It may be Halloween, but the scariest thing you’ll see this week is NOT a picture of a creepy clown standing at the edge of the woods or David S. Pumpkins.
In our minds, single-use disposable water bottles are way more horrifying, because their effects are hurting the environment we live in every day.
Ready to get spooked? Here are the five scariest facts about single-use disposable water bottles (aka bottled water) and then environment.
The energy we waste using bottled water would be enough to power 190,000 homes.1
Think about everything that goes into producing single-use bottled water: drilling the oil, manufacturing the bottles, washing them, labeling them, filling them, and transporting everything. Takes a lot of resources, right? All that effort, just for packaging something that you can get essentially for free just by twisting the tap.
Instead of shelling out for a bottle of water you’ll use one time and then get rid of, invest in a reusable water bottle to lower your environmental impact. Bonus points if it’s a glass water bottle, since glass is 100% recyclable.
It would take you 1,740 refills of a half-liter water bottle with tap water to equal one 99 cent half liter water bottle at a convenience store.2
Speaking of refilling your reusable glass water bottle… A reusable water bottle is way easier on your wallet than buying that 99 cent single-use disposable water bottle at the corner store. Those 99 cent costs add up over time; assuming you buy one bottled water per day, you’re spending over $365 per year on a product that you can get basically for free from the tap. You know what’s a lot more fun to spend $365 on than bottled water? Concert tickets, new shoes, an overpriced candle from Anthropologie, Halloween candy, and basically almost anything else.
Only about one in five single-use plastic water bottles are recycled.3
Unfortunately, not everyone is conscientious enough to recycle their single-use disposable water bottles, so nearly 80% end up in landfills. That adds up to about 3 billion pounds of waste, just from all of the discarded plastic (not to mention the damage this plastic has once it leaves landfills and gets dumped in the ocean).
Plastic water bottles can take up to 1,000 years to decompose.4
Woof. That single-use water bottle someone so cavalierly tossed in the trash is going to outlive us all ten times over. Makes you think twice about leaving your reusable water bottle at home, right?
It takes 1.39 liters of water to make one liter of water.5
To paraphrase Chandler Bing, could that BE any more ironic? The news gets worse — this figure only looks at total water use (all water used by the facility, including product water and water used for facility processes like treatment, cleaning, and maintenance). Know what it doesn’t include? Packaging — which makes a significant difference, considering everything we talked about in the first scary fact. In fact, one analyst estimates that three liters of water might be used to make a half-liter bottle (or about six to seven times more than what’s actually in the bottle).
Scared yet? Us too. That’s why when we go trick or treating this year (it’s cool if adults do it, right?), we’re bringing along a reusable glass water bottle so we stay hydrated while walking from house to house. No tricks here, just environmentally-friendly treats.