This past weekend, we sat on a local beach, enjoying a lovely May day. Out of the blue, this bottle rode in with a wave.
And that made me sad.
Beaches should have sand and pebbles and happy people, but not plastic bottles.
Plastic water bottles can be recycled.
But the problem is that most people drink bottled water when they’re not at home, which means that recycling facilities aren’t readily available. So, a shockingly small percentage of water bottles actually make it into a recycling bin (about 75% aren’t recycled.)
When we drink water out of disposable bottles, we’re just not nearly as careful with them as we are when we used non-disposable bottles.
Nobody in their right mind would leave a Klean Kanteen sitting on the beach or picnic table, but plastic bottles have so little value to us, we leave them all over the place (and leaving them all over the place is far worse than sending them to the landfill!)
I’m not picking on bottled water because it’s so much worse than all the other plastic waste we produce.
No, I’m picking on it because it is so largely unnecessary.
The vast majority of us have access to high-quality tap water that’s almost free, and considering that as much as 40% of bottled water is filtered tap water, it’s a little silly to pay a huge markup for it. Plus, bottled water is less strictly regulated by the FDA than tap water and there are safety concerns about drinking from those ubiquitous plastic bottles.
And then get yourself a nice, sturdy water bottle that you value, because we’re inspired to take care of things we value.
(We really love our stainless steel Klean Kanteens…I highly recommend them.)
Even with the up-front costs of a filter and a canteen, you’ll be money ahead in the long run, and you’ll be treading a little more lightly on our planet.
Or if you really need bottled water, maybe you could use the really large, refillable jugs in your home, and carry reusable water bottles with you.
And if you end up with a single-use water bottle in your hand, do make sure it ends up in a recycling bin, or at the very least, a trash bin.
My beach will be grateful.
P.S. For more of my thoughts on bottled water, see my post about the Tapped documentary.
Today’s 365 post: Science + Sparkles
Joshua’s 365 post: I love coffee!
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