Plastic water bottles have become a ubiquitous part of modern-day life. They’re convenient, portable and readily available. Unfortunately, though, their convenience comes at a cost.
According to a report published by the United Nations University Institute for Water, Environment and Health, more than one million bottles of water are sold every minute around the world. Approximately 85% of these bottles, which can take up to 1,000 years to degrade, will end up as waste, the report claims. This leads to an average of 25 million tons of plastic waste each year. To put that into context, this waste pile is big enough to fill a line of 40-ton trucks stretching from New York to Bangkok every year.
Plastic water bottles do a job on the wallet, too, with the average American spending $266 a year, or $17,290 over an 80-year lifespan, on these ill-packaged beverages. The good news is that reducing your plastic water bottle usage is easy and can have a significant impact on both your wallet and our environment. Here are five ways to reduce your plastic water bottle usage.
1: Invest in a reusable water bottle
One of the easiest ways to reduce your plastic water bottle usage is to invest in a reusable water bottle. Reusable water bottles are durable and easy to carry around. You can find one in a wide variety of tastes and styles. Best of all, a reusable water bottle is environmentally friendly and easy on the wallet, too.
When shopping for a reusable water bottle, look for one made from food-grade stainless steel or glass. These materials are non-toxic, highly durable and easy to clean.
2: Use water filters
Another way to reduce your plastic water bottle usage is to invest in a water filter. Water filters are an excellent way to ensure that your tap water is clean and safe to drink. There are different types of filters available, such as pitcher filters, faucet filters and under-sink filters. Shop around until you find one that fits your needs and budget. Investing in a water filter will reduce your bottled water waste, and lower your exposure to the harmful contaminants that are often found in tap water, such as chlorine, lead and bacteria.
With clean water available at home, you won’t have to depend on bottled water to stay hydrated. Just refill your reusable water bottle at home, and you’re all set!
3: Carry your water bottle with you
It’s a good idea to get into the habit of carrying your water bottle around with you. This way, you’ll have clean water to drink wherever you are. Most workplaces provide filtered water for their employees, so you can always refill your bottle during the workday. Plus, leaving home while prepared with a drink means you’re less likely to waste money and plastic on a purchased beverage. That’s a win for the environment, and your budget, too.
4: Say no to plastic water bottles
It isn’t easy to break the plastic water bottle habit, but you can do it! Aside from ensuring you always have your own clean water to drink, be prepared to turn down offers for bottled water at various venues and events. When asked if you’d like a bottle of water, politely decline and explain that you’ve brought your own water. If you’re the one hosting an event, stay true to your values and serve water from pitchers or dispensers instead of distributing plastic bottles to all your guests.
5: Support businesses that reduce plastic water bottle usage
Supporting businesses that reduce plastic water bottle usage is another way to make a difference. When choosing a restaurant, café or hotel, look for those that offer tap water or water in reusable glasses or bottles. Additionally, you can support businesses that offer incentives for using reusable water bottles, such as discounts or free refills. Supporting businesses that reduce plastic water bottle usage is a great way to create a demand for sustainable practices.
Use the tips outlined here to change your drinking habits and do one for the environment.