Thursday, April 22, 2010

Earth Day: Reducing Plastic Bottle Use

I am always looking for ways to reduce my carbon footprint and with earth day coming up I thought it would be a good time to try to reduce my consumption of drinks that come in single serve glass or plastic bottles. This will not only be good for the earth's health it will be good for mine and my wallet's.
Plastic bottles take a lot of energy and water to make. They don't break down but they do break into smaller pieces, very slowly and only to the point where they are ingested by smaller animals that are then in turn eaten by larger animals and then by us. The small plastic pieces collect and are in a giant floating pile in the ocean. There is also energy involved in shipping the raw materials to the plant that make the bottles, shipping the bottles to the bottling plant and finally shipping the finished product to a distribution center and then finally the store. If you drive to the store you can add that to the tally, as well as energy to bring the empty bottle to the land fill or recycling center. Recycling keeps the circuit closed but also takes some energy.
At work I will try to drink only water from now on and drink it from the water filter in a glass or reusable Nalgene or Sigg bottle. While out and about I will use my water bottle exclusively.
Cutting out sodas and iced tea will reduce my intake of sugars as well. All those empty calories can be replaced by fruit or other healthy snacks. Cutting one 16 oz soda a day out of you diet can account for 14 pounds lost in a year and if you drink one a day, even at a dollar, you will save around $350. If you drink two a day at a more realistic $1.50 you will save around $1,000.
This isn't the first time I have tried to cut these drinks out of my diet and bottles out of my footprint. I have cut back and I have stopped buying bottled water completely. My problem is the sugar. I am hooked. The caffeine is nice as well. But I don't need it. Not on a regular basis anyway. So today I start. I just finished a tea and I hope it will be my last.
I will think of an occasional Arnold Palmer as a treat, to be enjoyed once in a while, at a restaurant and out of a glass.
What will you, or have you done to reduce your footprint? Leave a comment and let me know.

No comments:

Post a Comment