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Blog Action Day – Bottled Water

Today is Blog Action Day, a day where all bloggers are called to arms about a specific global issue.  This year’s topic is water.

As most of my regular readers can attest, I do not blog often about conservation.  I try not to be a hypocrite and I am far from uber green.  Mr. BFS and I don’t go out of our way to screw up the world, but we aren’t activists either. 

Our contributions mainly consist of owning a Prius since he drives so much and it has storage space, saving and recycling our aluminum cans and newspapers, only driving when necessary and combining trips, and saving as much water and electricity as easily possible to keep our bills low.  We also don’t live on bottled water.

According to this Change.org website, the people of the U.S. drink an average of 200 bottles of water per person each year.  I’m going to ignore the berating they give us for paying for something that we have access to already since I refuse to feel guilty for having access to something that someone else doesn’t.  I am not personally trying to mess over Africans and would never sign a petition to keep clean water from them, so I do not appreciate articles that try to convince people through guilt.

I was surprised that it takes 17 million barrels of oil to produce the plastic water bottles for the U.S. every year and 86 percent of those aren’t ever recycled.  They also bring up the fact that most bottled water comes from municipal water systems, which is the same as what you can get from your tap, or underground streams, which may hurt those environments by draining them dry.

This info tells me:

1)  A water filter could give us the same water as what bottled usually ends up being.

2)  I need to find a recycling center that will accept water bottles.  We do not have recycling pickup and I’ve never looked into anything besides aluminum and paper.

3)  Be very careful who you mention bottled water to since it is a hot button topic nowadays…

In the interest of full disclosure, Mr. BFS and I do buy 2-3 cases of bottled water a year (that’s about 72 bottles a year).  We like the bottles.  We stock our mini-fridge with them and refill them continuously until we decide they are too icky for a good cleaning to cure.  We also take them on car trips since they fit in the drink holders.

Do you reuse water bottles?  Do you try to avoid it altogether?  What’s your take on the issue?  Do guilt articles tick you off too?

21 thoughts on “Blog Action Day – Bottled Water”

  1. Nicole

    After the whole BPA thing, we try to avoid plastic containers in general, if we can. So DS has a metal drinking bottle and we use glass when we can. We have a filter directly on our faucet. My sister just uses Brita.

    Out and about we’re sometimes forced into plastic bottlage.

    Our local university recycling takes most things that our limited curbside doesn’t. (Beer bottles, cardboard…) About once a year we pay an undergrad with a pickup to drive our stuff to the center.

  2. Everyday Tips

    I freeze plastic water bottles to use in the cooler as ice on trips. I also have some in hand in case of emergency for sporting events. I will also buy them at an amusement park. Outside of that, I do not drink from purchased water bottles. When I do, they are always recycled!

  3. Little House

    I have a reusable water bottle than I use 95% of the time. But I’m not perfect and sometimes I have to buy water when I forget to take my own. I do believe that in the near future, the next big environmental problem will be fresh water. Too much of it is being wasted. As for recycling, we also recycle our cans and plastic and thankfully our trash is separated. I try and do my part!

  4. Annie Jones

    Like you, we buy a few cases of bottles a year, mostly for when we go camping. Also like you, we reuse the bottles until they seem too grungy. At home we drink straight tap water from our regular drinking glasses. Our municipal water tastes good, so we don’t filter it.

    Our town accepts almost any recyclable material, although not everything is accepted in one location. For example, glass is accepted in a location separate from everything else. Our town is small, though, so I just make a circuit of all the recycle bins when I do my weekly shopping. However, we drive our cans (and some scrap aluminum from my hub’s job sites) into the city because they will pay us for it there, whereas our town does not pay.

    I personally don’t like paying for bottled water because I have access to good tap water. It has nothing to do with guilt and everything to do with tap water being very inexpensive compared to bottled.

  5. Squirrelers

    I buy about the same amount of water bottles as you do, for the car, being out and about, etc. Those plastic bottles I usually throw away. Sometimes recycle, sometimes not. I should probably get better with that.

    What I never do is reuse a plastic water bottle. Once used, it’s gone. I have read/seen stories on how it’s not safe to reuse these, even if rinsed. One use and trashed/recycled.

    Better than plastic water bottles, for me, is a reusable washable bottle. I like the stainless steel variety. With those, as long as they hold up, the lifespan could be years. Just fill up with tap water and take to go. Long-term it’s worth the investment. The plastic bottles can then just be an alternative.

