This post was generously written by Jessica Perkins of English Lass in LA.
The Physical Geography course I just completed taught me more about our world and the acute water pollution challenges that confront us. There is an island of rubbish twice the size of Texas in the Pacific Ocean and 99% of seabirds have plastic in their stomachs. The news isn’t all bad—plastic straw bans are coming to Seattle and nearby Malibu; the bans were attributable to outrage over a viral video of a sea turtle with a straw in his nose. We’ve adapted to using reusable bags at the supermarket—public opinion was partly swayed because of reports that sea turtles were confusing plastic bags for jellyfish. The next challenge is to address the environmental harm of plastic bottles—let’s see if we can mobilize around this cause without any hapless sea turtles getting hurt!
In just the US, 50 billion water bottles are sold a year and only 23% gets recycled. This means about 38 billion water bottles are destined to spend up to 1,000 years in a landfill before they break down and others will wind up in the ocean. Using a reusable bottle is not only better for your health than a plastic one-time use bottle (you avoid the chemical Bisphenol A [BPA] the bottles are made from), it also saves you money in the long-run.
Since moving to LA, I’ve become the proud owner of a few different reusable water bottles and one of my favorites is the >ful bottle by FluidStance®. The recyclable >ful bottles are made from traditional heavy-duty glass, which is usually used for milk bottles. The bottles are designed and made in the US and the printed wood fabric design is applied in California. Another good thing to note: FluidStance donates 1% of its sales to the non-profit, First Descents, an organization that gives free outdoor experiences to young adults fighting cancer.
I went to New York last week and it made me really happy to see fellow travelers at the water fountain, filling their reusable water bottles before boarding their flights. During my return flight, I asked one of the flight attendants if she could pour some water into my reusable bottle. At first, she made a face and said she couldn’t due to hygiene reasons. I explained that I was trying to reduce the amount of waste I create, and she asked if I was “one of those anti-wasters.” She said she was getting more people making the same request (mostly from LA and Colorado) and that it was a good idea. She then agreed to pour water into my personal bottle if I kept it still. That way she could pour the water from a distance without getting my backwash. Fair enough.
I’ll admit that it can be annoying sometimes trying to avoid single-use bottles and when I go camping with my husband, we carry the majority of our water in plastic bottles because it’s lighter. Trying to live sustainably isn’t as black and white as doing something good and then failing when you don’t. Some mornings I’ll be organized enough to remember my reusable coffee cup. Other days, I’ll forget. Instead of beating myself up on the days I’m not organized, we should celebrate the small changes we make, and I’d love you to join in doing the same. Every little bit helps.
About the Author: Jessica is quite literally an English lass, transplanted a couple of years ago to California. Her blog started as a way to document her transatlantic move and experiences in a new country, and has evolved into a guide for living a more sustainable life, including conscious fashion and taking care of the earth. Want to know more about Jessica?Visit her blog and follow her on social:
Article printed with permission; photo courtesy of @englishlassinla.
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