Ending our bottled water addiction would save money and the environment

Supplying Americans with one year’s worth of plastic bottles for water consumes more than 47 million gallons of oil, according to the Container Recycling Institute.

Bottled water is not necessarily cleaner, according to the San Francisco Chronicle and lawsuits from the Environmental Law Foundation, who say that as much as 40 percent of bottled water is really just repackaged tap water. Maybe that is a good thing, considering that federal standards for tap water are actually higher than those for bottled water.

Bottled water and oil — Supplying Americans with one year’s worth of plastic bottles for water consumes more than 47 million gallons of oil, according to the Container Recycling Institute. That is enough oil to fuel 100,000 cars, and the bottles release 1 billion pounds of carbon dioxide into the atmosphere. Add in the additional amount of oil it takes to ship the bottles thousands of miles from the extraction source to the recipient, and your drink of water could be categorized right alongside Hummers, in terms of their lack of ecofriendliness.

Bottled water and biodegradability — Buddha’s bones turned to dust a long time ago, but if he had been a bottled water drinker, that plastic would still be lying around. It takes two minutes to drink a bottle of water, but it takes thousands of years for that piece of plastic garbage to go away.

There is a solution — Buy a water filter and a non-plastic water container. Fill it up in the morning before you go to work or school. A quick online search will also reveal affordable portable water filters for when you travel. You will save yourself and the environment a lot of expense.

Reprinted from AzNetNews, Volume 26, Number 2, April/May 2007.

 

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