Every Little Bit Helps... Right?

Conscientious greens fix their sights on plastic water bottles:

In the last few months, bottled water — generally considered a benign, even beneficial, product — has been increasingly portrayed as an environmental villain by city leaders, activist groups and the media. The argument centers not on water, but oil. It takes 1.5 million barrels a year just to make the plastic water bottles Americans use, according to the Earth Policy Institute in Washington, plus countless barrels to transport it from as far as Fiji and refrigerate it. ...

Dave Byers, 65, from Silver Spring, Md., discussed the issue with his wife, Pat, on the steps of the Metropolitan Museum of Art on a 90-degree Saturday. “I think it should be banned, actually,” he said of bottled water.

The US currently uses 20 million barrels of oil per day. First we’re going to ban plastic bags, slicing away a giant 0.16% of that consumption. Now, bring on the plastic bottle ban, slashing a full 0.02% from the oil guzzling. Take that, global warming!

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  • JF||

    20 billion per day? Are you serial? That seems a little high.

  • x,y||

    I think your criticism is misplaced Juliet. Pork kings could say the same thing about the porkbusters. But it doesn't make the porkbusters any less right.

  • ||

    How much oil do we use making Coke, Sprite, etc. bottles every year?

    This crusade doesn't make any sense. If people want something to drink on the go wouldn't it be better for them to drink water than sugar drinks?

  • Abdul||

    They still make tequila bottles out of glass, right? Than sure, ban bottled water. Who cares?

  • ||

    The link shows our oil consumption at 20.73 million bbl/day (2004 est.)

    The bbl is BARRELS.... not BILLIONS, Juliette.

    Please redo the math.

    CB

  • ||

    It's 20 million, per your article.

  • Juliet Samuel||

    JF, you're right. Apologies - "bbl" can mean "billions of barrels" or just barrels. Apparently in this case it means barrels, which means the US has a consumption of 20 million barrels a day. Numbers revised accordingly.

  • ||

    Bottled water is nothing more than a dihydrogen monoxide delivery device. Those dosage of dihydrogen monoxide is manipulated during the manufacturing process. Big Water doesn't want you to know that.

  • ||

    Growing up there used to be a vending machine where you'd put your own container under a spigot and buy water. Then I moved to Spain where once every month or so we could gather all of our plastic and glass water containers and fill them up at a natural spring. Then, for some reason, we became incapable of reusing a plastic bottle, and we came to believe that Coke's version of water was better than filtered tap water. Ahh well.

    Banning plastic bottles isn't the answer, but I think people are dumb as hell for buying so many bottles of water.

  • x,y||

    And what, no apology for your misplaced criticism? Come out here and defend yourself!

  • ||

    When do you folks realize it's not about the environment, but about control, mmmkay?

  • ||

    "When do you folks realize it's not about the environment, but about control, mmmkay?"

    And what am I, mincemeat?

  • ||

    I like bottled water becasue it offers discreet, easily totable doses of H20, and costs 4 bucks for a 24-pack that is easy to keep ice cold in mah fridge. I probably should re-use bottles, but I'm always mildly concerned about bacteria etc. growing in the emptied and left-out bottles.

  • JF||

    So... how do you all feel about flouride?

  • Mike Laursen||

    If people want something to drink on the go wouldn't it be better for them to drink water than sugar drinks?

    You're considering more than one point of view at a time in your decision making. We don't go for that kind of thinking around here.

  • cynical bastrad||

    And what does that have to do with global warming, for fuck's sake? If anything, making bottles out of that oil put that carbon into permanent storage, NOT into the atmosphere. Once again, the notion that greenies are clueless idiots is underscored...

  • ||

    and we came to believe that Coke's version of water was better than filtered tap water. Ahh well.

    That's the thing, though. Coke's version of water is filtered tap water.

  • ||

    They still have those vending machines, Lamar. There's one outside nearly every Albertsons in the Orlando area.

    The Penn and Teller "Bullshit" episode on bottled water was pretty much spot on. Absent some naturally occuring contaminant most US public water supplies give pretty good water.

    I'm all for letting people waste their money on bottled stuff and I also fine with people preaching against it.

    It's the "I think it should be banned,..." people that I have a problem with.

