I’m climbing out on the selfish limb to ask that the next time you head out to buy two dozen bottles of water, please don’t.
Two BIG reasons I moved back to Indiana are to be with my family and spend time near and on Lake Michigan. I love them both! But it makes me sad to see how much we’re still polluting the lake area after all these years.
Bombs bursting in air kept my 70+ pound dog Aw’gy awake most nights before and after July 4. We stayed inside a lot that week. (I think he even went 24-hours without peeing.) So the morning of July 5 I drove up the road to let him run along one of our family’s favorite beaches at the Indiana Dunes.
We wandered beyond the lifeguard stations and trash cans, as we usually do. And while Aw’gy ran with abandon I was distracted by the detritus – dozens of water and juice bottles, plus socks, diapers, t-shirts and other humanness. I couldn’t take it to the trash can so I just gathered it into a pathetic little pile.
We want to be on the sand, at the beach, enjoying our lake – and we take our stuff along with us. Then, after we’ve played in the waves, built sand condos and had a few beverages, we leave our trash and go.
“But all those plastic bottles use a lot of fossil fuels and pollute the environment … Americans buy more bottled water than any other nation in the world, adding 29 billion water bottles a year to the problem. In order to make all these bottles, manufacturers use 17 million barrels of crude oil. That’s enough oil to keep a million cars going for 12 months. Imagine a water bottle filled a quarter of the way up with oil. That’s about how much oil was needed to produce the bottle.” (Catherine Clark Fox, National Geographic Kids.)
No doubt, bottled water is a convenience.
Heading out to a bike trailhead last Sunday, I was five miles from home when I realized I didn’t have my refillable water bottle. So I stopped at the store. Seeing mountains of plastic ready for consumption was startling, Still I paid a buck fifty, grabbed my bottle and ran.
Bottled water manufactures have been lobbying Washington for years to keep their products afloat. Rather than stop production, they want us to recycle.
I think they’re right. But I also think we should think twice about buying plastic bottles of anything and then make a point of dropping them in a recycling bin.
With another bike ride planned tomorrow, I just pulled out my refillable water bottle. When you head out for your day, fill a thermos, your Starbucks summer beverage cup, your gym bottle, even a plain ole plastic cup from your cupboard. Please. If during the day you find you need a bottle, please recycle.