Let’s Talk Clean Water With An Old Friend

A few years ago, my class had its 20th high school reunion. I didn’t go.

What happened after, was a flood of people from high school reconnecting on Facebook. Some of the connections were weird. Like all of sudden meeting up with someone you were supposed to know, but actually didn’t.

But a few have been awesome. A few have become better friends now than they even were then.

Case in point: Jessica.

Who REALLY cares about our environment. So much so, when she messaged me about supporting her Aveda Walk for Clean Water, I asked her to guest post for me (below).

See? There really is some good in the world to be had from Facebook.


by Jessica McCarthy

A few days ago a good friend of mine (not Aimee) posted this as their Facebook status:

“How do you define success?”

The answers were really interesting. I flippantly gave one – now I can’t even remember it. Because today, something even better is happening. Today, a project that I’m doing picked up steam and took on a life of its own.

I work for this amazing company called Neill Corporation. We’re the oldest and largest private distributor for Aveda in the world. And crazy people like me are valued there. At this time of year, crazy is where I’m at. I am a woman obsessed.

It’s Earth Month in Avedaland and I’m raising awareness and money for Clean Water projects around the world.

Some facts about water:
– Of the 6.6 billion people on the planet, 1.1 billion lack access to clean water
– Every 15 seconds, a child dies from lack of access to clean water – usually from diarrhea
– Water-related disease will kill 3.75 million people this year
– In 2030, 2/3 of the world’s population will lack access to clean water
– Privatization of water is the 3rd largest business on the planet behind oil and electricity
– Single-use plastic water bottles are the largest polluter of the world’s oceans
– 100 million single use plastic water bottles enter U.S. landfills each day

Reflector Orbs

It makes your head spin. How did this happen? We worry about oil, but our water is being stolen from us. Besides sunlight – it’s the only thing that NOTHING ON THE PLANET can function without. While no one is looking, a natural resource is being stripped away from majority and controlled by a tiny group of companies. While we snack on Bluefin Sashimi at our favorite sushi spot, populations of large predatory fish (like that tuna) get smaller in number and is physical size as they are overfished. By the way – that tuna you’re eating? She ate a few smaller fish last week. They were eating plastic remnants from the Atlantic Plastic Island that’s size of Texas. Oh – the plastic? It was loaded with BPA. And on and on. It’s seriously scary – like staring at the sun.

Then I remember the Covey thing about “circle of influence” vs. my “circle of concern.” And I get small and mean – in a good way. Refocus to Avedaland and a bunch of hairdressers and their Earth Month Champion – me. And we focus on what we CAN DO.

The salons sell Light The Way Candles for $12 and 100% of their proceeds go to Global Greengrants Fund. Every 46 candles we move is a small sustainable water grant. Last year Aveda donated 1.2 million dollars. It’s an inspiring project, delivered by a hairdressers.

And they smell good.

Regionally, I do the Aveda Walk for Clean Water. On April 18th, I’ll walk 6km to raise funds for the Gulf Restoration Network. It’s a 6k because that’s what a woman in a developing community has to walk to get clean water for her family to drink – on a daily basis. She needs to get about 5 liters per person. I try to imagine my mom, walking 2 miles out with her empty containers, 2 miles back with 20L of water for my family.

And hey! I need sponsors!

For every $10 in donations, I will enter your name in the Gulf Restoration Network’s “Rediscover New Orleans” drawing. You will be entered to win a weekend package featuring:
– $500 AIRLINE VOUCHER to the airline of your choice
– $200 Gift certificate for dinner at LILETTE
– Dinner for 2 at BAYONA.

My donation site is:

The Neill Corp team will raise about $350,000 for the GRN in our 7 state area.

Another thing you can do to sport clean water – go now, read and watch Tapped The Film. This sharp and scary documentary just started its U.S. tour on 3/22 – World Water Day. Catch it in a city near you! We are bringing it to Austin to the most beautiful and green theater, One World Theater, on April 8th. The companies behind water privatization make the tobacco companies look like baby lambs.

OK, OK. Back to the original question. How do *I* define success?

Today – the way I define success is when something you believe in stops needing to be pushed from behind and needs you to run to keep up with it. My water project is happening.

How do you define success?


This article has 6 comments

  1. zipper

    Very scary indeed. Nice to meet you, Jessica.

  2. Jennifer

    Go Jessica! Go Aimee!

  3. Jessica

    Nice to meet you too! Thanks for reading!

  4. Jessica

    I just watched my copy of “Tapped” with my husband and 5 year old. Not a word was uttered the whole time– so far beyond scary and infuriating. Please DO NOT MISS THIS IN YOUR TOWN! http://www.tappedthemovie.com

  5. Jennie

    I define success as being able to be warm, dry, and happy, with lots of love in your life.

    I never knew 1/6th of the world lacked clean water…. we’ve received two inches of it from the sky today! I should start placing bottles in my yard for collection.

    I’ll check out that movie… it looks very interesting!

  6. Aimee Greeblemonkey

    I know, Jennie. It’s scary stuff.

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