It’s been 40 years since Marvin Gaye released the poignant Mercy Mercy Me (The Ecology), but the lyrics remain as scarily relevant as ever. Radiation on the ground and in the sky. Fish full of mercury. All of that awful stuff, worse than ever before.

One change for the better in the last 40 years – greater awareness and involvement in trying to save the planet. Earth Day began in 1970 and every year, April 22 brings renewed attention to environmental issues. But thanks to the folks at Aveda, it’s become more than just one day.

In 1999, Aveda named April Earth Month, and ever since then, Aveda has championed the cause and made a difference for charity organizations around the world. They’ve raised more than $18 million for organizations that directly affect environmental change, and $12 million for water-related causes alone over the past four years.

This year I’m honored and happy to be a part of Aveda’s Earth Month “Water Warrior” campaign, and to do my part to raise awareness of an important cause.

In developing nations, more than 4,000 children die each day from preventable conditions like diarrhea, due to unsafe drinking water. A person in a country such as the US will, on average, use more than 40 gallons of water to take just one, leisurely bath. Yet someone living in a developing nation may have access to less than eight gallons of water each day for all of their daily needs. In developing countries 70 percent of industrial waste and 80 percent of all waste is dumped untreated into waters where they pollute the usable water supply.

That information comes courtesy of Aveda, and to combat those awful statistics, they’ve created a special item – and 100% of the proceeds will support Global Greengrants Funds water-related projects.

Aveda’s 2011 Light the Way™ soy wax candle is made with certified organic French lavender and sold exclusively during Earth Month. It costs just $12. If all the candles are sold, Aveda will have raised a total of $1.34 million to provide clean, usable water to needy people around the world. Part of the proceeds from candle purchases will be used to support long term recovery and recovery in Japan through local Greengrants grantees.

How can you show support for Earth Month and help to provide clean water to people in Japan and around the world? SO easy. Click here to buy an Aveda 2011 Light The Way candle.

As an Aveda Water Warrior, yours truly could be selected by the Aveda team to go with them to India this year, to see exactly where and how their candle money is spent to help people without usable drinking water. If you buy a 2011 Light the Way™ soy wax candle and enter the code AFROBELLA at checkout, then Aveda will count each purchase towards me joining them on this very special annual trip.

Of course, I am honored and delighted to be chosen. But even if I don’t get to go to India, this cause is important and I hope during Earth Month and every month, Global Greengrants gets the support they need to help the rest of the world.

Click here to see how you too can be a Water Warrior. And stay tuned for a special Earth Month Aveda giveaway right here on!

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