Green Corner: Too many water bottles wasted

Picture this: you wake up ready to start the day but realize something is different about your room. The space that you took hours setting up and cleaning is now littered with water bottles. You try to get out of bed and all the bottles that you didn’t notice roll onto the floor.

The sad truth is that a single American drinks an average of 167 bottles of water a year totaling to 50 billion bottles a year for all Americans combined. From that 50 billion, only 23% of single-use water bottles are recycled according to cannedwater4kids.com. Assuming you recycle, that means that out of those 167 bottles, only 38 are saved from going to a landfill. Despite your recycling efforts, 38 billion plastic water bottles are still sent to U.S. landfills each year. And reuseit.com says that plastic takes over 700 years to decompose, which means that the water bottle you drank last night is going to outlive you, and then some.

At this point you are hopefully saying “how can I fix this?” Here’s an easy solution: stop having a use-and-toss mentality.

The amount of plastic we’ve already thrown away in our lives can’t be undone. Landfills are already full of our daily trash, and beaches are already littered with our waste. But hope is not lost; the solution is to stop having a use-and-toss mentality. Instead of spending money every day on a plastic bottle of water, buy a reusable container. Buying a reusable water bottle isn’t just good for your wallet; they are also good for the environment. It can eliminate hundreds if not thousands of disposable plastic bottles from ending up on beaches, in landfills, or littering public spaces. Rider makes it easy for you by supplying their campuses with filtered water stations. According to Sustainability Manager Melissa Greenberg, “Over one million bottles have been filled at campus wide Elkay bottle fill units.”

Now picture this: you wake up in your bed ready to start the day. The room you took hours setting up and cleaning is exactly the way you left it. You look outside and you see a cleaner world, a world that we’ve spent hours setting up and cleaning. It’s your responsibility to keep it that way.

 

-George Kamenakis

Westminster Eco-Rep

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