Bottled Water Boycott

Water. I remember when they started selling bottled water, and I thought, next thing they'll be charging for air (seen any oxygen bars lately?). The crazy thing is, bottled water is EVERYWHERE and everyone uses it. I use it. I'd rather that than soda.

Well, not anymore. Give me a cup of nice chlorinated tap water (the water in that bottle is probably city water anyway).

This year a rural town in Australia banned the sale of bottled water entirely, and San Francisco and Seattle banned city sales (that means any city-sponsored events, you can't get it). Chicago is taxing it. This is good, and it has its problems. First, it might wake people up to the fact that there is a problem with bottled water. On the other hand, it might drive them to drinking bottled sodas (bad). Something needs to be done about those, too.

So the answer, as always, is education. Aluminum bottles like the one above are not expensive; you can get them without the nifty cover for starting around $6, or really pretty ones from for around $9-12. I really like the option in the picture - you're supporting an artisan and the earth at the same time, and that aluminum gets cold so the little band on it is nifty.

It's best not to substitute just another plastic bottle for your bottled water (although any reusable bottle is good). Definitely don't use one of those Dasani bottles over and over; there are substances in the plastic that can break down and if you ingest them they are harmful. Splurge and get yourself an aluminum one (but don't put acidic liquids in it like orange juice... different problems there).

Above all, please don't substitute a no cal beverage in a plastic bottle for a sugary one in a plastic bottle. At least, if you do use plastic, recycle (not the best option - it takes energy to recycle things).

For myself, one of my promises to myself for the new year is no bottled water. My home water is filtered and quite portable. It'll take a little forethought but it's one more small change I can make to reduce landfill.

Here's all the low down at this great site:

Not Easy Being Green

It really isn't. It's definitely EASIER to buy all your products from one huge multinational grocery store that ships all its produce from California and its solid goods that are imported from China, than to grow or make your own things, or buy from a small local farmer or merchant. It's easier to use the plastic plates and flatware when you have people over, and just throw it away. It's easier to contribute to landfill than compost. It's easier to just take those plastic bags they have reams and reams of, than bring your own. It's easier to throw things away than find new homes for them. It's easier to spray chemicals on bugs or weeds than find other ways to deal with them. And most of that is just what we've always done, without a second thought.

I've noticed that the more I start thinking about what I can do to reduce the footprint I'm leaving on this earth, the resources I'm consuming, the trash I'm leaving behind, and my contribution to the decay of the atmosphere... there's a lot to learn and a lot of changes to make, and they're not always cheap, and almost never easy. My long-term goal is a sustainable, off-grid homestead that is largely self-reliant, besides giving something back to the world and local economy. But you don't get there overnight. It's about little changes. What can you do, today?

So this blog is a chronicle of the small changes I and my family will make over the next several years. I hope to shed light on some things I'm learning about that you may not have thought about (I know I didn't!) and maybe give you some ideas about making your life a little greener too. And provide some links and connections to ways you can make a difference and products that can help. If you're on a similar journey, follow along.