At first glance, it may not seem like much, but if everyone tried to make one change in their life to help the environment then collectively we could change the world. It seems that I can’t pick up a newspaper, magazine or turn on the radio without hearing stories about those plastic bottles of water that we love so dearly. I see them at weddings every weekend. With three girls in the house, we go through cases of bottled water. I understand why—they are convenient and some may argue that it’s better than tap water. We all need to drink more water every day and it’s easier when you have a bottle on your desk.
This is what I did to make a small change and add a new accessory to my camera bag. I bought a Swiss engineered water bottle by SIGG. If you haven’t been to the web site, check it out. They are making it very easy to make a statement with your water bottle with lots of great designs and help the environment at the same time. So why should you consider making this change and becoming an ambassador for change?
From a recent Newsweek article written by Karen Breslau:
Nothing irks Salt Lake city Mayor Ross (Rocky) Anderson more than seeing people tote water in plastic bottles. In fact, he argues, his city has some of the best tap water in the country. Several months ago, Anderson instructed department heads to stop buying bottle water for the city’s 2.200 workers and provide coolers and fountains instead. “For a long time, I’ve viewed [bottled water] as a huge marketing scam,” he says. Considering that Americans chug more than 30 billion single-serving bottles of water a year, Anderson’s campaign is at most a drop in the you-know-what. But there are signs of a push to bring back the tap, led by mayors who want to cut down on global warming.
Anderson is urging the U.S. Conference of Mayors to promote tap water as a way to limit greenhouse-gas emissions. In San Francisco, residents who sign an online pledge not to buy plastic water bottles get a free stainless-steel water container. Some cities, aware that companies filter and sell municipal tap water under exotic names (Coca-Cola’s Dasani, PepsiCo’s Aquafina), are looking to bottle it themselves and use the profits for recycling programs.
Most water brands are packaged in a plastic derived from crude oil, polyethylene terephthalate (PET). Those containers are then transported on diesel-burning trucks or shipped in from exotic destinations like Fiji, generating greenhouse gases. “It’s the most environmentally egregious way to distribute water,” says Jennifer Gitlitz of the Container Recycling Institute, which found that only 14 percent of single-serving PET water bottles were recycled nationwide in 2004.
Sales of bottled water have tripled in 2006 from a decade earlier. This problem is not getting any better unless one by one, we all try to make a difference. Luckily, the Pacific Northwest has some of the best water in the country. The Columbian newspaper recently reported that Vancouver Mayor Royce Pollard replaced plastic water bottles at city council meetings with pitchers of tap water. I use an under-the-counter water filter for my tap water, but look for me at a wedding near you sporting my new red bottle of tap water as an ambassador for change.