Go Green! Ditch the water bottles. The bottled water industry is a primary target of the ‘green” movement and for great reason.  If we are going to effectively integrate “green” practices and ingrain future generations with second nature “green” practices, then we must eliminate our consumption of bottled water!  If we do not do something now, bottled water will continue to resonate as one of the leading causes for the decline of our Earth’s health.   This entry is intended to exist as an educational realization of a very real problem that has masked itself as a common, healthy consumer good.  It is also intended to serve as a call to action for people to make the conscious effort to “go green” and consider switching to tap water as well as purchasing reusable bottles to drink from. The true extent to which bottled water is damaging our environment would take thousands of pages to explain however, I will do my best to paint a brief, yet alarming picture with one woman’s research.  Please read, think about what you are reading and take action by doing some research of your own and sharing what you learn as we are trying to do.

We present to you,  “Water Bottle Pollution Facts”, which was published in a 2011 publication of National Geographic by author, Susanne Didier.  Simply put, her findings are overwhelmingly alarming.  In her article, she breaks down the environmental impact of water bottle pollution in terms of the bottles as well as overlooked factors such as production and transportation.  Suzanne points out that American consumers alone, purchase more than 29 billion bottles of water a year, a staggering number.  To honor this demand, more than 2.4 billion pounds of plastic are needed.  Even more alarming, she reports that sadly, only 13% of these 29 billion bottles of water are being recycled!

The next part of her article discusses the transportation element of the water bottle industry supply chain.  People tend to forget that the costs that go into consumer products extend beyond just those of the raw materials and assembly of the product. Two of the biggest added costs are those of shipping and delivery.  To cut to the chase, in order to effectively and safely transport 29 billion bottles of water to U.S. markets alone, over 50 million barrels of oil are needed.  Yes, you read correctly, 50 million barrels of oil are needed!  To put that into perspective, each American, on average only uses a little over 24 barrels of oil a year and around 1500 barrels in a lifetime.  That’s it.

The last part of her report simply highlights that on top of how detrimental water bottles are to the environment, their purpose is not completely justifiable.  She reports findings from a 4-year study by the NRDC (Natural Resources Defense Council) that revealed shocking findings.  Most notably, “Roughly 22 percent of the water tested contained contaminant levels that exceeded strict state health limits.” The report also concluded that there were traces of various levels of hormones and other contaminates, most of which people think they are avoiding by choosing bottled water over tap water.  Ironically enough, in a move (strategic marketing ploy) to be healthier, we are actually doing much more harm to ourselves overall!    

To conclude, the facts are before us and this one example is merely the tip of the iceberg.  We challenge you to impart this knowledge to others and think twice about continuing to purchase bottled water.  We challenge you to use this as a first step towards “going green” and consciously choose to live green and be green in some way every single day!

Here is a link to her article http://greenliving.nationalgeographic.com/water-bottle-pollution-2947.html