October 21, 2007

Kick the Bottled Water Habit

Carbon Conscious Consumer

Yes. I can't sleep for some reason, so I'm especially prolific tonight. After this I'm going to bed though.

I just made a pledge to kick my bottled water habit. I don't actually have much of a habit but I just pledged to eliminate the little one I might have. Whether you actually follow the link and make the pledge online is less important than just making the commitment to kick the habit. Here's why you should:

[From The New American Dream Carbon Conscious Consumer initiative] Everything we consume has a climate impact, but manufacturing and trucking water bottles to homes with clean tap water seems particularly wasteful. The Beverage Marketing Corporation reports that Americans consumed 31.2 billion liters of water in 2006 – nearly 9 liters per month for every man, woman, and child.

Manufacturing all those bottles requires 900,000 tons of plastic, the equivalent of more than 17 million barrels of oil, and emits more than 2.5 million tons of carbon dioxide. Trucking around all those heavy bottles emits even more greenhouse gases. Beyond the climate impact there’s the massive waste – 86% of water bottles aren’t recycled -- and water bottling is also, ironically, a very water-intensive endeavor. The Pacific Institute tells us that it takes three liters of water to produce one liter of bottled water!

Take some steps:

  • Drink tap water.
  • If you feel the need, get a filter for your tap at home. It will quickly pay for itself in the savings you'll reap from cutting back on bottled water purchases.
  • Get a reusable water bottle. Either buy one or better yet, reuse an empty soda bottle. Keep it filled and keep it with you. (Be sure to keep it clean too.) Then you won't get stuck having to buy bottled water.

Go on... Kick the habit!


Thomas said...

Your environmental engineering professor dad fully supports this sentiment. In addition to all the good things you've said about the carbon footprint issue, it's good to remember that the drinking water industry in the U.S. is very heavily regulated, and almost without exception, produces very high quality drinking water. The same is not always true about the bottled water industry: either with the regulation or the quality!

Jessica said...

Don't forget, a number of bottled water companies just use tap water (Dasani!).

I would like to mention that it is better for your health if you purchase a metal water bottle and I wouldn't suggest reusing a soda or water bottle that you purchased a drink in. Plastic breaks down (though not completely, which is why it is a waste problem) and those one-time-use bottles are meant for only one use -- additional uses causes toxins to leach into your drink. This is true for reusable water bottles too, but it takes much longer. Thus the metal bottles.