Posts tagged bottled water

Just Say No to Bottled Water

I drink bottled water as often as I drink a soda, which is rarely. Here is a great film that explains why I do not drink much bottled water:

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Full Bottles of Water

I found another full bottle of water yesterday as I was cycling through the neighborhood. This bottle was in a different neighborhood. I picked it up and fell off my bike, as I had only unclipped on pedal. Oh well, road rash is my life. The young tuli poplar in my yard is doing quite well on a diet of bottled water.

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Why Bottled Water Is Bad

Besides the large amount of plastic products it creates, here are more reasons from the Environmental Defense Fund newsletter, Solutions, why we shouldn’t drink bottled water:

  • Clean, drinkable water flows straight from the tap.
  • Production of the 30 billion plastic bottles that entered the waste stream in 2006 (fewer than 20% were recycled) used the equivalent of 17 million barrels of oil and created 2.5 million tons of carbon dioxide.
  • Three gallons of water were wasted for every gallon bottled.
  • Bottled water costs 1000 times more than tap water.
  • Bottled water standards may be weaker.
  • Manufacturing and shipping a one-liter Fiji bottled water produces half a pound of global warming pollution and uses almost seven times as much water as the bottle contains.
  • Reusable plastic containers can be linked to health problems.
  • Water filters work on removing many common contaminants from tap water.

We have used a Brita water pitcher for years. I am concerned about the filter which I monthly throw into the trash. I wish that those could be recycled.

Thanks to the Environmental Defense Fund for supplying these pertinent facts about bottled water.

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Marketing Hype is Trash

No kudos to Deer Park Bottled Spring Water for its New Eco-Shape Bottle from us. Deer Park claims that the plastic bottle has “an average of 30% less plastic to be easier on the environment.” Deer Park, I picked up your plastic bottle from the side of the road where it would eventually wash into the river which would empty into the ocean which would propel it to the Great Pacific Garbage Patch.

No plastic is eco-safe. Not even recycled plastic, but at least, it’s not swimming in the Pacific Ocean.

Buy a reusable water bottle. We can all make a difference.

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Plastic Rings of Death

Years ago when the dangers of litter to wildlife became apparent, these plastic rings around cola and beer cans were the first item I remember being mentioned.

The plastic rings of death continue to be used by cola and beer manufacturers and tossed into the environment. When I bought bottled water, I added lots of these in the trash bags for the landfill.

I wonder how many plastic rings of death have made it to the Great Pacific Garbage Patch?

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How This Blog Has Changed Me

This month marks the first anniversary of this blog, The Earth Is Not a Trash Can. Previously blog attempts ended much sooner in failure. I became bored, or no one was reading my comments (probably because I was bored).

This blog has had almost 13,000 hits in its eleven months and few days. In the blogosphere, this is minimal. For me, it’s awesome (sorry George Bush, I overuse this adjective, too). Folks from all over the world have read the blog. To quote my husband, whose idea the blog was, “the internet creates a true democracy where everyone can openly have an exchange of ideas.”

Here are ways the blog has changed my life and behavior:

  • I became moderately active for the first time in the local mayoral and councilman races last summer when I discovered that the property where lots of trash is dumped in my area belonged to one of the council candidate’s father-in-law. While I didn’t influence the outcome of the race, I definitely drew attention to the dump sites.
  • The government of Metro Nashville posted two No Littering signs near the dump sites, which has deterred additional trash there.
  • As a result of this blog, the winner in the council race, Bo Mitchell, asked me to be the area commissioner on the Metro Beautification Environmental Commission. Our area hadn’t had a commissioner in years, and I am honored to serve my council district in this capacity.
  • I organized two (very small) trash pick ups for the Great American Clean Up in May 2008 as a result of my involvement on the MBEC. Next year, I hope to organize more trash pick ups during the Great American Clean Up.
  • We have started a compost pile for our food scraps, lint (we have a lot), dog hair, grass clippings, etc. It’s not “cooking” yet, but it’s full of healthy earthworms.
  • I’ve eliminated paper towels and paper napkins. We use cloth towels because it’s less destructive to the environment.
  • I gave up drinking bottled water regularly. I try to take my Sigg water bottle with me (although it leaked and destroyed my Canon digital camera).
  • I take my own dinnerware and flatware to the office for my lunch. Most days I bring lunch from home and rarely buy a take out salad or sandwich.
  • I bought a car that gets 40 miles to the gallon, and I ride the bus during the summer months as often as possible.
  • We have purchased a weekly basket from a CSA (community supported agriculture) this summer. We receive locally grown organic produce from late April until November. On Wednesdays, I drive about a mile from my office to pick up the produce, which is so fresh. I’ve eaten more organic greens in the last six weeks than I have my entire life.

I know I’ve influenced others to slowly change their behaviors, and I have realized that I can change and do more to protect the environment. I’m not always perfect, as those plastic bags still amazingly accumulate, but I have made a difference.

Let us know how you’ve changed in the past year to help the environment. While I’ll continue to show the amount and variety of litter that I find, I’ll continue to pick up roadside trash until people learn not to litter.

Thanks for reading this year.

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Airport Seats Are Not Trash Cans

On Thursday, I added to my carbon footprint by taking a business trip. Arriving at my gate, I found that not only can you use that pocket in front of your seat on the airplane for a trash can, but seats at the gates make great trash cans for the lazy:

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As I was plodding my way through security, at least two dozen plastic bottles of water were left behind by travelers. What does TSA do with all the bottled water, toothpaste, deodorants, shampoos, etc. that are confiscated as possible modes of taking down airplanes? I hope that they recycle.

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