Many people and many ideas were introduced at the wonderful 2015 WAF Awards ceremony in Kuala Lumpur. But the main focus of the whole event was to continue the momentum of positive change in solving the major environmental issues around the world.  The three finalists in the ceremony finished with an equal win, a three-way tie, for their efforts in changing the lives of people in the world who were battling issues of contaminated drinking water, having no sanitary facilities, and changing parched lands into rich vegetation-filled waterways and pools.  ENPHO from Nepal developed low-cost bio-sand water filters that would last from 15-20 years that they delivered to rural areas.  SOIL created low-cost composting toilets, safely providing an effective way to turn human waste into usable compost.  Turenscape created beautiful wetland parks from areas that were previously considered barren, soil-contaminated areas.

Positive change . . . keep the momentum going.  The distinguished Prem Rawat, ambassador of peace, spoke about how everyone is waiting for an angel to drop from the sky to fix everything.  People are just waiting and waiting and nothing changes.  There is such need in the world—so many environmental issues to address.

WAF recognizes this, too.  The organization’s awareness is expanding.  Bringing attention to and celebrating the people involved in making better lives for people in the areas of food and water is no longer enough.  For example, in this past week of February 22, 2016, the global headlines are shocking:

The Guardian reported that the UK has, at least, 40,000 deaths a year from outdoor air pollution.

The Washington Post reported a study done by Greenpeace found that China and the US’s air pollution has decreased slightly while India’s has risen dangerously high.  Delhi’s government has created an emergency driving plan—alternating odd-even driving days this winter in order to lower the concentration of Co2 emissions.

Duke University reports that air pollution increases the risk of obesity, which causes additional health problems.

Climate Central reports air pollution is linked to 5.5 million premature deaths in 2013.

Air Polution

By KVDP (Own work) [CC BY-SA 3.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/3.0)], via Wikimedia Commons

An animated map can be found on the Washington Post’s site showing how the air pollution problems have changed in the past few years.

Positive change . . . keep the momentum going.  And, WAF did this at the 2015 awards show, announcing their expanding initiatives to include clean air into their vision.  What was once WAF is now WAFA—Water, Air, Food Awards.

Let the excitement begin!

Soon the call for applications for the 2016 WAF Awards will open to those incredible people who have simple ideas for changing social need into sustainable sufficiency to improve people’s lives in the areas of water, air, and food.

So, stand by and watch our celebration grow.

Until next time,

Diane Walters


Featured Image: Photo Credit: Wikipedia – Air Pollution