  • Mike Laursen||

    we became incapable of reusing a plastic bottle

    I was listening to a radio show on this issue the other day. A public health official said something along the lines of "we are looking into a possible susceptibility to bacterial growth" when reusing plastic water bottles meant for single use. It might have been total FUD, but she implied that these kind of plastic bottles are prone to bacterial infection, especially if the cap isn't washed properly or the inside of the bottle is scratched.

  • robc||

    Cain,

    Actually, I think that is Pepsi. Coke, IIRC, uses the distilled water that that they use for bottling Coke, then add minerals back in bacause no one likes the taste of very pure water.

  • Mike Laursen||

    I'm curious about one thing with tap water, though. Consider the huge portion of it that goes to water lawns, do laundry, etc. What's the environmental impact of treating all that water that nobody drinks to make it pure enough to drink?

  • Christ on a Cracker||

    The US currently uses 20 million barrels of oil per day

    How many barrels of oil are acceptable?

  • ||

    Sure, tap water might be fine... BUT I DON'T HAVE A FUCKING TAP IN MY CAR WHEN I AM ON A ROAD TRIP!!! Sometimes, people need to buy a bottle of water!

  • ||

    "A public health official said"

    There's your problem, right there. I rinse out my bottles with my way-too-chlorinated tap water before refilling them with filtered tap water.

    Mike Laursen: It really depends on where you are, how much natural water is around and how new the water system is. Water plants these days are rather efficient. It's the wastewater that causes all the headaches.

  • Christopher Monnier||

    > If anything, making bottles out of that oil puts that carbon into permanent storage, NOT into the atmosphere...

    That's actually a really good point. Oil usage does not necessarily equal carbon spewage.

  • ||

    If anything, making bottles out of that oil puts that carbon into permanent storage landfills, NOT into the atmosphere...

    Had to make that right.

  • ||

    http://www.poodwaddle.com/worldclock.swf

    world clock has the the world pumping 32 million SO FAR today. 198 million so far this week. 18.5 Billion so far this year.
    I agree 1.5 million/year means very little when you look at the big picture. Start down this road and you might as well ban all consumer products since oil is used in the production of just about anything.

  • ||

    How exactly is 1.5 million equal to .02% of 20 million.

    By my math, which is called Math, that's 7.5%.

  • ||

    Not 80% of my plastic bottles, though. I'm not an enviro, just a disgusting pack rat.

  • iih||

    I believe it takes 500-1000 years for plastic to degrade. So it is not only about the amount of oil that goes into a bottle of water, but also the heap of plastic garbage that is and will be littering everything from (not only) landfills to our streets, roads, forests, rivers (probably most notably). Since there is a better bottle recycling system in place, I would say that I am more worried about the quality of the water in the bottles (who turned out to be just tap water by the way, if they are made by Coca Cola), and plastic bags. Quite using plastic bags by the way!

  • DB||

    Generally speaking, tap water is tested several times a day at the treatment plant to ensure continued quality and safety.
    Bottled water processes are tested at less frequent intervals, possibly every week, depending on the plant.
    In addition, under current law the purity standards of tap water are much higher than those of bottled water. Bottled water can and does have more contaminants in ppb.
    So bottled water may not necessarily be any better for you, unless you have lead pipes in your house or something, though having bottles is convenient.

  • ||

    Oh, crap, I got all snarky before realizing we were comparing days to years.

    My bad Juliet.

  • iih||

    Darn. A couple of fixes to my last comment: "who" --> "which", "Quite" --> "Quit"

  • ||

    Taktix, it's 1.5 million per year versus 20 million per day. you have to factor in the 365 days in a year, not just 1.5 million divided by 20 million.

  • ||

    I wish they'd pull back on the carbon and focus on the fact that if we reduce our plastics usage we also can reduce our dependence on foreign oil.

    People respond more to security than that suspect "enviro-wacko" stuff. But meh, I live in Oregon, we've had a bottle bill on the books for decades.

    I reuse my water bottle, the kind with the little tip all the time. A tiny bit of bleach in the water when it's washed takes care of any bacteria.

    Whoever thought of bottled water was brillant. It's the best marketing ploy since someone put "Rinse, repeat" on a shampoo bottle.

  • ||

    oh crap, i didn't refresh my page before sending that and taktix had already realized the error.
    sorry man.

  • DB||

    How exactly is 1.5 million equal to .02% of 20 million.

    By my math, which is called Math, that's 7.5%.


