Thursday, September 20, 2007

Environmentalist Propaganda of the Day

After listening to some lectures on ecological sustainability recently, the inner environmentalist in me wants to come out and say hello. Hopefully inspire others. To this end, I will be periodically interjecting the blog with ecological tips for a greener world. Come on admit it, everyone's got a little hippie in their hearts somewhere.

So here we go with tip #1. Rather then loading up on bottles of water, consider reusing bottles by refilling. Especially if you are in an environment where it is easy to do so. Most plastic bottles never get recycled, and are non-biodegradable, making them an expanding and persistent problem in solid waste. Even if you do recycle bottles, they will need to be trucked to a recycling center and reprocessed, leaving a carbon trail along the way. Reuse is essential to sustainable living, and is fundamentally better then recycling.

Also consider that bottled water, though substantially more expensive, is subject to less health regulations then standard tap water. Some brands of bottled water, are just filtered tap water, repackaged for an image of "purity." Link: NRDC

At work it was easy to fall into the habit of taking freely provided water bottles, drinking them up and then tossing them for recycling. Then a couple months ago , it just dawned on me, what I'm I doing creating all this waste when I carry a water bottle on my bike, which I ride to work everyday. So now I just refill my bottle, quenching my thirst at work with considerably less waste.

So the next time you get that itch to chuck a bottle, think about reusing it instead. The bottle will love you for your kindness as well. I hear them talking to me in my sleep, and they told me so...

Link: Container Recycling Institute


  1. You know the tap water in LA county is poison to plants and fresh water fish, its crazy how much crap thats added.

  2. It's not poisonousness, and although LA County does need to improve it's water infrastructure, it meets all federal requirements for safe drinking water.

    Our cultural shift to depending on bottled water has also allowed worsening conditions in our water system to slip by the wayside while we happily pay enormous mark up for water that is often tap water from some where else trucked around. We should be holding politicians accountable for the quality control of our basic resources.

    Water quality issues aside, back to the topic of plastics. Refilling a water bottle at a water cooler, which uses reusable reservoir bottles, is a much less wasteful practice then one time use individual water bottles.