  6. Newlyweds on a Budget

    the only time I use bottled water is when I’m at work, since they offer it for free (and we don’t have a drinking fountain) and if we’re already out and I’m dying of thirst. Otherwise, we have a Brita that we refill and we have reusable bottles for the gym. It seems silly to me to spend money on something that is available for FREE : )

  7. Jenna

    I’m a huge fan of my Nalgene bottle!

  8. Uma

    I’ve read a lot of articles on how reusing plastic water bottles is not the safest thing to do since they are designed to be single use. The plastic tends to be flimsy and will start leaching into the water as it breaks down. That’s actually a count against new water bottles too, because some research says that since they could have been sitting on a shelf for a while plastic may have leached into them too. I recently switched to using a couple of metal plastic bottles and we fill them up before car journeys. I also think the water stays cool in them slightly longer but not sure if that’s correct.

  9. Money Reasons

    Do you reuse water bottles?
    We use a filtered picture, but we still have bottles for soccer games. I reuse my bottles because I mix flavor packets in them 🙂

    But for the most part the rest of my family doesn’t.

    Do you try to avoid it altogether?
    Yes, mostly I do, I personally drink maybe 10 bottles a year.

    What’s your take on the issue?
    They are expensive, but if you reuse the bottles with tap (or filtered water like we do), it’s not as bad…

    Do guilt articles tick you off too?
    Yes, life it to short to feel guilty about everything under the sun! I’ve develop an extreme dislike with any kind of brainwashing technique that such sites (and commmercials use).

  10. Sunil from The Extra Money Blog

    agreed – clean water comes in many free forms. reusing plastic bottles however (the disposable types) is actually unhealthy because of the bacteria collected. i learned this the hard way.

  11. Aloysa

    We try to avoid bottled water. Only on rare occasions we buy bottled water and yes, we try to re-use the bottle.

  12. Len Penzo

    Hell no, I don’t feel guilty! This is Blog Action Day. It’s kind of like a May Day for bloggers, if you know what I mean. 😉

    Take their stats with a grain of salt.

    All the best,

    Len Penzo dot Com

  13. ODWO

    Since we bought a home water cooler (for the 5 gal. bottles), we haven’t bought the plastic bottles. There are a few times we buy one while on a trip (and don’t feel like drinking carbonated soda, etc.). The wife will buy the largest water bottle she can find (bomber size) and fill up from the home cooler and take that to work each day. (I agree with the “It gets grungy” bottle thought tho’)

    At work, they used to buy water by the cases … thankfully they bought a Culligan System complete w/RO unit .. hot and cold water. Best water I’ve had, super clean. I agree about the “plas-teek” sentiment … there has to be a better way, better alternative to that.

  14. Crystal @ BFS

    @Nicole, I need to find undergrads in our area that may be willing…

    @Everyday Tips, frozen bottles in trip coolers is a great idea!

    @Little House, your Tuesday Tips show you care. Keep up the great work!

    @Annie Jones, our tap water smells too bleachy for me straight out of the tap, but we refill bottles and let them sit and it tastes and smells great in a few hours. 🙂

    @Squirrelers, hubby uses a huge water mug for work. I’ll look into the reuseable bottles.

    @Newlyweds, that’s my general thought. I couldn’t imagine drinking only bottled water simply because of how high that would make our grocery bill…

    @Jenna, I have seen those at Wal-Mart I think…

    @Uma, huh…we reuse them all of the time. I hope we haven’t caused any damage…

    @Money Reasons, you seem to be of a similar mindset as us. Aren’t those flavor packets of Crystal Light or whatever pretty great?! I love them at home.

    @Sunil, finally an actual personal experience. Did you get sick from reusing the bottles? We have been doing it for at least 5 years now and must have been lucky or something…

    @Aloysa, I think that works. 🙂

    @Len, you always make me laugh. 🙂

    @ODWO, we need to look into getting one of those coolers if we give up reusing the bottles like we do…

  15. Aimy

    Plastic bottles leach toxins in to your water. But that does not seem to bother many. It is the heat that does this and the main reason why washing them after use does not work to remove the BPA. Just think about it, water transports in hot trucks. This is not the water. I want to give young children. Everyone will still do what they want whether its burying their heads in the sand and wondering why illness is affecting us so much more these days. NO…water isn’t the only way to get sick, cleaning products, cosmetics, everyday things we lather and put on ourselves thinking that they are safe. Some solutions are to go natural, read labels , information is out there. It is unfortunate that we have to get sick before we realize the answers are in front of us.

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