Written by Greeniac24
|Monday, 30 June 2008|
Buy a Reusable Water Bottle
People often cite convenience, health concerns, and safety as reasons to drink bottled water. However, recent studies suggest that bottled water is no safer or healthier than tap water.With a reusable water bottle you don't have to sacrifice the on-the-go convenience of bottled water and you can help reduce the negative impact that the bottled water industry has on the environment!
The most commonly used plastic in the production of plastic bottles is petroleum-based polyethylene terephthalate (PET). Manufacturing these bottles requires an estimated 47 million gallons of oil each year. In fact, in the United States alone, 1.5 million barrels of oil are used annually in the production of plastic bottles. That's enough to fuel 100,000 cars for one year!
In addition, the water intended for bottling is often routed away from its natural source, removing it from small towns and farmers who rely on it for their livelihood.
The global distribution of bottled water creates yet another environmental hazard. The trucks, airplanes, and boats on which the water travels consume even more fossil fuels, while simultaneously causing air pollution and global warming.
Although bottles made from PET are recyclable, the Container Recycling Institute estimates only 21% of plastic bottles are recycled in the United States. This fills up our landfills with bottles that can take up to 1,000 years to biodegrade.
BENEFITS for Your Wallet:
Compared to the very affordable price of tap water, your bottled water costs you a bundle - sometimes up to 10,000 times more than your tap water. With prices ranging from $5 to $10 per gallon, bottled water costs more than gasoline! Bottled water is a $100 billion a year industry, even though for a fraction of that price, everybody in the world could enjoy safe and clean drinking water.
Those who enjoy the convenience of bottled water should consider buying a reusable water bottle that could prove to be even more convenient! Rather than lugging along multiple water bottles, you only need to carry one reusable bottle with you, which can be refilled as many times as you please.
BENEFITS for Your Health :
Most people believe that bottled water is healthier for you than tap water, but the opposite is often true. Tap water is rigorously tested by local, state, and federal environmental agencies.
On the other hand, bottled water is regulated only by the FDA, which means that companies are often left to regulate themselves. The World Health Organization (WHO) warns that because bottled water is often stored for long periods of time, it may eventually contain more micro-organisms than tap water. A study on bottled water conducted by the National Resource Defense Council revealed that one in every three samples contained contamination levels that exceeded allowable limits. In addition, bottled water is permitted to have limited amounts of E. coli and fecal coli forms, which may indicate contamination by fecal matter.
The occurrence of microorganisms in bottled water can become a concern for sensitive groups such as pregnant women, the elderly and infants. The WHO even recommends that bottled water should be boiled and sterilized before using it in infant formula to feed infants.
You'll actually be saving money! Bottled water is a $100 billion a year industry and consumers can pay up to $10 per gallon for bottled water. Bottled water can be more expensive than gasoline; and why pay so much for bottled water when safe and reliable drinking water is available virtually for free from your faucet.
Time and effort: Low
This is one of the simplest things you can do to help conserve resources.
1. Buy a reusable water bottle at your favorite store. See below for some different options that are available to you.
2. Fill it up with water from your tap, and if you want to keep it cooler, add some ice.
3. If you live in an urban area and are concerned about the purity of your local tap water, you may want to invest in a water filtration product. Both PUR and Brita offer filtering products that effectively eliminate lead, chlorine, mercury and copper from tap water. The result is a great tasting glass of water every time!
4. Wash your bottle occasionally using hot, soapy water. This will keep your mouth and hands from leaving bacterial residue that can build up.
Different Types of Reusable Bottles:
Polycarbonate/LEXAN bottles: Known for being lightweight and durable, bottles of this material are one of the most popular choices. Able to withstand high heat and extreme cold, these bottles can go anywhere.
Where to find:
New Wave Enviro
*Warning: In the past couple of years, there has been some concern surrounding the chemical Biosphenal a seeping from polycarbonate containers and the effects that may have on our health. While many still continue to use and purchase these bottles, you should be aware of the issue.
What is Bisphenol A (BPA)? A key component of polycarbonate plastics, this chemical is known to be an endocrine-disruptor. It has been associated with miscarriages, breast cancer and uterine cancer in women and decreased levels of testosterone in men. BPA has also been linked to the incidence of Type 2 diabetes.
What is the problem? It is pretty much agreed that BPA leaches from polycarbonate bottles into your water. However, no one is sure whether or not the amounts are significant enough to be harmful. While the FDA has not banned the use of BPA because research results have been found to be inconclusive, in 2006 Europe and San Francisco banned its use in products used by children who are three years of age and younger. There has not been a definitive study involving humans to determine the effects of BPA, so it's up to you to decide whether to use polycarbonate bottles or not.
Where do I find more information to decide? To find out more about BPA, here are some useful links:
Our Stolen Future
Stainless Steel: Made from the same stainless steel used for food preparation and brewing, these bottles are non-toxic and don't seep any chemicals into the liquids that they contain. They are lightweight and can be expected to last for years. When they do finally wear out, though, they are 100% recyclable!
Where to find:
Sigg Bottles: Named in Backpacker magazine as "The World's Toughest Water Bottle," these bottles are sturdier than their competitors. Not only that, they are also lighter in weight. Constructed from pure aluminum and lined with a 0% leaching, non-toxic liner, these bottles come in a variety of styles to suit any style. When it comes time for a replacement, don't forget to recycle!
Where to find:
Other Plastics: High-density polyethylene (HDPE #2), low-density polyethylene (LDPE #4), and polypropylene (#5) are all safer plastic alternatives to polycarbonate (#7). They are softer plastics, so they tend to absorb flavor from non-water beverages, but they are not known to leach toxins. New Wave Enviro even offers a corn resin based plastic bottle with a built-in filter. It is similar to PET, but this version biodegrades in 80 days!
Where to find:
New Wave Enviro
Reusing Single-Use PET bottles: Polyethylene terephthalate (PET)is the plastic polymer most commonly used by the bottled water industry to make their bottles. Reusing PET bottled is not recommended. All though it seems like an eco-sensible thing to do, it may be harmful to your health! Along with the possibility that DEHA and DEHP could seep into your water, there is also a bacterial risk. This is because most water bottles are shaped in a way that makes them difficult to clean, which could lead to the build up of bacteria. If you do decide to reuse, be sure to clean your bottle thoroughly with soap and warm water. The best idea, though, is to recycle any single-use bottles you may still have and purchase a bottle that is intended for reuse.
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|Last Updated ( Wednesday, 30 November 2011 )|