I thought for my first blog post I would introduce you to one of my biggest pet peeves: disposable, plastic water bottles. According to a July/August 2007 Fast Company Article, Americans spent more money last year on bottled water than on ipods or movie tickets: $15 billion. That figure is staggering to me. If the water we use at home cost what even cheap bottled water costs, our monthly water bills would run $9,000. (Fast Company, July/August, 2007) Now I think drinking water is very important I try hard to drink my 64 ounces a day. Those of you who see me on a regular basis know that my pink Camelbak water bottle goes pretty much everywhere with me. I am not against drinking water, I am for more responsible ways of drinking water, such as in a glass or reusable water bottle. I did the basic math on my most recent water bill to figure out how much my water costs. I have a basic water delivery charge of $25.00 and a usage charge of $9.66 for a total of $34.66. We used a total of 4,714 gallons of water. That comes to $.00735 per gallon of water, much cheaper than $.99 for 16 ounces from a bottle. That means it cost me a mere $.0013776 to fill up my 24 ounce bottle. I’ll put my math in so you don’t think I am crazy. (128 ounces per gallon, .00735/128=.0000574 per ounce, .0000574 * 24 = .0013776)
Americans used about 50 billion plastic water bottles last year, these plastic bottles are recyclable. Are you wondering what our rate of recycling is? 23%, or 11.5 billion water bottles, that sadly leaves 38.5 billion going to landfills in just one year.
There is yet another side to my beef with plastic water bottles. Worldwide 1 billion people have no reliable source of drinking water; 3,000 children a day die from diseases caught from tainted water. (Fast Company, July/August, 2007) Yet we here in America and other industrialized countries have the luxury of buying bottled water almost every place we go.
I am asking the readers of this post to try using a reusable water bottle for a while and see how easy it is. If you like it keep doing it and save yourself some money. With the money you save you can help provide drinkable water to people that otherwise would not have it. BloodWaterMission’s 1,000 wells project is building wells in African communities that currently do not have a clean water source. For more information please check out their site: http://www.bloodwatermission.com/index.php? . I am sure there are other great charities providing clean water all over the globe, fill free to find your own to support, and if you want to share one you have found please fill free to post it in the comments section.
Do the earth and your pocket a favor and give up that bottled water habit. At the very least please recycle your plastic bottles.
Plastic bottle info from Oprah’s Going Green 101: What Your Family Can Do Today!
When you buy one liter of water at the store, you’re actually buying about six liters of water, Simran says. That’s because when manufacturers make plastic bottles, it takes five liters of water to cool the plastic.
To save the resources used in creating all those bottles, Simran suggests getting a water filter and a reusable aluminum or plastic bottle from a company like Sigg, Nalgene or New Wave Enviro.
One thing to consider if you buy a plastic bottle is its grade. Look on the bottom of the bottle for a small plastic triangle with a number in the middle. If you see a number 2, 4 or 5, the bottle is safe. If it has some other number, don’t use it as a water bottle. Those other plastics can make your water taste like plastic and leach harmful chemicals into your body. “You don’t want your water tasting like plastic,“ Simran says. “If you’re tasting plastic, you’re ingesting plastic.“
Here is a place with a great selection of reusable water bottles: http://www.reusablebags.com/store/reusable-bottles-sigg-bottles-c-19_33.html
Don’t like the taste of your tap water? A lot of refrigerators come with filtered water dispensers now. Extremely bad water even out of the fridge? Try this: http://www.lowes.com/lowes/lkn?action=productDetail&productId=129808-43353-WHER25&lpage=none . It is similar to the one we have, which works great for us, and is easy to install.