There’s a neat little saying on my beautiful stainless steel water bottle: “It’s A Green World After All.” But is it, really? Sure, it looks green now. How will it look in, say, ten years, or twenty? How will it look in 2100? 2500? Will it be green then, or will our need to consume ultimately be the earth’s death?
I came across this video after I had seen another like it on television.
Did it make you think?
I hope it did, but in the case that it didn’t, I’ve got a few facts to add to that video.
You may think that bottled water is healthier for you. You may buy it because it’s convenient.
In reality, it is neither of these things. There is nothing more healthy about bottled water than your regular tap water, and it’s certainly not convenient to the environment it’s destroying.
“But I recycle them!” you’re saying. Well good! You’re more the solution than the problem. In fact, you’re part of the 12% that recycle your bottles. That’s right, an estimated 88% of Canadians do not recycle their bottles. Which means the rest of the world probably isn’t too far off that mark either.
So good, you recycle. There’s just one issue: your recycled bottles are actually being “down-cycled”. They are being used to make different plastic products, which means that the bottles you’re buying are all made from virgin materials.
Another fun fact: it takes five times as much water to make a plastic water bottle than actually goes in the bottle. Say you buy a 500 ml bottle of water every day. Times that by five: 2500 ml, or 2.5 L. You buy that daily: 912,500 ml, or 9, 125 L of water, completely wasted. There are approximately 34 million people in Canada. Provided every person drank a bottle of water per day, that would make litres of water wasted a whopping 310 BILLION. And that’s just in Canada!
The waste doesn’t end there! Bottled water companies used over 1.5 million barrels of oil last year. That doesn’t even include the amount of petroleum used to transport the bottles: enough to fuel 100,000 vehicles for a year!
Fossil fuels are also used in the plastic bottle process. A common plastic known as PET (polyethylene terephthalate) is the most common plastic used for the bottles, and it is made from crude oil. Now, if your water is sitting in this bottle for who knows how long, what do you think is going to happen to it? That’s right. All those chemicals you want to avoid? They’re leaching into your water from the plastic of the bottle. Including BPA, a hormone disruptor.
“But how!” you gasp, “how can this be allowed?!”
Well, the bottled water industry is actually one of the least regulated industries in North America. That means you just don’t know what you’re getting, or what quality it’s going to be. In fact, tap water is strictly regulated and you’d be far better off drinking it instead of bottled water.
Speaking of tap water, did you know that Dasani (Coca Cola) and Aquafina (Pepsi) actually are just that? If the bottle says that the water is from “municipal” or “community” source, it’s just tap water. So you’re paying $2.50 for something you get free at home. Another fun fact, the brand Evian actually spells ‘naive’ backwards.
Naive indeed! Your hard earned money is going towards something that you can get for free. If you have 8 glasses of water a day, the yearly tap cost is approximately $0.50. That same amount bottled is $1,400!
What Can You Do?
Ditch the plastic water bottle! Seriously, it’s terrible for your health, your pockets, and the environment.
You know what? It’s not hard to do!
2) If you use a water bottle, buy one! WAY cheaper to have one you can wash and refill than having to constantly buy new plastic ones. I recommend stainless steel because they’re durable and they keep water cold longer. However, it’s completely your preference! Shop around!
If you simply MUST clean your water:
3) Buy a tap filter. It’s a water cleaning filter that attaches right on to the nozzle of your tap, so you get your purified water instantly.
4) Buy a filtered water jug. Requires a bit more effort, but at least this way your purified water will
be crisp and cold!
5) Buy a filtered water bottle. Did you know they made those? I didn’t until today, but I sure think they’re swell! The Bobble Mini is a very cute bottle, but there are others to choose from as well!
Bottled water needs to be replaced. Now since you know it’s not hard to do, just do it! You won’t regret it, and the environment will thank you.
It may be a green world now, but we have to work to keep it that way.