    1.5 million per year vs. 20 million per day

    So 1.5/(20 X 365) = 0.021%

  • ||

    HEY TATIX, YOU KNOW YOU MESSED UP THE MATH...RIGHT?

    I FIGURED ENOUGH PEOPLE HADN'T CORRECTED YOU ON IT YET.

  • peabody||

    The issue isn't only the plastic in the bottles. It's also the drawing down of local water tables and the transportation costs of moving a product across countries when an identical product can be extracted from the ground almost anywhere in the United States. (For more on Fryeburg, Maine's fight with Poland Springs over its water: http://www.economist.com/world/na/displaystory.cfm?story_id=8091329).

    Bottled water is a perfect example of a market distorted by idiotic celebrities and fashionistas touting the nonexistent advantages of bottled water. Buy a Nalgene bottle, fill it up in your tap, and put the money you save in the bank. Easy.

  • ||

    A public health official said something along the lines of "we are looking into a possible susceptibility to bacterial growth" when reusing plastic water bottles meant for single use.

    They actually had a Dateline or 20/20 episode about this a couple of years ago warning not to reuse plastic bottles because of the risk of bacteria growth.


    Personally, I don't like bottled water. I think it's a bit of a scam. But I don't think it should be banned. Here in Chicago they were thinking of adding a 10-25 cent tax on bottled water while the state is thinking about banning gov't entities from buying the stuff with tax dollars. That I could get behind the gov't purchase ban, esp when bottled waters like Aquafina and Dasani get their water from municipal sources anyway.

    The other argument is the landfill argument. It's been said that plastic water bottles are making their way to landfills in very large numbers. Of course one can argue why only water and not other beverages sold in plastic containers. In fact I wouldn't be against a tax on all plastic containers things like that. It would entice people to use reusable containers.

  • ||

    It's the "I think it should be banned,..." people that I have a problem with.
    I've noticed that a lot of the far-left front don't ever actually go out and say that they should be banned outright, they a lot of times are more social critics, constantly whining about the ways things should be, or believing that if they preach enough that most of America will "wake up" and a major hippy-area socail change will happen.

  • SxCx||

    All you statist public water endorsers can go tug on Nanny's skirt and quench your collective thirsts with a cool, tall glass of taxpayer toil.

    Meanwhile, I'll be doing the right thing: waiting for it to rain on my property.

  • Russ 2000||

    How exactly is 1.5 million equal to .02% of 20 million.

    By my math, which is called Math, that's 7.5%.


    Apparently taktix is running for Congress on the "I don't know shit about math" ticket.

  • ||

    Buy a Nalgene bottle, fill it up in your tap, and put the money you save in the bank. Easy.

    Well, not that easy. The water in your tap most likely contains chlorine, which comes through in the form of a rather chalky taste. In some cases there's also chloramine which disinfects the water, and nitrates, which occur from such things as fertilizer runoff. Yes, Aquafina is bottled tap water, but it's tap water that's run through a reverse osmosis process which removes roughly 99% of impurities. In short, it does taste better.

    The better thing to do if you like the taste of Aquafina is to buy a home RO setup and save yourself some money in the long run. As far as the environmental impact who cares.

  • iih||

    Bottled water is a perfect example of a market distorted by idiotic celebrities and fashionistas touting the nonexistent advantages of bottled water. Buy a Nalgene bottle, fill it up in your tap, and put the money you save in the bank. Easy.

    Peabody: And the funny thing is that in many cases it is tap water put in a bottle!

    See:

    http://www.cnn.com/2007/HEALTH/07/27/pepsico.aquafina.reut/index.html

  • s.m. koppelman||

    Nice. Touting ignorant calculations off by a factor of 1000 and not reading the other half of the same sentence:

    It takes 1.5 million barrels a year just to make the plastic water bottles Americans use ... plus countless barrels to transport it from as far as Fiji and refrigerate it.

    Drastically reducing US bottled-water consumption would not reduce oil consumption by 1.5 million barrels a year. It would reduce it by 1.5 million plus the energy and other resources consumed by transporting and storing it.. and the energy used by disposing of the bottles -- the share of landfill space and costs, of plastic-shredding and recycling machinery, the production and waste management of the labels, the adhesives, the capital invested in all that bottling machinery and so on.

    Not to mention how much cheaper (and lower in freon use) it is to refrigerate the water flowing through a water fountain than it is to keep a hundred or more bottles refrigerated all day in a vending machine.

