High: 87°F ~ Low: 66°F
Sunday, May 19, 2013
Oh sweetheart, put the bottle downPosted Friday, July 10, 2009, at 10:06 AM
It's been so long ago that I don't really remember when or how I became a confirmed water drinker. Maybe it was when I gave up soda for Lent several years ago, or perhaps when I won a water bottle one summer at high school band camp. Or maybe it was when I learned that drinking more water helps you maintain a healthy weight.
Regardless, now I don't go anywhere without my stainless steel water bottle -- I recently switched from my beloved Nalgene because of concerns about the chemical found in many plastic bottles called bisphenol A, which can mimic the female hormone estrogen and often leaches into the bottle's contents. I almost always order water at restaurants as well because I've found that drinking anything else is just not as thirst quenching.
In my somewhat-extensive travels, I have been to several places where tap water was unsafe to drink due to poor sanitation practices or aging pipes. It made me cringe to buy bottle after bottle of water, especially as I wasn't always able to recycle them. When my mother and I traveled in India, we brought water purification tablets to use instead, in an attempt to offset our carbon footprints at least a little.
News reports in the past few days have increased my concern over the vast consumption of bottled water in the U.S. and other countries. Of course, I am thrilled that people are drinking water, but I am not at all happy about the way they are doing it. Some interesting facts from www.goodguide.com:
-- Producing the bottles for the annual U.S. consumption of bottled water requires the equivalent of more than 17 million barrels of oil.
-- Bottling this water produces more than 2.5 million tons of carbon dioxide.
-- It takes 3 liters of water to produce 1 liter of bottled water.
By all reports, bottled water is not necessarily any better than tap water here in the U.S. It is regulated by the Food and Drug Administration, which does not require that companies disclose information about where the water comes from and how it is purified -- even local governments must publish quality reports about their water supplies. And the cost? According to Katie Couric of CBS News, Americans spent $16 billion on bottled water in 2008.
Recently the rural Australian town of Bundanoon issued a citywide ban on the sale of bottled water, and it is not the only municipality concerned with this issue. A couple of years ago, the mayors of both Salt Lake City and San Francisco banned the use of city funds to buy bottled water. I don't know if prohibition is necessarily the answer -- I probably won't take an axe to every bottled water vending machine I see -- but for everyday use, ditch the bottle (preferably by recycling it) and turn on the tap!
Showing comments in chronological order
[Show most recent comments first]
Little Town Blues Goes to China
- Blog RSS feed
- Comments RSS feed
- Send email to SYDNEY STONNER
Something about music. Something about small towns. Something about Hong Kong. Or maybe something else entirely.
Sydney is a former staff writer for the Democrat-News. She received degrees from University of Missouri in both music and magazine journalism. She played oboe with the Marshall Philharmonic Orchestra and the Marshall Municipal Band while she was in Marshall.