For a man who has spent most of his life in water, it’s no surprise that Michael Phelps is returning as the face of Colgate’s water-saving campaign.
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“The average person can waste almost 900 cups a week,” Phelps told FOX Business’ Gerri Willis on Monday. “We’re here to remind you to turn off the faucet when you’re brushing your teeth.”
The 28-time Olympic gold medalist visited the New York Stock Exchange to promote his water-saving initiative ahead of Earth Day on April 22. This will mark Phelps’ third year as Colgate’s Global Ambassador, where he’s raised awareness about water waste and the importance of conserving water on a global scale.
Colgate has been a leader in water conservation for the past three years. Aside from its partnership with Phelps, the company has developed a “Save Water” feature for Google and Amazon smart speakers, where users can hear water facts and conservation tips on command. The toothpaste company also created a drain sticker that reveals the message "Turn off the Faucet" when it comes into contact with water. This year, Colgate and Phelps are asking Americans to be ‘water-saving champions’, spotlighting creative new ways people can make changes to their daily water habits.
Phelps said having a family of his own has motivated him to take saving water more seriously.
“I want [my kids] to have the absolute best life they possibly can. So many small things we do on a daily basis could actually help us ten, twenty, fifty years down the road if we just turn the water off when we’re brushing. We’ve been very privileged to have access to clean water every single day and it’s almost like we take it for granted.”
In addition to water-conservation, Phelps has become a leading advocate for mental health awareness. Admitting to suffering from bouts of depression and anxiety, the Olympic swimmer said opening up about his issues saved his life.
“We need to understand that it’s okay to not be okay and take a deep breathe from time to time… it helps,” he said.
Phelps also talked about his viral moment at this year’s Masters, where he was photographed standing behind Tiger Woods, cheering him on, just minutes before Woods went on to win the major tournament. He drew a comparison between Tiger’s big comeback and his own.
“We’ve both gone through ups and we’ve both had a lot of downs. There’s nothing better than having that last big climb up to the top of the mountain.”