Friday, August 17, 2007

Kicking Bottled Water To The Curb ...

I think I started drinking bottled water in college. I'd buy a liter of Evian to drink with lunch. Yeah, the whole liter. Then I'd slosh around campus all afternoon.

When I lived in my apartments, I'd buy those refrigerator bottles of Ice Mountain with the built-in spiggot. I figured, the water in Chicago might be fine to drink, but who the hell knew if the pipes in my buildings were safe. In my head, they were massive tunnels of lead, leaching brain-scrambling doses of poison into every glass. No thanks.

And then the water-by-the-case craze hit and I was hooked. I'd go to the store and load up my cart with many cases of water. So handy! So healthy!

I'm proud to say that I recycle my water bottles. All of 'em. If I'm out and about in the car and I finish one, I toss it over my shoulder into the back seat. If I'm out to lunch or shopping, I carry my bottle with me until I get back to my car, then toss it over my shoulder into the back seat. When I get home, I clear out the back seat and dump my quarry into the recycle bin.

But somewhere along the line, I got to thinking: Why am I consuming all this packaging? It's good that I recycle, but wouldn't it be better if the bottles weren't manufactured in the first place? Damn tootin' it would be. So I bought a Brita pitcher for my house (still not trusting the pipes) and thought I'd rely on bottled water only for trips in the car.

I've read about the hazzards of reusing bottles over and over, that the plastic begins to break down and they harbor all kinds of bacteria. And then, a few weeks back, I saw gezellig girl's post about reading a New York Times' editorial and her subsequent purchase of brand-spankin'-new Nalgene bottle. I'd been thinking about buying a bottle for the car so I could cut out buying cases of bottled water altogether, so her post was exactly what I needed.

There's a nifty web site devoted to what we can do to reduce disposable water bottle waste. Because you and I might recycle all our bottles, but ours are part of only 23 percent that get recycled. And, like I was sayin', it's best to just not produce them in the first place. (I didn't buy the bottle that benefits Native Energy because I needed one that would fit in my car's cup holder.)

So I ordered Nalgene bottles, one for me, one for my mom, and one for my dad. And I love my new bottle. Though after I ordered them online, I found them at Jewel for less money. Go figure. Who knew anything at Jewel was less money than any other retailer on the planet?

I still have a couple of cases of bottled water left over from the 4th of July. I'll put them in the fridge eventually. They're handy to give to guests when they're gettin' back on the road. But me and my Nalgene bottle are now fast friends.

And it matches my eyes.

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Anonymous Ethan said...

That sounds like a great idea on the surface, but don't you know that Nalgene bottles are destroying the planet???!!! (Note: That link may become inactive in < 30 days.)

Because they didn't grow naturally in the wild, you see.

Hey, I just report this stuff.

3:16 PM  
Blogger Beth said...

Well, if Woody Harrelson can point me toward a hemp water bottle, I'll buy it! : o )

3:21 PM  

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