The US alone consumes 1500 water bottles every second of every day. But, I recycle my bottles so it’s fine, right?
PET plastics that are recycled are actually downcycled, as the polymer chains in PET cannot be made into another bottle. The mere 30% of plastic bottles that get ‘recycled’ are shredded for filling and the like. The other 70% ends up in landfills and waterways. Now if you find yourself using plastic bottles, recycling them is certainly better than tossing it in the rubbish bin. However, it is important to know that along with recycling plastics comes all whole host of challenges including air pollution and micro plastics which I will cover in a future post.
- If you choose to drink bottled water because of health concerns related to tap water, know that most bottled water is simply tap water from a different location. Instead, use a water purifier in your home so you know how your water is filtered.
- If you choose to purchase bottled water for the taste, I recommend trying to add cucumber, lemon, or mint to your water. Personally, I prefer well-water over city-water which is why when I am traveling i throw a sprig of mint in my bottle which lasts for days freshening my water’s taste.
- If you choose to use bottled water purely out of convenience, consider the positives of refillable water bottles like saving money, reducing waste, cleaner air, and cleaner oceans. Get in the habit of filling your water up every time you leave the house. Bring a bottle with you to the airport and on family vacation. If you are traveling and forgot your bottle, look for water in a carton, can, or glass jar before reaching for the plastic bottle. At larger events, fill water coolers and provide paper cups instead of water bottles or solo cups.
Are you a part of the 100 million plastic bottles used today? If you choose to say no to single use plastic bottles you are also cutting greenhouse gas emissions from creating and shipping bottled water. The energy used to make bottled water in a year could power 190,000 homes. Water is a precious commodity all over the world and will likely be the source of wars to come in our lifetime. It takes 3 liters of water to package just 1 bottle of water. What have we been fighting over for years, and cleaning from our waterways? Oil! Water bottles are petroleum based and use 1.5 million barrels of oil per year to produce.
So no, its not just a bottle of water. It is water from someone else’s backyard, green houses gases contributing to climate change, and pollution along our roads and in our streams and oceans. Know your impact and think before you drink, it’s never too late to change bad habits. You got this!