There are few things that make me nag a friend on an annoyingly bad habit (I truly believe in the mantra of “live and let live”), but if I see a friend with a fridge or desk full of water bottles the nagging will start, and chances are it will be hard to get me to shut up.
I honestly detest the site of plastic water bottles unless they are an absolute necessity. But if I see them in your house, at work, at the gym, or in your car it bothers me — there is absolutely no need for them whatsoever! Not only are they a complete and unnecessary waste of money, but they leave a huge environmental footprint since it’s estimated that over 80% of single-use plastic water bottles are never recycled. Not only that, but they take 1,000 years to biodegrade, meaning they are filling up our landfills in a scary way. (And that’s 2 million tons of scary every year!) Sometimes I feel like we’re going to end up like WALL-E, but on a mountain of discarded water bottles.
That’s why I applaud San Francisco’s board of supervisors for recently approving a ban of selling single-use plastic water bottles on city property, due to the fact that they are wasteful and are causing havoc on the environment.
I stopped buying plastic water bottles and banned them from my house over 10 years ago and my family has survived. Here’s what we do:
- We installed an Aquasana countertop filtration system in our house. (We would have preferred the under-counter one, but since we rent it’s more convenient to have a countertop we can take with us.) We have to replace the filter only every six months and we signed up to an automatic delivery so we don’t forget. I prefer this over the filtered pitchers because I’m way too lazy to be filling those up and wait for them to drip. This way we only have to open the tap, and filtered water instantly comes out!
- I have a slew of reusable water bottles in my house and office. I’ve tried so many different brands and have become very picky with the ones I like. My absolute favorite one is Hydro Flask 18 oz insulated bottle, because it really does keep water chilled for hours even with direct sunlight, and keeps hot liquids stemming hot. I use it with a straw lid, and it’s almost always filled with filtered tap water.
- I don’t send my daughter to school with plastic water bottles, either. Right now she carries a BPA-Free 4L Camelback. It’s great for kids, because it’s light and durable.
- When it’s my turn to take water for an event I take a large gallon with plastic cups. Of course, the cups create waste too, but the impact is much lower, and most people tend to hang on to their cups causing less waste.
I constantly cringe at how wasteful and polluted our life is. I’m guilty of doing (and not doing) so many things I know I could change in order to leave a smaller footprint. But, wasting my resources and polluting Mother Earth with plastic bottles is one thing I know I can’t be blamed for — at least that’s my one tiny contribution!
Photo credit: Tony Webster on Flickr