You may surprised at how much money you save when you get in the habit of reaching for reusable items instead of disposables.
Plastic water bottles
Reduce: Drinking bottled water has become popular in recent years, but not only does bottled water cost up to 10,000 times more than tap water, and not only are millions of plastic bottles ending up in the landfill each year but also more than 1.5 millions barrels of oil are used to produce plastic bottles according to Tree Hugger. If that’s not enough reason to search for an alternative to bottled water, perhaps the recent news that the plastic in bottled water may pose a health hazard will be. Read an article about that here. A more environmentally-friendly and budget-friendly choice is to fill your own reusable beverage bottle with tap or filtered water. With a little research you may find that the tap water in your city exceeds all safety guidelines.
However, if you choose to filter your drinking water, there are several choices available including refrigerator filters, filters that attach to the faucet and a pitcher filters. Pur and Brita each make varieties of these. The problem with using filters is that they are more difficult to recycle. The good news is that due to a petition last year headed by Take Back The Filter there are now options for recycling them in the U.S. whereas previously there was no recycling program. Visit Preserve: Gimme 5 to see if there is a Whole Foods location near you accepting filters to recycle. If there isn’t a recycling location near you, visit this page at Preserve: Gimme 5 to see where to mail used filters for recycling. If you’d like to contact the manager of your nearest Whole Foods store and request that they participate in the Preserve: Gimme 5 recycling program, click here to find contact information.
My personal choice for a reusable plastic drinking bottle is a BPA-Free CamelBak Better Bottle that I purchased at a sporting goods store for less than $10. You could also purchase one from Amazon using SwagBucks. My toddler daughter also enjoys drinking from it.
Reuse: Because of the potential health hazard, I do not recommend that you reuse plastic water bottles by refilling them and drinking from them a second time. However, there are several ways to reuse the bottles accumulated. For example, you could turn a plastic water bottle into a fun craft project for the kids like this glitter bottle here. A simple internet search will yield several other fun craft projects.
Another way to reuse plastic water bottles is to chop off the top using a pair of scissors, leaving only a little plastic cup a few inches tall. Poke a few small holes in the bottom, fill the cup with soil and plant seeds in it. Transfer the seedlings to a permanent garden when they are a few inches tall.
Recycle: Most recycling programs accept water bottles.
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