Saving the world is a tall order, to put it mildly. With so many worthy environmental issues, it can be overwhelming to decide what you should devote yourself to. After all, can one person really have an impact?
At Contigo, we believe it only takes one person making a better choice to make a difference. Grand gestures are cool and all, but we think hundreds- maybe even thousands- of small actions will change the world.
One of these simple yet significant actions is purchasing and using a refillable water bottle instead of buying single-use bottles of water. Here are a few ways that buying a reusable water bottle today helps the world- and you!
The energy required to make a single-use bottle of water may surprise you. According to a 2009 Pacific Institute study, it’s been estimated that the energy required to manufacture, produce, and transport bottled water ranges from 5.6-10.2 megajoules. Along the same lines, a PBS investigation showed that the energy Americans waste producing and using single-use water bottles could power about 190,000 homes (roughly the population of Tallahassee, Florida).
Producing and selling bottled water also has a huge impact on the oil industry. The Pacific Institute estimates that in 2006, producing plastic water bottles for American consumption required the equivalent of more than 17 million barrels of oil- not including the oil and energy needed for transportation.
Honesty moment- sometimes a recycling bin isn’t always around when you’re finished with your single-use bottled water. Many of us throw used plastic bottles in the trash more often than we’d care to admit. Unfortunately, it’s estimated that four out of five single-use plastic water bottles become litter. Once tossed, water bottles take a thousand years to biodegrade, eventually ending up in landfills or gyres of debris in the ocean. Altogether, bottled water produces up to 1.5 million tons of plastic waste per year. Choosing a reusable water bottle, on the other hand, could save 217 single-use plastic bottles from a landfill this year.
Need a completely selfish reason to use reusable water bottles? You’ll be green in ways besides saving the environment- you’ll have more money in your wallet.
Americans spent $11.8 billion on bottled water in 2012. A great reusable water bottle will cost you less than $20, whereas buying a 20oz bottle of water five days a week for a year can cost upwards of $260 per year.
Let’s face it- we’re not all rocket scientists (although we think our engineers at Contigo come pretty close). Not everyone is going to brainstorm ingenious ways to reduce greenhouse gasses worldwide, or invent a new type of solar panel. But there’s one thing anyone can do to help the environment, and that’s buy a reusable water bottle. Let’s save the world together, one refillable water bottle at a time.