    I could understand if this were a PR piece from the bottled-water or plastics industry, but what stake does Ms. Samuel have in this argument that makes her willing to play so dumb? Or is there some weird brain defect Reason looks for when hiring, in which the candidate has superb reading comprehension except when it comes to facts and points that run against the House Ideology?

  • ||

    I imagine a lot of bottled water is shipped in containers that also include other goods, and transported on ships that contain countless other goods.
    let's also ban computers since, yeah we can survive just fine without them. Electronic devices take 10 times their weight in oil to manufacture, computers take 25 times. we should ban all electronic devices.

  • ||

    Not to mention how much cheaper (and lower in freon use) it is to refrigerate the water flowing through a water fountain than it is to keep a hundred or more bottles refrigerated all day in a vending machine.



    But how the hell am I going to get a water fountain in my car? Where the hell am I going to find a water fountain on an airplane?

    I can purchase a bottle of water from a vendor after I have passed through airport security, and take it with me on a plane. How do I do that with a drinking fountain?

    I could care less about buying bottled water from Fiji... I could care less if bottled water is tap water. Sometimes I need to have water NOW, and I need to be able to take it with me right away, and bottled water serves that purpose.

    If you ban bottled water, you are still going to harm the enviornment... because I am just going to buy Gatoraid or Cokacola, or some other plastic bottled shipped product other than water! In fact, prohibiting me from buying water is going to INCREASE the enviornmental costs, not DECREASE it.

    But of course, banning bottled water isn't about protecting the enviornment. It is about giving the power of the government to regulate people's lives. It is the thrill of neo-Victorian prohibitionism, and punishing evildoers.

  • ||

    It would reduce it by 1.5 million plus the energy and other resources consumed by transporting and storing it.

    Wow...that's like...a wicked lot more.

  • bill||

    What's the big deal, plastic water bottles are recyclable. As mentioned above bottled water isn't just "tap water" it's "purified" water thats gone through a steam distillation or reverse osmosis filtration.

  • ||

    s.m. koppelman sure spent a lot of time saying, "and the gas to get it there too."

    What goes into manufacturing a water fountain? Where does all the water go that goes into the drain? One thing is true about bottled water: people don't end up dribbling half of it down their chin.

  • ||

    And of course, once all those bottled water people are out of a job, they won't be able to drive their Hummers and have dog fights all the time no more.

  • M||

    Too hydro-bloated here to look it up or even read all the comments (amn't I getting good at this?), but I'm told that the materials used for disposable bottles are said (by the manufacturers) to leach toxins out after a while, and so are not made to be reused. Bottles designed to be used long-term are made of sturdier stuff. Of course I learned this long after I'd probably poisoned myself.

    Fwiw, my sympathies are with the (non-statist) environmentalists on whatever scale. Even a little sand hurts your watch.

  • ||

    Yes, plastic bottles are recyclable, the water goes through a 7 step purification process, and bottled water is so convenient to grab and go that I will continue to drink it. When I'm at home I do not open a new bottle of water. I'll drink from the tap. But when I'm out and there is a gas station down the street with cold bottles of water - I'll definitely stop and purchase one. It's safe and clean which might not be the case for the public water fountain outside.

  • ||

    Pinette: I find your point kind of absurd, considering that water can be obtained free of charge anywhere in the United States through a system that we're already paying for. You can't say that about any of the *other goods* you're speaking of.

    More importantly, taking an absurd statement made by one person out of context (e.g. "I think it should be banned") doesn't make the initial point--that bottled water consumption has negligible benefits and is harmful to the environment--any less valid.

  • ||

    When do you folks realize it's not about the environment, but about control, mmmkay?

    Ladies and Gentlemen, I introduce Solipsism: the belief that one's personal experience is universal.

    Since people like Anonymous Environmentalists don't care about environmental concerns and base their opinion of environmental questions on the policy outcomes they want for unrelated ideological reasons, it must therefore be true that everyone is unconcerned with environmental concerns, and bases their opinion of environmental quesitons on the policy outcomes they want based on unrelated ideological reasons.

  • Anonymous Bastert||

    Everything not required to live should be banned.

  • Jennifer||

    Dave Byers, 65, from Silver Spring, Md., discussed the issue with his wife, Pat, on the steps of the Metropolitan Museum of Art on a 90-degree Saturday. "I think it should be banned, actually," he said of bottled water.

