For hydration and calorie-saving, water is extremely good for you. But the billions of plastic bottles of water consumed by those who prefer bottled water generates a host of problems, just one of which is landfill.
According to the Container Recycling Institute, 86% of plastic water bottles used in the U.S. become garbage or litter. Four of every 5 bottles end in landfills, where they will not degrade for 1,000 years.
Today is the twenty-second Earth Day. The first Earth Day was held on April 22, 1970 (here’s the history). It led to the creation of the United States Environmental Protection Agency, the passage of the Clean Air, Clean Water Act and the Endangered Species Act.
Twenty-two years later, the need to save the planet is even greater. We’d like to present some facts and propose a solution.
How about packaging water in the same coated-paper cartons used for milk and juice? Photo courtesy Icebox.
Bottled water is growing at the expense of every other beverage category except sports drinks, according to The New York Times. It has overtaken coffee and milk in terms of volume consumed, and is closing in on beer.
Some 4 billion bottles end up in U.S. streams, costing $70 billion in cleanup and landfill costs.
A plastic water bottle takes 1,000 years to degrade; if burned in a furnace, it releases dioxins, harmful .
Landfill bottles, many of which are made with PET, leak toxic phthalates, into the groundwater.
Incinerating the bottles produces toxins: chlorine gas and heavy metal-laden ash.
If you buy bottled water, carrying a refillable water bottle is the easiest thing you can do to help save the environment. This Rubbermaid water bottle is inexpensive and contains a replaceable water filter to improve the taste of your tap water. You help the planet by cutting back on industrial emissions generated by making the bottle, and turning into toxin-generating garbage in landfills.
A BETTER WATER BOTTLE: A CARTON
A refillable water bottle is an excellent solution. But too many people can’t be bothered. Wouldn’t it be great to eliminate the plastic problem altogether?
We really like this idea from Icebox Water In A Box. The company, based in Norway, sells spring water in the type of packaging used for milk and juice cartons, a 97% sustainable pressed paper box. The carton, which includes a plastic drinking/pouring spout, is 100% recyclable.
Even with shipping from Norway, Icebox Water provides a 76% smaller carbon footprint than plastic bottles. The packaging has no BPAs and, because it’s not a bottle, requires no bottle deposit. The water, which is filled from an underground source, tastes wonderfully pristine. It’s available in three sizes, including a 500 ml (16.9 ounce) individual size.
ONE REASON TO GET A REFILLABLE BOTTLE: THE COST OF TAP WATER VS. BOTTLED WATER
According to the New York Times, if you drink eight daily glasses of water daily, the cost is 49¢ per year (possibly the biggest bargain in pricey New York City).
If you buy bottled water, you could spend 2,900 times as much: about $1,400 yearly.
For more information about Icebox Water, visit IceBoxWater.com.
MORE FOR EARTH DAY
Green tips for Earth Day.
Carbon footprint trivia quiz.
Eco Glossary: 12 terms you should know.