Bottled Water - An Environmental Disaster
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Do you wish to live in a way that protects our children’s future? Do you want to live in the greenest world possible with a conscience, respect and appreciation for the environment?
The majority of Americans have a strong sense of environmental and social responsibility. We endeavor to make environmentally beneficial choices in many aspects of our daily living, yet we ignore one of the major contributors to the plight of the planet.
Worldwide in excess of one billion people do not have an uncontaminated source of clean drinking water, this is in excess of 1/6 of the world population, yet we, as Americans, spend billions of dollars yearly for the convenience of drinking from a plastic bottle instead of a water tap. Shame on us.
1.5 million tons of plastic are used to bottle water every year. It takes in excess of 25 times the amount of water to make each plastic bottle than the bottle contains. 300 million gallons of bottled water are imported to the United States yearly.
In America bottled water is often simply an indulgence. Despite our justifications, it is not a harmless indulgence. Bottled water is an environmental catastrophe. Thirty years ago bottled water barely survived as a business in the United States. Today Americans spent more on "designer" bottled water than we spent on iPods or entertainment tickets - $15 billion in 2007. The expected United States expenditure for bottled water will be $16 billion a year before the end of the decade.
As a country we consume more than 30 billion single-serving bottles of water per year. Bottled water is the fastest growing beverage industry in the world, worth up to $22 billion a year. Less than 15% of plastic bottles are recycled, the rest end up in the refuse systems and cost America's cities over 70 million per year to handle clean-up and landfill expenditures. America yearly produces in excess of 800,000 tons of plastic bottle pollution that substantially magnifies global warming.
Last year, Americans threw away 38 billion plastic water bottles, about $1 billion worth of plastic. That's an overwhelming waste, especially considering 1.5 million barrels of oil - enough to power 100,000 cars for a year - were consumed to manufacture these bottles. And that's not even including the oil and gas required for shipping and delivering this massive volume of liquid.
If you are putting money into bottled water, you are basically purchasing plastic, which is manufactured from petroleum. "When we buy a bottle of water, what we're often purchasing is the bottle its self. One of the main problems with bottled water production is the reliance on fossil fuels. From packaging to transportation, bottled water relies on oil, using 17 million barrels of oil and producing massive amounts of carbon dioxide every year.
In the United States alone, we're hauling 1 billion liters
of water around a week in ships trains and trucks. That's
a weekly giant convoy equivalent to 37,800 18-wheelers.
Water weighs 8 1/3 pounds a gallon. It's so heavy you can't
fill an 18-wheeler with bottled water - you have to allow
There is an simple eco-friendly solution. Tap water is considerably less expensive. As an investigative reporter for the NY Times points out, "Almost all municipal water in America is so good that nobody needs to import a single bottle from Italy or France or the Fiji Islands.
Clean and safe drinking water should be public and affordable. The more the wealthy opt out of drinking tap water, the less political support there will be for investing in developing and maintaining America's public water supply. That would be a serious loss.”
Access to inexpensive, pure water is basic to a nation's health. In Fiji, a state-of-the-art factory spins out more than a million bottles a day of the hippest bottled water on the U.S. market, while more than half the people in Fiji do not have a pure or dependable source of drinking water. This means it is easier for the average American in Los Angeles or New York to quench their thirst with refreshing Fiji water than it is for the majority of people in Fiji.
Meanwhile, if you choose to get your recommended eight - ten glasses a day from bottled water, you could spend up to $1,500 or more every year. The same amount of tap water would cost pennies a day. Recent studies show that many brands of bottled water fail to meet industry guidelines and the cost of even low quality bottled water can grow quite high.
A lot of bottled water is just plain tap water. Many bottled water businesses repackage tap water into plastic bottles, then sell 'em back to you at prices higher than gas and increasing just as rapidly. Aquifina, as an example, has finally been pressured into amending its labels to advise consumers that Aquifina water comes from tap water. Why not just drink tap water? In fact, more than a quarter of bottled water is just processed tap water.
Plastic containers leach toxic chemicals. Have you considered why your plastic bottle of water has a label warning telling you not to reuse it? The longer you have that bottle, the more likely it is to leach toxic chemicals into your water.
There is a solution. If you are not confident in your local water supply or wish to safely filter tap water when on the go, carbon-filtered tap water's safer and costs much less than bottled water. According to the Environmental Working Group, "carbon filtration of tap water will dramatically lower levels of toxic by products; it is also 10 to 20 times less expensive than bottled water, and does not produce the waste and pollution associated with the packaging and transport of bottled water."
A portable water filter is a perfect solution for water filtration on the go. A portable water filter allows anyone to filter their own water, no matter where they travel; across town or
around the world. A portable water filter allows you to free yourself from any unpleasant taste, additives or contaminates while protecting the environment and your pocketbook. Get the whole family involved - a five member family could save well over $7,500.00 a year.
Let’s stop being unwitting victims of manipulative advertising.
When a entire industry is build up by overwhelming us with
a product we don't need - when an entire industry is founded
on packaging and presentation, not the product - it's worth
questioning how that happened and what the long-term impact
is upon our precious planet.
About the Author: M. Affeld is part of
the Nandu Green Team - Nandu Green is a green lifestyle
portal, offering high-quality, unique, intriguing and innovative
merchandise from around the globe.
Nandu Green your portal to the World.
Published - April 2009
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