    I wonder how much carbon was belched into the atmosphere to bring this retiree all the way up from Maryland to a museum in New York City? If he really cared about the environment he could have stayed home, drank tap water and looked at those artworks online.

  • ||

    In an effort to sidestep the toxins and bacteria issues with reusing plastic bottles (and being sickened by the Lexan used in Nalgene) I bought a medical grade steel canteen from here and I've been very happy with it. I am psychotically picky about taste and it doesn't have a metal aftertaste at all.

    I'm very allergic to chlorine and dragging around distilled water all day sucks. The ability to occasionally buy Desani is nice, but I guess I don't count. Maybe I can sue under the ADA.

  • ||

    For a post that used the word "absurd" several times, I couldn't get past this sentence:

    "water can be obtained free of charge anywhere in the United States through a system that we're already paying for."

  • ||

    If you drive a truck full of bottled water accross the country, assumign the same amount of bottles, it will use measurably *less* fuel if those bottles are made of plastic as opposed to glass.

    Add up the number of trucks full of products in plastic bottles and you soon see that this whole idea abotu saving oil by reducing the number of plastic bottles we use is ludicrous.

  • coyote||

    If CO2 is what we care about, isn't buying and then burying a lot of plastic bottles a good thing? Every bottle buried is that much more carbon sequestered underground. If I really wanted to apply environmental calculus here, we should stop recycling plastic bottles. And paper too, for that matter. Get that carbon back in the ground!

  • ||

    I guess I'll take my water in a paper bottle, then.

  • GrumpyOldMan||

    You kids are probably too young to remember when water came out of these things called "water fountains". I suppose that was before the Coca-Cola company convinced you it was more fun to pay for it.

    btw: keep off my LAWWWWWWWWWWWN!

  • ||

    For me it's not as much about the oil used to produce the plastic in the bottle as much as the bottles being shipped all over the world to get filled with filtered tap water (the only requirement for bottled water)only to charge me money for what I can get from a tap for free and then take up space in a landfill for longer than I'll live at very least.

    I have a Nalgene on my desk and I fill it once a day. That is two 16 oz bottles not being used every day 255 work days a year. So just at work I don't use roughly 500 plastic bottles a year.

    Plastic bags again don't use a lot of oil but why use them and generate the trash? A LOT of this stuff ends up in the ocean killing aquatic life. Just invest in some reusable bags http://www.greenbag.info/ and keep them in your trunk. You would be surprised at how much less trash you produce just bringing your own bags. Plus in CA they give you credit for not using the stores bags. They've already paid for themselves many times over in that regard.

    I could go on and on but the fact of the matter is that numbers or not anything you can do to lessen your consumption or waste footprint is a step in the right direction.

  • ||

    This is so tiring.

    Okay, I've come to a decision: I'm now officially on a quest to destroy the environment. It's clear that everyone else gives a care, so I'm just going to be a free rider.

    I mean, if I have to chip in for everyone else's health-care, and everyone else's parents' retirement, then everyone else's children can pay me back by living in a smoldering crater.

    PS: I guess GrumpyOldMan is too young to remember when several other people discussed water fountains less than an hour ago.

  • Alexandra Reihing||

    Ever hear of One Bag at a Time?
    http://www.1bagatatime.com/index.php?page=misc&section=home
    It's a company run by Lisa Foster and it sells reusable, washable polypropylene bags to retailers and individuals.

    I work at Policy Innovations, an online magazine published by the Carnegie Council for Ethics in International Affairs in NYC. We recently held a discussion on climate change, and the paper versus plastic bag issue was vigorously debated. Did you know that producing paper bags is actually worse for the environment than producing plastic bags! Check out the summary of the meeting:
    http://www.policyinnovations.org/ideas/briefings/data/RSA_summary

  • ||

    "Ever hear of One Bag at a Time?"

    Get off my case!

  • ||

    Yes, Aquafina is bottled tap water, but it's tap water that's run through a reverse osmosis process which removes roughly 99% of impurities. In short, it does taste better.

    Water that is processed by reverse osmosis tastes terrible. It doesn't contain the amounts of dissolved minerals that you find in the best tasting spring/well waters. Instead it tastes bland and unsatisfying.

    Really all you need is an activated carbon filter to remove the chlorine. Or better yet (if you're allowed), drill yourself a well. Good tasting water needs a little bit of calcium and iron in it.

    Besides, Aquafina and Dasani taste like the bottle anyway.

