Reducing our use of plastics that pose health threats to our planet, our homes and our bodies is a good thing. But buying and using plastics is such as pervasive habit that many people will find plastic withdrawal unbearable. Before you start whittling a wooden toothbrush and recycling your old plastic handled one, consider an easy place to start… and for that matter be finished.
Why We Should All Break the Bottled Water Habit
Let’s look at plastic bottled waters, a multibillion dollar a year industry. Bottled waters heralded on the scene to make it convenient for us to drink more water and stay hydrated, which is healthy right?
Facts on Water Bottled in Plastics
*Transporting all the plastic water bottles means that 1 billion plastic water bottles are being moved around the U.S. on ships, trains and vehicles every week.
*100,000 cars could be operated for year on the oil that is required to make the plastic bottles each year.
*Because they are single serving sizes and often purchased on the go, only 1 in 10 plastic water bottles is recycled.
*You could save $500.00 a year by breaking the bottled water habit.
Sure bottled water companies are feeling pressure from ecologically minded groups and individuals. Poland Spring, which is manufactured by Nestle Waters, has launched a new EcoShape bottle that feels ergonomically friendly and using 15% percent less plastic and 10%-15% less energy to produce. FIJI Water jumped on the green wagon as well and announced FIJI Green, a program to protect and give back to the environment with purchase.
So while it’s positive that bottled water companies are making efforts, the best solutions are to carry your water. Let’s face it; almost a fourth of bottled water is simply tap water to begin with that repackaged by Coke and Pepsi. Even if you’re buying actual spring water, and paying almost 10,000 times as much for it, it’s not necessarily purer. Federal standards for water purity are actually higher for tap water than for bottled water.
So what are the alternatives? Buying your own plastic reusable bottles? Beware.
Reusable plastics like water bottles have come under fire for posing health risks. Even though plastics are numbered, 1-7, the data seems to change for the worse on a regular basis. Number 3 plastics and #7 are on the most dangerous list but many conclude that avoiding drinking from plastics all together, unless you are say biking or mountain climbing, is best. Besides, water just taste better in glass than in plastics too. But at least the use of these cuts back on what we throw away.
Safer alternatives include buying reusable bottles made from materials other than plastics and if you have concerns about your tap water you can easily and inexpensively fit your faucet with a water filter.
*SIGG water bottle company makes reusable water bottles made of lightweight aluminum.
*Klean Kanteen makes reusable water bottles made of stainless steel.
*EnviroProducts makes a water bottle form 100 % U.S. grown corn. This water bottle can be refilled up to 90 times and when you’re finished with it biodegrades in commercial compost in just 80 days.
*You can also get creative with options like coconut shell containers and lids used with biodegradable straws.
Breaking the plastic habit cold turkey is not really realistic. Even our cold turkey is often packaged in plastic after all. But taking one baby step at a time like refusing plastic grocery bags and plastic water bottles is a big step in the right direction.