It was October 2003 and I was vacationing in Brighton, England. Thirsty, I popped into the nearest shop and grabbed a bottle of water. It wasn’t until I’d drunk the bottle of water that I noticed the water was from Richmond, B.C. (a suburb of Vancouver, my home). I had a good laugh at the time: Across the world, and here I was paying for water that came out of the tap at home.
Up here in Yellowknife, I’ve been drinking bottled water instead of tap water. The tap water is heavy on the chlorine and also infused with flouride. Yuck. So, I’ve been going to the local co-op and filling up large jugs with Aquel Spring Water.
After seeing the documentary BlueGold I’m joining a revolution and banishing bottled water from my lifestyle.
Here are some things to think about:
- The bottle I drink from is plastic created (out of oil and gas) just for my drink. Just. For. My. Drink.
- The bottle can’t biodegrade. It can’t even be reduced to its original substances. When it’s recycled, it’s still in the planet as plastic – increasingly used in carpeting (how do you feel about flooring made not out of wool or wood or bamboo, but out of petroleum product?)
- The water that I drink comes from someplace else, disrupting their ecosystem. In my case, I’ve been drinking water produced by the Cott Corporation. The water comes from WaterValley in Alberta – this gorgeous place:
Photo Credit: Rami Levi
That water I drink is no longer contributing to Alberta’s natural ecosystems .
The water isn’t evaporating and returning as rain.
It’s no longer supporting the rich vegetation.
It’s depleting the water table.
This in turn will ultimately degrade the soil.
I have no clue when Cott intends to stop draining this body of water to sell to me (and the corporate responsibility page on their site is woefully vague) but if you, like me, are tempted to dismiss the threat to the ecosystem (I mean, it looks so plentiful, doesn’t it?), consider this:
The photo below was once the 4th largest sea in the world called the Aral Sea. Located in Kazakhstan, and it was rich source of fish. Its water sources were diverted to grow cotton. It will never recover.
Photo Credit: Gilardr
In short, our choices matter. They matter this much.
And if that’s not enough, did you know (I didn’t) that the caps can’t be recycled at all? And that most of them end up in the ocean? And that in the DEEP ocean, 1/3 of the fish have swallowed plastic, primarily from bottled drinks?
So, I’m banishing bottled water from my lifestyle. Readers: do any of you use those Brita Filters that you attach to your faucet? My gadgetry skills are woeful. Is it complicated to install? And does it work?