April 22, 2010

Happy Earth Day!

Happy Earth Day!

Last year I decided to give up bottled water for Earth Day and I am proud to say that one year later I am still not buying bottled water. I have had to purchase them in very rare instances where a drinking fountain wasn't available but generally I'd try to buy Vitamin Water or Gatorade to avoid purchasing something that is available from the flip of a faucet. Instead I carry my stainless steel water bottle everywhere and refill at the drinking fountain. (and if you're worried about germs, there are bottles sold with filters to catch anything that could be harmful.)

According to www.treehugger.com (ignore the name people!), approximately 1.5 million barrels of oil, enough to run 100,000 cars for a whole year, are used to make plastic water bottles, and transporting these water bottles (usually from overseas!) uses even more oil. During the purification process, two gallons of water are wasted for every gallon that goes into the bottles and that's in addition to the millions of gallons of water that's used in the plastic-making process. The real kicker for me, is that nearly 90% of water bottles are not recycled and wind up in landfills where it takes thousands of years for the plastic to decompose.

I also learned in my Environmental Health class years ago that tap water is safer for you to drink because it is regulated by the EPA whereas bottled water is regulated by the FDA which has less strict guidelines.

Is there anything you're doing this year to make a difference for Mother Earth? Maybe consider giving up bottled water for a week, month or forever? I'm still looking for something to do for this year so if you have any suggestions, please share!

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