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Times Herald-Record

Sustainable Living: Bottled water’s environmental ills

by Shawn Dell Joyce

 

October 14, 2007

 

Many of us choose bottled water because we think it is the healthier choice.

 

Americans are the world’s leading consumers of bottled water, downing about 4 billion gallons per year in little plastic bottles. This is roughly equal to one 8-ounce bottle per person per day. While it certainly is healthier to drink water than soda, bottled water is actually very bad for the planet’s health.

 

There is much more to the ubiquitous water bottle than meets the lips. It actually takes three to five times more water to make and fill one plastic water bottle than the bottle contains. (Water is used in the production of the plastic in water bottles, then also to rinse those bottles.) If you add to that the average energy cost of making the plastic, filling the bottle, transporting it to market and then processing the empty bottle, you begin to see the hidden environmental costs.

 

“It would be like filling up a quarter of every (water) bottle with oil,” says Peter Gleik, a water policy expert and director at the Oakland, Calif.-based Pacific Institute, which studies “real life solutions to water crises.”

 

WATER BOTTLES, like other plastic containers, are made from natural gas and petroleum, which are both nonrenewable resources. More than 1.5 million tons of plastic are used to produce PET, the plastic in water bottles. The manufacturing processes that produce PET cause serious emissions, affecting both the environment and human health. The Pacific Institute calculates that the process of making the plastic bottles consumed in the U.S. uses approximately 17 million barrels of oil per year.

 

Instead of being made into bottles, that oil could fuel more than 100,000 cars. Once the plastic bottle is manufactured and filled with water, it has to be transported, using diesel trucks, ships or airfreight to reach our thirsty lips…” 

 

Shawn Dell Joyce is a sustainable artist and activist from Montgomery. She is the founder of the Wallkill River School, combining plein-air painting with environmental activism. Visit http://www.recordonline.com/earth for more of her articles. 

 

What a waste of precious resources…We have only one home; Earth. Let’s leave our children an earth that is beautiful and well-cared for.

 

More next time-Take care, & Live Green-Donna

 

P.S.Let’s become eco-friendly. Visit www.be-alkaline.com and www.be-alkaline.net -request your free e-book and newsletter to find out how you can have the best water on the planet and you make it in your own home. No more plastic bottles. For more information and research, write to Donna@be-alkaline.com and ask for further information.

 

 

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Today when I opened my home page, MSN, an article appeared that once again displays our ardent refusal to acknowledge what is happening to our home-Earth. 

Warming Seas, Disease takes toll on coral reefs-Ocean’s forest’s are being lost much more quickly than trees on land.

The author, Miguel Llamos, MSNBC reporter, writes:

“John Bruno isn’t attending the U.N. climate talks being held in Bali, Indonesia, but he does have some advice for any delegates looking to take in the resort’s famed reefs: enjoy it now, because if sea temperatures continue to rise, expect to see more — and more severe — disease outbreaks that wipe out corals…”

John Bruno is “a marine biologist at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, he co-authored two 2007 studies on rapid coral decline and on a link between coral disease and global warming. “

What happens to life anywhere, happens to us eventually. Think about it. This affects our children, grandchildren, and all future generations. Do we really care? I hope so.

The ocean is a plethora of life and everyday miracles. It is, also, a look into the future. We can’t continue to ignore this undersea world as though it doesn’t affect our very existence.

What is so interesting about this little article, is that it just doesn’t discuss climatic changes and how it affects the seas. Miguel Llanos makes mention of the pollution such as human sewage, farm run-off, and so on in the last century that has played a big roll in affecting the coral reefs, as well. Some may argue whether or not climatic changes exist or if man even plays a roll in in preventing it… However, they can’t argue or debate the fact that man, the most intelligent creature on the planet, is responsible for the pollution which has gotten worse over the years.  Or, is it the old story of sweeping the dirt under the rug? If you don’t see it, it’s not there? How foolish. Man may not see it, but every underwater creature, who can’t do anything about it, is affected.

Go to  http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/22028590/  to view the entire article and watch  great slide shows that parents and teachers can use to teach responsible living and respect for the Earth.

Till next time, stay safe, recycle, and Live Green.

God bless,

Donna

P.S. One of the worst offenders of pollution in recent times is bottled water. Plastic water bottles-millions of them- are continually disposed of in landfills and from garbage barges dumped in the oceans. Let’s stop this unnecessary waste. Make your own purified, healthy, alkaline water in your own home. Go to www.be-alkaline.com , .net, & .info to learn more. Contact me if you have any questions.

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