When I was growing up there were no disposable water bottles. You drank water from the tap at home. If you were away there were water fountains. At softball games someone would bring a cooler of a drink and cups. Ditto for picnics.
I ignored bottled water when they made their appearance—thinking them wasteful and expensive—until I had kids. Then I had to deal with the old “but everyone else uses them.” When I researched it, I found my gut was right.
Let’s look at convenience. Instead of grabbing a bottle of water, you’d have to fill a reusable water bottle. That’s it! For me, it’s worth that minor inconvenience in order to be a good steward of resources for my future grandchildren and great-grandchildren.
Bottle Water and Resource Use
Much petroleum and water is used to make the plastic bottles themselves.
17 million barrels of oil are used annually in the U.S to transport water bottles to their destinations—enough to fuel some 100,000 cars for a year.
Discarded bottles are often littered or sent to landfills. Even the 20% that are recycled are actually “downcycled”—not used to make more water bottles, but other products like chairs and toys that can’t be recycled at the end of their life.
It’s expensive! Drinking water from the tap (eight cups a day) might cost less than 50 cents a year. Compare that to how much one spends on water bottles. People complain about gasoline prices. The price of bottled water per gallon (based on $1.00 per one 16 oz. bottle) is $8.00 a gallon. From a tap, an average price is $ 0.002 per gallon.
Alternatives to disposable water bottles
Use a water fountain.
Carry reusable water bottles, such as stainless steel ones made by Klean Canteen or SIGG.
For meetings, use pitchers of tap water.
For tips on breaking the water bottle habit, go to the Center for a New American Dream: http://www.newdream.org/water/index.php