All images by Cycle for Water
Thanks to our new TreeHugger Photo Pool on Flickr, we learned about a really amazing project called Cycle for Water. Starting almost exactly a year ago, on July 4, 2010, Joost Notenboom and Michiel Roodenburg started an incredible 18-month journey on bamboo bikes, cycling from northern Alaska to the southern tip of Argentina -- essentially covering the entire length of North and South America. And they're doing it in the name of clean water. Cycle for Water states, "Our mission is to take one bottle of icy Alaskan water from the Beaufort Sea down to the seas around Tierra del Fuego in a symbolic effort to complete the natural water cycle and raise awareness for the global water crisis that is leaving over 1 billion people around the world without access to safe and clean drinking water."
Not only are they cycling through 16 countries but they're using bamboo bikes so that their personal carbon footprint is even smaller as well as to prove a second point -- "that a lot of challenges can be overcome using sustainable solutions."
Along the way, they're taking gorgeous photographs and doing interviews to raise awareness to the importance of our dwindling fresh water supplies:
They're also meeting many different cultures along the way, showing the diversity of people and how water is used:
They're learning about and bringing attention to wonderful localized projects for water, including different methods for rain catchment and ways to collect water so that gathering water is not such a significant challenge for women and children:
The project is made more amazing by the challenging ride:
But the scenery has got to be worth it:
As is meeting so many wonderful people along the way:
The travelers still have a long way to go, but you can follow their journey on Cycle for Water.
Here is an excellent interview on CNN in which the duo explain more about their transportation of choice, the water projects they're visiting along the way, and why this ride is so important to bringing awareness to the issues of clean water access.
As a reminder of the importance of water, here is a great video from GOOD:
Follow Jaymi on Twitter for more stories like this