Monday, February 1, 2010

Plastic Palace of Doom

I'm always amazed at the amount of plastic I end up going through within a month, it seems to be everywhere. Where I live I have access to recycle plastics 1,2 & 5 as well as plastic bags. I try to reduce the amount of plastic in my life by using glass containers, stainless steel water bottles, and cloth bags for shopping and bulk items.

My household fills one yard size garbage bag a month of plastic recyclables...which I think is pretty good. Most of our plastics consist of packaging from food items or products.

According to the Clean Air Council, Americans throw away 2.5 million plastic bottles every hour. Not Day or Month...HOUR. It seems silly to think that we have to keep reminding people to recycle and reduce, but I still see people throwing these bottles away all the time. These plastic bottles end up not only overflowing our landfills but flowing into our oceans. Plastic never fully goes away, it ends up in tiny particles which our fish think are plankton - their food.

Beyond just using the bottle, I wonder why people even buy them. There are typically more standards placed on your tap water than on bottled water. Plus the cost alone is enough to make you want to change your mind.

Consider this Let's say you drink 2 -16 oz bottles of water a day for a year:
24 Pack of Generic Target Bottled Water $3.50
2 bottles per day = 730 bottles
730 bottles/24 pack = 30.4 Cases
TOTAL = $106.46/YR

1 Brita Pitcher $23
1 Stainless Steel Water bottle $10
4 pack of Filters $ 20
TOTAL = $53/YR

What have you learned? Hopefully that its not only economical to stop using plastic bottles, but its also environmentally friendly. I could go on for hours on how much plastic ends up in the ocean and what it does to our sea life, but instead I'll leave you this link to watch about the Toxic Garbage Island.

For now, try giving up those plastic bottles. Every little bit adds up. If you want to check on your local drinking water, check out the EPA site.


  1. Mew_ I have been afraid to drink the tap water at my new place because I saw the landlord rinsing his paint brushes on our lawn.

    I would love it if you did a blog with more details about tap water regulations, or maybe info about how to check the safety of one's own tap water.

  2. Well just because your landlord is rinsing his paint brushes on the lawn, doesn't mean that the lawn is where your tap water comes from....or does it. I'll start researching all your other suggestions for a future entry. Thanks for the suggestions AJ.

  3. Check out the Big Berkey...a little pricey, but you never have to buy filters and will last a LONG time! After a few years, even cheaper than the Brita!