This week I want to talk about what I think is one of the biggest ripoffs in our world’s history- bottled water. The New York Times recently published a story on how big of an impact a single person has on the environment by choosing either bottled or tap water.
The consensus is to pretty much always use tap water. 1,500 plastic water bottles are consumed EVERY SECOND. …..3,000 were consumed by the time you finished that last sentence.
What is this doing to the environment?
Short and sweet answer? It’s killing it. The energy we waste using bottled water would be enough to power 190,000 homes for a year. Plastic bottles are made from a petroleum product called polythylene terephthalate (PET) and they require fossil fuels to both make and transport them. If you fill a plastic bottle a quarter of the way full, that’s about how much it took to create that one bottle. AND each bottle requires TWO gallons of water to get ONE purified gallon.
So, the entire process; making the bottles, purifying the water, and transporting the bottles, are harmful to the environment. But we can just recycle them right? No harm done?
On average, the American person consumes 167 disposable bottles of water per year, but only recycles 22% of them.
And recycling isn’t as easy as it sounds. You actually have to put the bottles in the bins, and even then the proccess of recycling itself actually releases a lot of pollutants into the air. You have to transport the bottles to the recycling center and then use more pollutants to destroy them and start the entire process over again. The bottles that don’t go into this recycling process are tossed into streets, oceans, and landfills. Drowning entire cities in plastic waste.
Now let’s talk about the money American’s spend on bottled water. Bottled water costs 2000 times more than tap water. We spent $11.8 BILLION dollars on bottled water in 2012, and that was 5 years ago.
Say you are committing to getting in those 8 glasses every single day. With the average bottle being 16 ounces you would need to buy 4 bottles a day. Bottles usually cost around $1.50. That is $6 a day, $42 a week, and $2,184 a year.
So, what do we do about it?
Reduce or eliminate your need for bottled drinks. Drink tap water. If you hate tap water buy a purification device- one that fits on your tap or sits in your fridge.
Invest in a BPA- free reusable bottle. Refill it at water fountains or coolers in the office.
Recycle. When you are forced to use a plastic bottle- make sure it finds it’s way into that little blue bin.
As always, let me know what you think in the comments!
Featured photo belongs to globalflare.com