  • robc||

    M,

    Even a little sand hurts your ... watch.

    (ellipses added by me)
    Maybe I have been reading too much fark, but that sentence didnt end where I expected it to end.

  • Vena||

    global warming is not the reason to ban plastic bags and bottles...we are suffocating ourselves in these things. our oceans are full of bits of plastic, churned into huge floating masses of material that will never (NEVER) biodegrade.
    just because something barely contributes to global warming does not mean it is benign.

  • ||

    Water that is processed by reverse osmosis tastes terrible.

    Well, we can go into personal opinions here, but my RO setup makes awesome tasting water. Of course, I'm pretty good about checking the TDS of the finished product and swapping out the sediment and carbon filters every six months.

  • ||

    Plastic bags again don't use a lot of oil but why use them and generate the trash?



    Because some of us walk to the store... and I can carry about 20 plastic bags because of the handles and they are strong, or I can carry one paper bag. And I can't carry around 20 reusable bags everywhere I go, just in case I might decide to stop by the store on the way home.

    If stores only offer paper bags, which are a pain in the ass to carry home - I will jump in the car and drive to a grocery store. And it won't be the local corner store, because there is no parking. I might, since I am in the car, drive several miles instead of a few blocks.

    So banning plastic bags will end up consuming much much more oil!

    Likewise, if bottled water is banned, I am still going to pick up something to drink at the gas station if I am thirsty. Instead of bottled water, I will purchase a juice or softdrink or something. The juice and softdrink will use just as much oil for the plastic bottles, and the fuel to ship the plastic bottles, but there will be the additional oil consumed and CO2 released for the added ingredients in addition to just water!

    So banning plastic bottles, will use much much more oil than not banning them!

    Why is it so difficult for people to understand that prohibition doesn't work, and often makes the problem worse.

    global warming is not the reason to ban plastic bags and bottles...we are suffocating ourselves in these things. our oceans are full of bits of plastic, churned into huge floating masses of material that will never (NEVER) biodegrade.



    As long as you understand that banning these things will significantly contribute to global warming... and you feel that increased global warming is a price you are willing to pay in order to ban these things. But don't pretend that there isn't an enviornmental tradeoff.

  • gnoble||

    Yeah, the main thing is why bother using something if you don't have to? There are perfectly good re-useable products out there that fit these rolls perfectly. Y'all who are hating on this are just lazy SOBs who apparently can't be bothered to keep a water bottle in their car or bring a bag with themselves when they go grocery shopping.
    It's a pain to wipe your ass every time you take a crap, but if you don't do it you're end up sh1t all over the place.

  • iih||

    Evan:

    I agree Aquafina tastes really bad even if pure. Poland Springs is the best. I am an expert water taster. Driving about 900 miles every week (and no I am not a truck driver), I drank a lot of water.

    Just make sure what the source is. If the source says New York City (and I know it does not say that, but you get my point), chances are it is reverse osmosis treated tap water.

    Poland Springs gets its water from springs in Maine if you are in the North East, and if you are in Quebec, it gets it from springs north of Quebec City. Both taste just perfect.

  • ||

    Thank goodness all these first time posters are stopping by to lecture us. I can't imagine how we survived this long with our own opinions.

    The blessing and the curse of Teh Boingboingening.

  • iih||

    SugarFree:

    First time I have see you around!

  • Mike Laursen||

    I've noticed that a lot of the far-left front don't ever actually go out and say that they should be banned outright, they a lot of times are more social critics, constantly whining about the ways things should be, or believing that if they preach enough that most of America will "wake up" and a major hippy-area socail change will happen.

    If that were only true, that would be so awesome! Imagine a world where a social critic's first instinct is to convince other people to change voluntarily rather than forcing their vision on others.

  • ||

    iih,

    Feel free to do your own a Google site search through Hit N' Run. You find my idiotic rantings sprinkled all over the place...

    I come up about 160 times (controlling for being used as a substitute word for diet). You come up exactly 10 times. (Although I will allow that your handle might be difficult to search for.)

  • ||

    Correction: Pulling up the omitting results, you come up 17 times. (Of course, doing that pushes me up to 197.)

  • iih||

    SugarFree:

    Okay you made your point. There, nice to meet you!

    Can we get back on topic pleeeaaase? What were you complaining about? Must be one of your "idiotic rantings" :-) There you go, you are now up to 198 times. Just kidding, being silly myself.

