Friday, August 17, 2007

It's not easy being green. - Kermit the Frog

I love "going green". I've always had a rather green heart, and I loved the post Libba did about Gray Water. I've started a recycling center at work for everything but cardboard (because we don't get a lot of cardboard here), and we recycle at home. Stephen gets smacked when he throws his Mt Dew cans in the trash, but he rarely does it. Now paper, it's hard for him to remember to recycle. We were lucky enough to buy a washer and dryer that are eco-friendly, we compost instead of use our disposal whenever possible, we only do laundry about every 10 days which saves water, if it ever rained we would save that rainwater for future uses, and we drive cars with awesome gas mileage. I guess you'd say we pretty much do our part for the environment, but I never feel like I'm doing enough. I just think most "green" things are so simple to do, that I can always do more. One of my pet peeves is people buying 2, 3, 4 bottled waters a day instead of refilling them. I've had the same two water bottles for about 4 months now that I switch off filling up, putting in the fridge to stay cool, etc. I came across this article today - actually, it came across ME because it was emailed to me by a newsletter - about bottled water and I really wanted to post it:

As the industry grows it becomes more and more of an environmental issue mostly because of packaging. US bottled water sales are growing nearly 10 percent annually and the trash from tossed containers is climbing just as quickly. The irony is that the United States has some of the best public water supplies in the world. Not only that, but bottled water sold in the United States is not necessarily cleaner or safer than most tap water. At the end of July beverage giant PepsiCo was forced by public pressure to explain on its Aquafina bottled water that the contents inside come from...the tap. Yet the public still consumes four billion gallons of water a year in individual-sized bottles. According to the Earth Policy Institute, it costs the United States 1.5 million barrels of oil a year to produce the plastic bottles used for water. And if one adds the energy required to transport it -- especially premium water imported all the way from France, Italy and even the Fiji islands -- the negative impact on the environment rises quickly. Do we really need all that bottled water?

Helpful tips from the article:
* There is nothing evil about bottled water. Sometimes it is just more convenient to buy a bottle of water then spend time looking for a water fountain. But do you really have to buy two or three brand new individual bottles a day? Whenever I buy a bottle of water I try save the bottle, if it is convenient, and re-fill it with tap water. I almost always have half-a-dozen bottles of ice cold water in my fridge that I haven't paid a cent for, and it's just as easy to bring one with me in the car in the morning or to the gym at night as it is to buy a bottle while I'm out.
* Tap water tastes funny to you? Install a water filter on your sink at home. A faucet mounted water filter can be as cheap as $40 and will remove 96-99 percent of chlorine, 92-99 percent of lead, and between 95-99 percent of at least a half dozen other chemicals and impurities from your tap water.
* Your filtered tap water will not only be cleaner than the typical bottled water but a lot cheaper. Filtering your water with a faucet mounted filter will cost you about 20 cent per gallon, versus more than a dollar for one pint of bottled water.

Just thought that was interesting.


Dad said...

You are so right. I agree with all your thoughts about recycling and especially about water. America still has a lot to learn.

jennifer said...

I completely agree, and this reminded me of an article I just read about how Nalgene and similar companies are taking advantage of people's rising guilt about using plastic bottles only once.