After watching The Synthetic Sea on youtube several years ago, I tend to imagine every piece of plastic I accumulate being ultimately swept into a humongous garbage gyre in the ocean. It’s not a happy thought, but it’s been a good motivator to limit the influx of plastic into my life, especially disposable items intended for only one use. This video is mighty-informative, shocking, and definitely worth a view.
The Synthetic Sea: Find out what nurdles are.
I’ve found many ways to repel plastic, but my favorite is to avoid bottled water. Bottled water adds so little enjoyment to life, yet creates such a huge amount of waste–so it feels fantastic to give it the old heave-ho.
When I drink plain tap water or tap water I filter myself, I avert the swilling of fuel and spewing of carbon required to haul heavy loads of water across the country or even across the world. I avoid the energy consumption and pollution of producing plastic bottles and shrink wrapping them then collecting and recycling them–if indeed they ever get recycled. Over half of plastic bottles end up in the trash, and even when plastic is sorted for recycling and picked up by a service, the material may or may not be re-used. If you want to know more, read here:
Most bottled water is simply filtered tap water, no more pure than what you could filter yourself, and usually significantly more expensive. It may sit in bottles for months or years, slowly dissolving plastic chemicals which could end up in your organs and body tissue.
Some good gear will help you say goodbye to bottled water:
My favorite water carrier is the Klean Kanteen Wide 18 oz stainless steel bottle. The wide mouth makes it easy to fill and clean. The insulated version is remarkable for keeping hot beverages hot and cold beverages cold.
Water Filtration Devices
I like the Berkey water filter. The reservoir is stainless steel and though the filters are expensive they only need to be changed once a year, depending on use. Used by the Red Cross in emergency relief work, they make seriously clean water. If you’d prefer something for your refrigerator rather than your counter top, I’d recommend Brita which started a recycling program for their filters in conjunction with Gimme 5 Recycling. Check local co-ops and Whole Foods for Gimme 5 drop box locations:
Sippy cups for grown ups
Sometimes it takes plastic (reusable) to fight plastic (disposable). I just bought this pair at Macy’s yesterday, on special for $10. I brought them along to lunch at Vellee Deli, where they were filled with Cucumber Lime Mint Aqua Fresca; and asked my friend David Schelzel to test drive them with me. What he liked best was the generous throughput of the straw. Agreed! Also the cup is double walled to keep your beverage cold longer, and is BPA-free.
Add a little sparkle
A few years ago my sister and I gave my mom a Penguin soda maker for a gift, and it was a big hit. She used to buy cases of sparkling water regularly and now she makes her own. All kinds of amazing spritzers are possible by adding juice or ginger syrup, but we didn’t particularly like any of the soda stream brand concentrate flavors that came with it.