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Green Tip: Avoiding Bottled Water

Green Tips | July 28, 2017

With temperatures soaring this summer, more and more Americans are purchasing bottled water to fight the heat. However, avoiding bottled water is one of the most important choices you can make to combat climate change, reduce waste, and promote public health.

Every year Americans use almost 50 billion plastic water bottles, but only 23 percent of those bottles are ultimately recycled. That means that 67 percent of water bottles are sent to landfills or else left to pollute our parks, waterways, and oceans. Plastic is an incredible waste problem because it virtually never decomposes, instead it breaks down into smaller and smaller pieces which can be consumed by all kinds of wildlife.

Chemicals in plastic water bottles, like antimony, is known to cause dizziness and depression and in high doses can even lead to death. Although many consumers think that bottled water is cleaner and better for their health, studies show that tap water is cleaner than bottled water in a test of more than 1,000 bottles.

Furthermore, manufacturing water bottles is extremely energy intensive. To meet America’s annual demand for bottled water, more than 17 million barrels of oil is needed, which is enough to fuel 1.3 million cars for a year. In order to contextualize the energy needed for a single bottle, the Pacific Institute estimates that the total energy embedded in our use of bottled water is equivalent to filling the bottle with oil up to one quarter full.

If the environmental reasons aren’t enough to convince you to stop using bottled water, the fact that bottled water is at least 300 times more expensive than tap water should be enough to deter you from purchasing single-use water bottles. Instead use a reusable water bottle that can be filled at the tap wherever you go!

By: Korinna Garfield

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