Sunday, July 29, 2007

Tap vs. Bottled

There is a very interesting article in the last issue of Fast Company. In the United States more and more people are drinking bottled water - even when tap water in this country is safe, and free. In 2006 we spent 15 billion dollars in bottled water. More than in iPods or movie tickets!

From the Fast Company article "In 1976, the average American drank 1.6 gallons of bottled water a year, according to Beverage Marketing Corp. Last year, we each drank 28.3 gallons of bottled water--18 half-liter bottles a month. We drink more bottled water than milk, or coffee, or beer. Only carbonated soft drinks are more popular than bottled water, at 52.9 gallons annually."

I don't want to speculate on the reason behind this increase. It might be a good thing. Can you imagine if we drank soft drinks instead of water? Could obesity be at a higher rate that it is now?

But it might be a bad thing. Imagine the impact we could have on the waste this generates, if instead we drank tap water, with a good filter to improve the taste (try faucet-mounted filters such as the Pur Horizontal FM9400, GE SmartWater GFXMO3C (Home Depot) or Brita Disposable CKFF-100.)

If we could switch from bottled water to tap water, even at a 50% consumption rate, we would pitch into landfills 19 billion less water bottles a year, and we would save 7.5 billion dollars. Wouldn't it be worth it?

Monday, July 23, 2007

Another good reason to stop drinking coffee

Last November, when I stopped drinking coffee and switched to tea, I thought I was doing my body and my wallet good. My body because I've since discovered I feel much better. My wallet, because you can save around $2,000 a year if you don't buy a $2.35 "non fat latte" every day. Or at least you can spend the money differently.

What I didn't know is that I was doing something good for the environment. In fact, I just read that purchasing one cup of coffee every day in a disposable container contributes about 23 pounds of waste per year! It's crazy.

So if you really cannot live without your "latte", please bring your coffee mug with you. In most places they'll give you a discount. Better yet, order it "for here" and read the paper.