We all know that drinking water throughout the day is important, since we are made up of about 60% water and without it we start to lag through the workday. Unfortunately a lot of us turn to purchasing plastic water bottles for consumption or relying on the 5 gallon jugs of water from our work place's water coolers. In fact, as reported by Bloomberg Business, U.S. bottled water drinkers expanded their intake by 4 percent last year. The thing is, if we drink water from plastic water bottles, we’re consuming the resources of a massive amount of different industries that we haven’t even considered, not to mention - the earth's resources!
To create an individual bottle for us to quickly drink from and toss aside, some factory needs to produce them. Every bottle, cap, and wrapper needs to be manufactured somewhere and then put together to fill with nothing other than water for us to drink. Then, trucks need to ship all those cases of water all over the country. Let’s just say, it’s a lot. So how does an environmentally savvy consumer get their fill without worrying about the concern of plastic water bottles?
What is the Ban the Bottle Movement?
Cities all over the U. S. are coming together to ban the sales of plastic bottles, in hopes to reduce the production of plastic, therefore helping the environment.
San Francisco has become the first city in the U.S. to begin phasing out the sale and distribution of water in single-use plastic bottles on city-owned or leased land, and to ban future water bottle purchases with city funds. "Over the next four years, the ban will phase out the sales of plastic water bottles that hold 21 ounces or less in public places. Waivers are permissible if an adequate alternative water source is not available," stated The Daily Catch.
This ban will decrease the amount of plastic that gets used, the amount of garbage that gets tossed aside, and the amount of civic and private resources that have to worry about any of the above. Essentially, it deceases the entire carbon footprint of every individual who just wants a sip of water.
This movement has also lead to other cities following in San Francisco's footsteps:
- Great Barrington, MA passed a plastic bag ban on March 1, 2014, but it doesn’t appear the town has any immediate plans to ban plastic bottles.
- Greenfield, MA will try to ban plastic bags, single-serve plastic water bottles and plastic foam containers as they try to collect 1,093 voter signatures needed to move their proposition toward the town’s fall election.
- University of New Mexico students have created the Lobo BYOB, that focuses on the cleanliness of the tap water on campus versus the cleanliness of one-time-use water bottles, will be working on a formal request about banning bottled water on campus.
- Seattle,WA has banded the use of single-use plastic carryout bags. Retail stores must charge at least 5 cents per paper carryout bags and keep the revenue, which is a taxable retail sale. Violations of the law will result in fines of $250.
So if we aren’t drinking from plastic water bottles, where can we get our recommended daily amount of water?
Switch from bottles to bottleless
Maybe you're not sure how to go about getting your city to go bottleless, but you can definitely get your work place on board!
Talk to whoever is in charge of providing your work place with drinking water about how much bottled water could really be costing your business and about the benefits of switching from bottles to a bottleless drink water solution. If you currently use bottled water coolers, just think:
- No lifting heavy bottles
- No more storing of big water bottles
- No accidental water spills
- No interruptions of water delivery
After that, encourage your coworkers to bring their own BPA-free reusable bottles. There are great products out there in all shape and sizes such as Nalgene bottles that tend to be bigger, which means less times you’ll have to get up from your desk to refill.
In the end, it’s the small acts that make up a sound environmental policy. Drinking water from refillable bottles filled at filtered water dispensers is the first and easiest step to make an impact on this movement.