- Politics and Social Issues
Green in a Throw-Away World Part 3 - Trade in Plastic Water Bottles for Glass
Are Plastic Water Bottles a Waste of Energy?
It is disturbing to envision the pile of plastic water bottles I have thrown out through the years. Yes I was recycling, but still, the amount of energy needed to make those bottles, the energy needed to melt down those bottles, and the energy needed to remake them into whatever it is they get remade into, is a frightening thought.
Sadly, I had become a plastic-water-bottle addict.
Lucky for me, and as you've likely noticed, the water companies made the bottles thinner which not only makes them noisy, it also makes them more difficult to open. Then, the size of the caps was cut in half making it even more difficult to open the bottles and guarantees I will get water all over myself every time I open one;. Well for me, that was the last straw! I knew I was already past due in changing my wasteful habit, so now is the right time. I almost welcomed these horrible changes that pushed me over the edge in the right direction.
Some Bad Habits Are Easy To Fix
I had to ask myself how this bad habit evolved. Why did drinking water from these plastic bottles become so routine in the first place. My well water was tested with good results, so why was I purchasing these plastic bottles of water? Sure, when driving in the car they are convenient and the size of the opening is just right to not spill water when driving.
I soon realized the biggest reason I was using these: I could put on the cap and not worry about spilling the water in my car, on my laptop, cellphone, or my bed-side table in the middle of the night. Once I figured out the 'why' it was easy to fix.
Finding the Right Bottle
My new mission: Find a glass bottle that will fit my needs; a bottle that will allow me to be more green in this throw-away world. Glass is important, as I'm not a big fan of drinking from metal. A bottle with the right size opening is imperative; without the right opening, I will spill water all over myself when driving.
If you've ever had GUS, Grown Up Soda, you might already know that these bottles are perfect (and the soda is delicious, too). The opening is the right size, the same as a plastic water bottle, and they are easily washed. I don't like GUS's metal caps (they eventually leak). I found that the tops of ChanTea aloe vera bottles are the right size and the beverage is worth buying.
Using Glass Bottles is Worth the Effort
I still occasionally purchase water in plastic bottles, but I don't drink from them nearly as much; they are only used on rare occasion.
The other day I brought my glass water bottle with me in the car and forgot to put it in my little cooler while grocery shopping. When I got back to the car the water was actually still cool, while my car had become a hothouse. I know if it had been a plastic bottle it would have been too warm to drink. Sure, it is more work to wash my glass water bottles instead of just throwing them into the recycling bin, but it is well worth it. I'm not just helping to save the environment, I'm saving $$ at the same time!
UPDATE: Blow-Mold Plastic and BPA
UPDATE: Since I've given up plastic water bottles, I've learned the ones that make clicking sounds when used are made with BPA (Bisphenal A). Information from Russ Bianchi's (he's a world-renowned food formulator) website states, "Do not consume soda, juice and water out of thin blow mold plastic bottles, any exposure level of BPA is DEADLY."
PHEW! I'm REALLY happy I finally gave up using these bottles!
Now when I purchase water in a plastic bottle, I look for ones that don't 'click' when I grab them.