustainability to those you encounter – there is always something you can do on World Water Day and every day.
Our planet, its people and future generations need you to act now more than ever. Dare to care and stay environmentally aware. You might just surprise yourself with how good it feels knowing that your actions matter and can ripple out like the waters which nourish us and which deserve our respect and protection.
Join Rider’s Office of Sustainability and the Eco Reps for events happening just after spring break. The next Green Film Series presentation is Brave Blue World with screenings on March 21 and 22 at 7 p.m. in Sweigart Room 115. There is also a fun and informative event celebrating World Water Day on March 22, from 11:30 a.m. to 1 p.m. near the hammocks and gazebo adjacent to Centennial Lake if weather permits.