Wednesday, March 12, 2008

Bottled Water = Scam and Eco-UNfriendly

I have two eco-friendly pet peeves. I'm peeved when I see people using plastic bags at the check-out counter. Really, it's so cheap to buy reusable bags. Come on people! Stop using plastic bags! It's a really bad practice! Heck, most stores sell them for a buck or two. Google reusable bags and you'll find reusable bags everywhere. From expensive designer grocery bags to extremely reasonably priced, plain bags (My good friend, Amie, over at her blog just posted about a reusable bag product rave. A pack of bags at a very reasonabl price). Even the commissary is beginning to sell them on many military installations for less than $2.00 each. If you are still using plastic bags, I'm peeved at you!

I'm am, however, even more peeved at people who continue to use bottled water!!!! Did you know that your bottled water is less regulated than tap water? I've said this before and I'll say it again: Buy reusable water bottles (such as a SIGG or KleanKanteen), a tap water filter and be done with bottled water! Here's what TreeHugger has to say about bottled water:

Stay off the bottle

By many measures, bottled water is a scam. In most first-world countries, the tap water is provided by a government utility and is tested regularly. (You can look up your water in the National Tap Water Quality Database) Taste tests have shown that in many municipalities, tap water actually tastes better. Bottled water is not as well regulated and studies have shown that it is not even particularly pure. A four-year study of bottled water in the U.S. conducted by NRDC found that one-fifth of the 103 water products tested contained synthetic organic chemicals such as the neurotoxin xylene and the possible carcinogen and neurotoxin styrene. (Grist) Much bottled water doesn’t come from a “Artesian springs” and is just tap water anyhow. (Coca-Cola adds salt to its Dasani water to make it taste better, just like fast food.) Not only is it more expensive per gallon than gasoline, bottled water incurs a huge carbon footprint from its transportation, and the discarded bottles are a blight. It’s no wonder that some people even think it’s a sin. If you want to carry your water with you, get a bottle and fill it. (Look here for some advise on durable, non-toxic container options.) If your water at home tastes funny, try an activated charcoal or ceramic filter. Here is a comparison of home-use water filters from Grist.

Go to to find ways to further green up your life.


The Dunns said...

Ah, the bag thing. I have some reusable bags but I always forget to bring them with me. I'll try to remember!

Also, my kitchen trash uses plastic grocery bags. I have a contraption I bought at Bed, Bath, and Beyond years ago that holds the handle loops of the bags. When that fills up, I pop it out and take it out to the garbage can. I like not having to buy garbage bags. Are they biodegradable? Needless to say, between poopy diapers and kitchen garbage, we never just throw grocery bags away. They are always well used.

Natalie said...

The garbage bag thing is a bit tricky here. It's expensive to get the biodegradable ones here. Though, I do buy them. But, they aren't at every store, so in a jam, I've purchased regular ones. And, poopy diapers and dog poop raises other issues. We had biodegradable dog BM bags for poop pick up. Ran out and are using a stash of old grocery bags we had from AK until I order more bags (Petco, I believe).

You could dump the poop from poopy diapers into the toilet. Then, just dispose of diaper in your kitchen trash. Legally, we're all supposed to do that anyway b/c disposing of human waste in the garbage, in many states, is illegal and (I think biohazard is he term used) if you look on your diaper package, I think it says to do that anyway. However, I'm guilty in that the only time I dispose of BM in the toilet is when I'm using cloth diapers. When the sitter is here or my night time diapering system is dirty and I use a sposie, I find mindself forgetting and throwing Lila's morning BM sposie in the trash.

Amie said...

I agree with you on both items! I have never been a bottled water drinker, and can't understand those who don't see the huge amount of waste they are creating by buying cases at Costco every week! My trusty Nalgene bottle is on my desk all day at work and I use the "bubbler" to fill it up! The added onus about using a larger, reusable bottle is that it's a good way to keep track of your daily hydration! I make sure I drink one liter before lunch, and another after lunch to stay nice and healthy!!

Natalie said...

Amie, #7 polycarbonate Nalgene bottles (and baby bottles like Avent) leach harmful chemicals...If your bottle isn't a #5 plasic, you may want to switch to a stainless steel bottle as soon as your Nalgene bottle shows any signs of any scratches. Just a heads up! Call me and I'll tell you more about it.

Angie said...

Then you are really peeved at me. I do use reusable bags at the local grocery stores (or I would have to buy them, its forced compliance.) However, at the commissary, I get the plastic bags. They are never just thrown away, though, they are reused as garbage bags in all of our bathrooms and kitchen trash, plus getting the dog poop out of the yard. If I have extras, I recycle (that doesn't happen often, because I use them up.) I like not having to buy them, that saves me money so that I can....

buy my WATER! Before moving here, we always used a water filter, but the filter didn't quite cut it here. It isn't that the water isn't safe, but (from what I've been told) it has calcium in it. I just know that I could see white stuff floating in my water, and a white layer of foam would even be in my pan for cooking. Not appetizing. So, I even use bottled water for cooking. They were just here delivering them. But, I get the HUGE bottles, which are reused.

Natalie said...

Maybe, in your case, Angie, bottled water IS better. Europe has different regulations, I believe.

Water here is really good and I do use a filter, sometimes. Not as often as I used to b/c it tastes better than the tap water in AK and our pediatritian told me I don't need to filter it. But, I still feel like I should.

We're still using up plastic grocery bags from AK. We had hundreds of them. Right now we use them in small trash cans and poop removal. Once we dwindle down to a few dozen, I'm ordering biodegradable trash and dog poop bags. I'm scooping out good deals. When/if I find a good deal on the amount and shipping, I'll post on my other blog.