In 2006 water bottle consumption reached an all time high of 8.3 billion gallons, and over $11 billion was spent on the bottled beverage. Drinking the equivalent of 8 glasses of water is recommended now by doctors and professionals all over the world, and now more than ever you see people walking, shopping, vacationing, and working all with a bottle of water in hand. There are a slew of companies that produce bottled water, whether they are in trendy bottles, they are distilled or they come from a spring.
There are more types of water being marketed today than you would think. While it’s a great thing that people are drinking more water and being more concerned with their well being, water consumption from a bottle is actually a very negative thing for our environment. Typically you would think since water bottles are normally plastic it’s not an issue since plastic can be recycled.
However the key factor in that theory is that the plastic bottles actually make it to a recycling center. Many people throw their bottles into the garbage at their home or on the street. In fact, only 5% of plastic waste is being recycled in the United States right now.
Nalgene, a creator of outdoor water bottles and water storage systems has created a new campaign titled: Refill Not Landfill. The campaign is designed to reduce disposable water bottle waste by using a reusable Nalgene bottle, or any other reusable drinking device. Nalgene estimates that if every person in New York City opted for a reusable water bottle for one week, 24 million bottles would be saved.
The costs to not only create the bottles, but also the cost to transport that water to stores all over our country is much higher than the cost to transport tap water through our water systems. Also, it’s important to consider that while you attempt to drink more water to stay healthy, the standard of the water is also a factor. Tap water testing is required to be reported to local municipalities whereas bottled water testing results do not. While a bottle of water claims to be pure, and crisp, there’s a good chance that water is coming straight from a tap somewhere.
Some people may justify their water bottle consumption based on the quality of water that they receive in their area. It may not be suitable to drink from the tap, so consumers opt to buy bottled water for themselves and their family. A much more economically and environmentally friendly option is to install a reverse osmosis system in your home. The water you drink is filtered, and sent to a separate spout typically installed on or near your kitchen sink. Filters only need to be replaced every year or so and the cost is really not that substantial compared to the cost that bottled water imposes on the environment.
The Refill Not Landfill campaign is designed to raise money for the Native Energy foundation which helps build Native American, farmer owned, and community based renewable energy systems. A limited edition Nalgene bottle is available where all proceeds will go to this foundation. Nalgene also encourages everyone to take the Refill not Landfill pledge on their website (www.nalgene-outdoor.com) for one week, one month, or one year. Nalgene bottles are designed for longevity and the great thing about them is that they don’t absorb odors or tastes.
That means you can put a beverage other than water in your bottle and you won’t taste it or smell it for the next month. The bottles are virtually indestructible, and won’t break if dropped or tipped over. You can purchase the limited edition bottle from the Nalgene website for $10. Other bottles are available on the website as well as at various retailers all over the country.