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Eco-Challenge: No Bottled Water!

| 10/3/2008 4:56:00 PM

So...we've all chosen some eco-challenges to work on, to improve our individual environmental profile and to chat about on our blogs. I chose to give up all bottled water...for a month, I guess, but really, forever. I'm a big believer in reducing the popularity of the drink. Not only are all those plastic bottles piling up in landfills for no good reason, they're also dangerous and toxic to produce. But the biggest problem for me is the idea that if we get used to paying for clean drinking water, it reduces the responsibility on the government to provide free water as a basic service. If this goes along the trail of so many other profit-based companies, it could lead to serious problems for our nation's poorest and most vulnerable. SO, no more bottled water!!

This was actually not a huge challenge for me (I started small...I'll work up to the harder ones) because I don't drink much bottled water anyway. This might be my Midwestern thriftiness (I'm not paying for something I can get for free!) more than my eco-friendliness in action, but I've always taken issue with bottled, especially at home. Nonetheless, last time I went on a road trip, I took along my reusable bottle and filled up with the water tab at gas-station fountains. Easy enough! Some didn't have a water tab, so I would ask an employee to fill it at the tap. If it wasn't a very nice place and that grossed me out, I'd just go somewhere else. Most restaurants are also happy to fill large water jugs for you, so next time you stop at a roadside diner, make sure to fill your water bottle while you're there.

The only time I found buying a water bottle completely unavoidable was at the airport. With the rules of no liquids through security, it's pretty impossible not to buy a bottle of water if you're thirsty. That shot glass of water they offer you on the plane does NOT cut it for me...I don't know if the flight attendants would fill a larger bottle. Hm. That's something to think about...what about you guys? Do you avoid plastic bottles? Do you have tips for avoiding them when traveling? Let me know!

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