    I was just saying that not all bottled water is bad-tasting.

    (If you are interested in my more interesting views on a myriad of issues, see my 17 google hits.)

  • ||

    iih,

    It's OK, I'm a librarian (liberarian?) so I had a lot of hit points going into the fight...

    Besides, NES Metriod came out for the Wii today, so I've been itching for a fight all day.

  • ||

    I just looked at at Zephyrhills bottle of water. It doesn't have any warning that reuse of the bottle could lead to toxins being released into the water. Do other brands have a warning? I forsee a huge lawsuit.

    -Lamar (1000+)

  • iih||

    SugarFree:

    Haha... And it seems that all the people who were around here got bored too and left.

    But frankly, I am surprised that I came up only 17 times. Got to up that a little by may be adding idiotic rantings myself ;-) But may be another day, on a more interesting discussion. May be when they decide to make "bottled air" and people start complaining about the plastic they use to contain air in.

  • iih||

    Lamar: Good job 1680 hits indeed. This discussion seems to be getting no where.

  • ||

    Maybe we should all start having the number of our post next to our handles. Kind of like the star system for eBay. (Do other sites have this for commenting? I only fool with posting here, where the interesting commenter / nimrod ratio is favorable.)

    Lamar, I hear the toxin story a lot, but never from a reliable source (Mother Jones / Utne Reader doesn't count), but the bacteria and biofilm threat is fairly well-established and I'm medically fragile as is...

    You also hear a lot about freezing water in plastic bottles being bad for you, but again primarily from "Nutrasweet gives you brain cancer! / They color ketchup with cow blood!" crowd.

  • ||

    US oil consumption is 3 million tonnes/day. Plastic bags are 5 grams.

    However, PE bags have never been made from oil. They are made from ethane, a gas. Fertilizer from oil is another big lie.

  • ||

    20 million gallons a day? how much of that is used by the military ?

    and aquafina is nothing but tap water!
    woo hoo!

    http://www.democracynow.org/article.pl?sid=07/08/01/1435240&mode=thread&tid=25

  • ||

    """I've noticed that a lot of the far-left front don't ever actually go out and say that they should be banned outright, they a lot of times are more social critics, constantly whining about the ways things should be, or believing that if they preach enough that most of America will "wake up" and a major hippy-area socail change will happen."""

    Why just call out the far left, a lot of people on the right do the same thing, minus the hippy part. Look how many right or left pundits have made a job about whining about something. Ann Coulter has made a career about whining about liberals.

  • ||

    Karl Rove says bottled water is for liberals and traitors. He thinks we should all drink Bush Cola instead. Bush Cola bottles contain 98% unrefined petroleum and are manufactured by Cheney Bottling Inc.

  • Bosco||

    There's been a lot of scenarios flying around about where and when people need to use bottled water, so let me just throw the solution I use into the mix in case anyone is interested: I have a filter on my tap at home that I use to fill up my Sigg (http://www.sigg.ch/) bottle in the morning. It is a very durable yet lightweight aluminum bottle with a coating on the inside that is both taste-neutral and acid resistant. I find this to be very convenient and cost effective, and I can't imagine why anyone would object to this setup other than out of sheer laziness.

    I am not game for banning anything, but when you have very similar options, one of which is even minorly less harmful to the environment, just ask yourself what is the smart choice to make?

  • edna||

    They are made from ethane, a gas.

    ethylene, actually. and yes it's a gas. but a lot of it comes as a byproduct of oil cracking.

    irrelevant to plastic bottles which are made from pet (e.g., mylar), which is mostly oil-derived. and yes, on a pareto basis, the amount of oil used for that sector is pretty much negligible. this is a marvelous example of motes/beams and why students need to learn order-of-magnitude analysis as part of their critical thinking packages.

  • ||

    Bosco,

    So people who don't do what you think they should aren't smart? Excellent.

  • Mike Laursen||

    Fertilizer from oil is another big lie.

    I hadn't heard anyone claimed that fertilizer is made directly from oil. I have heard it claimed that the manufacture of non-shit-based nitrogen fertilizers uses a lot of energy.

  • ||

    Thanks for the suggestion Bosco. I'm always looking for a way to save some money. I'm not sure why there's so much hostility to such an act.

  • ||

    sage wrote, "Yes, Aquafina is bottled tap water, but it's tap water that's run through a reverse osmosis process which removes roughly 99% of impurities. In short, it does taste better."

