Celebrating Leap Day 2012

It only comes around once every four years, but why? Why do we have Leap years? Who came up with the idea of adding an extra day to our calendar? Well, those are all questions we have asked at some point, and the whole purpose of leap year (and significance of the leap day) is very important. The Earth actually takes a little bit longer than a year to travel around the Sun. To be exact, it takes 365 days, 5 hours, 48 minutes and 46 seconds (chiff.com). To account for the discrepancy between the solar year and the man-made calendar year, an extra day was occasionally added to the calendar.  That extra day was chosen to be February 29, and thus, Leap Day was born. Leap Days only occur every four years, as they are only included in years divisible by four (2008, 2012, 2016, etc.).

So now you may ask what if you are born on a Leap Day? Technically your birthday only comes around once every four years, so when do you celebrate? Typically, those born on Leap Day (or “leaplings” as they are usually called) will choose either February 28 or March 1 to celebrate their birthday and some choose to celebrate only on February 29. It is commonly believed that those born on February 29 have unusual talents and personalities. Leap Day is also the one day of the year where women propose to their men, instead of the other way around. Whether you were born on Leap Day, or just like to celebrate the occasion, we here at Filters Fast would like to wish you all a very happy Leap Day!

(Image Credit: canigetawordin.com)

Top Ten Ways to Celebrate National Drinking Water Week

For more than 30 years, the American Water Works Association (AWWA) has celebrated National Drinking Water Week, recognizing the crucial role that a safe, reliable water supply plays in our everyday lives.  This year, National Drinking Water Week will be held May 2-8, and will provide an opportunity for both water professionals and community citizens to promote awareness.  The AWWA has suggested some general celebration ideas.  To jumpstart the effort, we have also compiled a list of some of our favorite ways to celebrate.

#10 – Update your Facebook Status

Nowadays, social media is one of the most used ways to promote awareness surrounding any cause.  You’d be surprised at how far a simple Facebook status update can go, especially if enough people participate.  Alert your friends, create groups, and use this platform to organize events related to water awareness.

#9 – Watch a Movie

Not just any movie.  Last week, we compiled a list of five must-watch water movies, all of which take an in-depth look at water issues that plague many people around the world.  Invite some friends over and pop some popcorn.  And instead of soda, drink water.

#8 – Go Camping

Celebrate alone or with friends in the wilderness.  A closer look at nature will remind us of how crucial water is to our world – to the survival of plants and animals, and to the sustenance of our beautiful environment.  Make sure you have access to clean drinking water while you’re in the woods.  This Katadyn MyBottle Personal Water Purifier will keep you hydrated on those long hiking trails.

#7 – Plant a Tree

After your camping trip, why not bring some of that nature home with you by planting a tree in honor of National Drinking Water Week.  According to a recent article in the Atlanta Journal-Constitution, trees are natural filters that play a key role in purifying our water supplies.  Your tree will serve as a reminder of the necessity of clean water to environmental sustenance.

#6 – Set up a Mall Kiosk

Call your local shopping mall and get permission to set up a mall kiosk for the entire week.  Use it as an opportunity to promote awareness by handing out pamphlets and other promotional materials.  You could also sell reusable water bottles and donate the proceeds to organizations that fund the creation of clean water supplies around the world.

#5 – Have a water gift exchange

Don’t wait until Christmas to have your next employee party.  Have one during National Drinking Water Week and include a gift exchange with “water” as the theme, where each person brings a “water-related” gift.

#4 – Host a water tasting

Instead of a wine tasting, why not do a water tasting using water from different sources – pitcher-filtered water, faucet-filtered water, tap water and even different bottled water brands.  See if you can taste any differences.

#3 – Contests

AWWA suggests a variety of contests for kids, including book cover art, poster, essay, and coloring contests.  Each of these can serve as educational tools, and prizes will motivate more kids to compete.

#2 – Host a Water Walk in Your Community

There are many annual walking events that promote awareness and raise money to find cures for diseases.  Why not host a water walk to promote awareness about water, and raise money to fund the building of clean water supplies around the world?

#1 – Boycott the bottle

You may think we’re biased, but this is our personal favorite way to celebrate.  Maybe you don’t have time to do any of the other things that we mentioned.  That’s okay.  You can do your part by simply drinking filtered water for the entire week.  Once you see how much money you save by not buying bottled water, you’ll never go back.

Any other ideas? We’d love to hear them.  Feel free to post them as comments below, and don’t forget to take our latest poll: “How will you celebrate National Drinking Water Week?”