While “Drink Local Drink Tap” may sound like an environmentalist’s cry against water bottlers, it’s a gateway Erin Huber hopes will open people’s minds to the water situation not only in Northeast Ohio but the world.
She founded Drink Local Drink Tap Inc. nearly four years ago to educate people, businesses and communities to care for the water we put into our bodies and the water that surrounds us.
Involve and engage
Volunteers are recruited to help clean the beaches of Lake Erie and students are informed about water issues through the Wavemaker program with schools.
“We do the beach cleanups to help people become more aware of pollution in Northeast Ohio. We try to do different things to make people more aware of the water that is around them and more aware of water in the world so they can begin to understand how they can care for it,” Huber says.
For World Water Day on March 22, DLDT will be partnering with the Greater Cleveland Aquarium to bring 300 Wavemaker students from area schools to the aquarium for a day of water education, celebration and awards. Another project, 4 miles 4 water, is a May 10 event to see, for instance, how many people at once can balance a water bottle on their heads to set a Guinness World Record.
DLDT efforts are receiving broad support from the community — from engaging 40 to 50 people at Edgewater Beach to corporate donations from companies such as Kinetico, Moen and Parker Hannifin. The latter two each gave $10,000 to fund a mission in central Uganda to drill a well. Huber is currently supervising projects there in the Masindi and Luweero districts.
Huber says nothing replaces first-hand experience when it comes to promoting a cause.
“I’ve seen it. I have walked with the kids. It pains me inside to see this happening because they have so many other issues to face just to survive.
“The saying goes, ‘Water is life,’ and it is posted everywhere in Africa. It is so true. Water connects every single thing in the world. We need it, and we need it to be clean. These kids need it.”
DLDT conducts so many activities because everyone gets the message in a different way.
“Once you start making it more personal, I think that is when people really begin to get engaged,” Huber says.
“But it is not about the metrics for me. It’s not about the number of kids that we help. It is about how sustainable those numbers are. A lot of people can go into a school and talk about something and leave and never think about it again.
“But when you actually take the time to stop and get to know people, get to really engage them and dig a little deeper, that’s what I’m looking for. That’s what DLDT wants.” ●
How to reach: Drink Local Drink Tap Inc., (440) 381-6430 or www.drinklocaldrinktap.org