The push against plastic water bottles

Everyday I come across something relating to an eco-friendly or organic lifestyle that I want to share with everyone. And the ideas are piling up. But a long time ago, I decided that I’d start this blog with a focus on one of the most basic changes most people can make to their lifestyle that would make an impact on the environment, as well as their wallets and possibly even their health. Because that’s what I want this blog to be about — the spread of awareness of simple things that help ourselves and our world.

So here it goes: Please stop buying those plastic bottles of water!

People who spend any amount of time with me know my orange water bottle is never out of my reach. I’ve had it for a little over a year and, honestly, I think my initial reason for getting it was mainly to save money. I’m not sure when the financial wake-up came.

I had been very conscious of getting the most bang for my buck when it came to bottled water. After all, I used at least one bottle a day, refilling it a couple times. Then, when I was at Target one day, I stopped and picked up a $10 bottle — one of two that I still use and shows no sign of wearing out.

I can’t even imagine buying water like I used to. I’ll estimate that I was spending roughly $5 on a 24-pack. (At least $5.) Let’s say that lasted about three weeks. (Which I’m probably overestimating.) Over the course of a year, that’s at least $87 I was spending on water alone. And that’s just for me, not a whole family.

I realize $87 isn’t much money overall. But when considering that it’s the expense for water, it seems like a waste. Nevermind that this only drinking water. It’s not even what you’re paying on your monthly bill at home.

Many people operate under the assumption that bottled water is safer than that tap water they can get at home. In reality, tap water is monitored more closely by the Environmental Protection Agency than bottled water is by the Food and Drug Administration. A four-year study by the Natural Resources Defense Council, found that “there is no assurance that just because water comes out of a bottle it is any cleaner or safer than water from the tap.” Sometimes, it even is tap water.

If you don’t like your tap water, try getting a filter. You can get them for the tap itself, or a pitcher with filters. This too will pay for itself in no time.

My Brita pitcher that's been going strong since June '09

Aside from how ditching the bottle can help your wallet, it also helps the environment.

Recycling is the obvious option for those using the plastic, but not everyone does it and not everyone sees it as a doable option because they don’t have easy access to resources.

According to FilterForGood, Americans used 50 billion water bottles in 2006 and sent 38 billion water bottles to landfills, the equivalent of 912 million gallons of oil. Those bottles that aren’t recycled can take 1,000 years to biodegrade.

In addition to how long they sit in our landfills, they often come from far away, and shipping them contributes to air and land pollution and global warming.

Calling it quits on the one-time use plastic bottles makes such a positive impact in so many ways for such little effort. I can’t think of a reason it’s not worth making the switch. If we each urge just one person make this basic change, eventually we’ll see the difference on a bigger level — like with smaller mountains of plastic in landfills.

If you want to read on, here are a few other good sites I found:

Ban the Bottle
FilterForGood
Earth Policy Institute

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5 Comments Add yours

  1. niceartlife says:

    I fully agree with your message about banning plactic bottles. They are bad for the environment and also for your health, especially storing them in the refrigerator. Toxic!
    Thanks for sharing this information!

  2. AlanP says:

    Great post. The stats on water bottles is staggering ! It would go a long way if more people used water bottles.

    1. AlanP says:

      oops. It would go a long way if more people used their own bottles instead of disposable plastic bottles is what I meant.

  3. zero says:

    the plastic water bottles ist not save from contaminants the plactic can became contaminants if mix with the water. How can guarante the plastic safe?

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