Wednesday, August 1, 2007

No more Bottled Water - can you take the challenge?

My family has begun to swear off bottled water. It all started when my husband purchased a relatively expensive water filtration system for our house last September. You spent the money on that, I thought, so we should stop spending the money on bottles.

Well, it turned out that we all love our water filter. So much so that we took the darn thing with us to camp. (It only worked for a week, though, before the filter conked out. Camp water, very much in need of filtering.) We bought a bunch of Nalgene bottles and Camelbak bottles and we seem to be all set.

Who knew we were on the cutting edge of environmentalism. Not me.

But we are. There are now articles about how bottled water isn't better. And how it's an example of our overconsumption and indulgence. There are campaigns to end bottled water consumption (see Think Outside the Bottle and Refill Not Landfill). And hey -- I'm all for it. I even put into both of our cars a stack of paper cups and straws so we can drink on the go from drinking fountains. (Straws make it all easier with the almost-2-year-old and more fun for all of us.)

Some facts to consider:

  • Last year, Americans spent $15 billion on bottled water, even though bottled water isn’t healthier or safer than tap water.

  • While the EPA regulates the quality of public water supplies, the agency has no authority over bottled water. Some studies indicate that certain brands of bottled water test positive for chemical and bacterial contamination at higher levels than tap water.

  • One out of six people in the world has no dependable, safe drinking water. The global economy denies drinkable water to 1 billion people, while delivering to us an array of water “varieties” from around the globe, not one of which we actually need.

  • Americans went through about 50 billion plastic water bottles last year, 167 for each person. We pitch into landfills 38 billion water bottles a year - more than $1 billion worth of plastic (while the recycling rate for this particular kind of plastic is only 23%).

  • We’re moving 1 billion bottles of unnecessary water around a week in ships, trains, and trucks in the United States alone. That’s a weekly convoy equivalent to 37,800 18-wheelers delivering water. (this one scares me!)

So...can you do it? Can you put an end to your bottled water consumption???
crossposted on

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