    The only way to tell for sure is a double-blind taste test. I seem to recall one, and city tap water won.

  • ||

    I have reused plastic pop bottles with alhambra water dispeners from work for a while, and then I started to hear about plastic leeching chemicals; and they were getting stinky; and they don't survive well in the dishwasher, making htema pain to clean. I switched to glass bottles.

    I am more concerned about blastic bags. They clog up everything. I purchased some sturdy cloth bags which get me 5cents off per bag on purchases at my local grocery store. Biodegradable plastic bags for all else...though washable metal or ceramic ain't bad.

    one fo these might benice to have:
    http://www.treehugger.com/files/2005/08/wip_waterex_wat.php

    And what about Wineskins! That would go well with my Utili-kilt!

  • ||

    According to Harper's Index (August 2007) reporting Peter Gleick of Pacific Institute in Oakland, bottled water containers sold in the US last year were made with an estimated 16,000,000 barrels of oil. Of even greater concern, in my opinion, is the ratio of water used to make the containers to the amount of bottled water consumed: 2:1.

  • ||

    Lamar,

    I personally did not find the Sigg bottles to be taste-neutral. (Metallic and stale.) It's also difficult to fill them with ice and contraindicated to freeze water in them (even small amounts, so it's not about bursting them with ice expansion.) They also can't go in the dishwasher and require a special brush and cleaning tablet. Go stainless steel.

    It's not the saving money I object to, it's the smug suggestion that everyone who doesn't want to do it his way is an idiot.

  • ||

    What seems to be missing from the discussion so far is any mention of where those bilions of water bottles and plastic bags end up after we throw them away. Plastic never decomposes. Ever.

    The North Pacific Ocean now has an area twice the size of the state of Texas that contains nothing but floating plastic and other trash. (Or at least 60% more garbage than biomass, if the articles I've read are correct) When plastic does break down, the polymers and other chemicals stay in our environment. And we wonder why our cancer rates are going up...

    150 years ago, people in urban areas thought nothing of dumping chamberpots full of human waste into the street. Raw sewage filled cellars, and cholera and other diseases ran rampant. Hopefully, our cavalier waste of resources on what is essentially a free commodity will seem as equally riduculous to our descendants (provided, of course, that we have any....)

  • Mike Laursen||

    The North Pacific Ocean now has an area twice the size of the state of Texas that contains nothing but floating plastic and other trash. (Or at least 60% more garbage than biomass, if the articles I've read are correct)

    Citation?

  • edna||

    Citation?

    what's the formal way of saying, "pulled out of my ass?"

  • edna||

    Plastic never decomposes. Ever.

    that turns out not to be the case. the rates vary widely between different types of plastics (lumping such a wide range of materials together is a major error), the environment they're in, and the time scale. in landfill, the slow rate of decay of certain types of plastics is a virtue. and, as was pointed out earlier, if they don't decay, they have carbon locked up and safe instead of in the atmosphere.

    the reality is that all materials decompose.

  • ||

  • KipEsquire||

    Meanwhile, has shifting Daylight Saving Time saved the planet yet?

  • ||

    "has shifting Daylight Saving Time saved the planet yet?"

    Sure helped my uncle who was a farmer.

  • ||

    Wait, no it didn't. I honestly can't remember now if it was the greatest thing ever or man's worst mistake. Crap. Sorry.

  • Mike Laursen||

    Only had time to skim through the article quickly. I don't want to imply that I completely don't care about the problem, because dumping one's trash in the ocean is sucky behavior, but the actual words of the article are: "The area in which [the plastic trash] accumulates is now twice the size of Texas." So, the article isn't claiming that that area is completely full of plastic trash. I didn't see any mention of biomass.

  • edna||

    wow, fine source there! even got the definition of "plastic" wrong.

    sheesh.

  • ||

    And, zawelski, old boy, I would certainly like to see where the evidence for "our cancer rates are going up" comes from.

  • Dutta||

    Instead of using plastic water bottles.you can also use the water bottles which makes you comfort in drinking water

  • ||

    even got the definition of "plastic" wrong.
    And the "sea turtle" in the pic is a terrestrial animal, probably a tortoise.

  • ||

    "bbl" can mean "billions of barrels" or just barrels.
    Nope. "bbl" means "barrels." Nice try, though.

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