The flip side of going green - "green wash"
... and, care to take the no more bottled water pledge?
The recent 'green' articles have generated a huge response from you, so obviously this is a subject that is important to many. Even so, I promise next week there will be a new topic!
One thing that caught my eye was the flip side of going green - things that are marketed in that vein, but perhaps are not all they are cracked up to be. I recently attended an online Rotary meeting and read this PDF program about "green wash." Basically, green wash is about marketing a product as "green" or "eco-friendly" or any other term to make a buyer think that a particular product is better for the environment than the competition. The only problem is, it isn't always true.
How many times have you bought something because it appeared or was marketed to be green, even though it really wasn't? Here a 'for instance" that I found: "PepsiCo puts Aquafina water in more eco-friendly bottle." (Click here for article). In other words, PepsiCo is taking one of the truly environmentally detrimental products and "improving" it's "greenness." Taking something truly terrible for the environment and making it merely horrible. The marketing department must be working overtime at PepsiCo!
Stopping our use of water bottled in disposable plastic is one of the easiest ways each of us can have a significant impact on the landfill. After all, it wan't that long ago that we didn't even have bottles water! I certainly didn't grow up with it; did you? (OK, maybe I am dating myself).
12 Reasons to Stop Drinking Bottled Water (from The Good Human)
Make the pledge to stop drinking bottled water, I did!
- American tap water is among the safest in the world.
- As much as 40% of the bottled water sold in the U.S. is just filtered tap water anyway. Be sure to check the label and look for “from a municipal source” or “community water system”, which just means it is tap water.
- By drinking tap water, you can avoid the fertilizer, pharmaceuticals, disinfectants, and other chemicals that studies have found in bottled water.
- Tap water costs about $0.002 per gallon compared to the $0.89 to $8.26 per gallon charge for bottled water. If the water we use at home cost what even cheap bottled water costs, our monthly water bills would run $9,000.
- 88% of empty plastic water bottles in the United States are not recycled. The Container Recycling Institute says that plastic water bottles are disposed of (not recycled) at the rate of 30 million a day.
- Plastic bottles can leach chemicals into the water if left in the sun, heated up, or reused several times.
- Production of the plastic (PET or polyethylene) bottles to meet our demand for bottled water takes the equivalent of about 17.6 million barrels of oil (not including transportation costs). That equals the amount of oil required to fuel more than one million vehicles in the U.S. each year. Around the world, bottling water uses about 2.7 million tons of plastic…each year.
- Bottled water companies mislead communities into giving away their public water in exchange for dangerous jobs.
- It can take nearly 7 times the amount of water in the bottle to actually make the bottle itself.
- On a weekly basis, 37,800 18-wheelers are driving around the country delivering water.
- The EPA sets much more stringent quality standards for tap water than the FDA does for the bottled stuff.
- One out of 6 people in the world does not have safe drinking water, and about 3,000 children a day die from diseases caught from bad water…that we know of. This while Americans spend about $16 billion a year on bottled water.
Want to have an even greater impact? Can you business commit to not using (or selling) bottled water? Have you already? I'd like to hear from you! I'll publish the name of any company that has committed to not using or selling any disposable plastic water bottles.