Wednesday, February 23, 2011

You Don't Have To Be A Hippie...

Last night I watched yet another documentary that kept me awake for hours. Angela and I both laid there in bed dwelling on the world’s problems as we so often do. This time, the issue is bottled water. We watched Tapped, a film I think every American should see because frankly, I think we all need to THINK before we DRINK.

Here are the issues and some facts about bottled water that you may be unaware of:

Big Business
Corporations such as Pepsi and Coca-Cola are extracting water from our communities at no cost. You read that correctly. They take it without paying a cent for it, then bottle it and sell it to us at 10,000 times more per gallon than tap water. The crazy thing is, it is tap water. We are paying billions of dollars each year for our own water supply. These corporations are taking our basic right to clean drinking water and turning it into a commodity.

The Safety of Our Water
Many of us actually think we are drinking cleaner, healthier water if it is from a bottle rather than our sink. This could not be further from the truth. Municipal water systems are tested multiple times a day (often 400 times each month) while about 70 percent of bottled water never crosses state lines for sale, making it exempt from FDA oversight. EXEMPT! The bottled water that is not exempt is only subject to tests done by the manufacturers themselves. The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s standards for tap water are more stringent than the Food and Drug Administration’s standards for bottled water. Independent studies have demonstrated that Americans are currently being exposed to dangerous levels of chemicals such as bisphenol A due to the consumption of bottled water. Think before you drink!

The Effect On Our Mama Earth
Nearly 90 percent of water bottles are not recycled and wind up in landfills where it takes thousands of years for the plastic to decompose. Our oceans are becoming filled with plastics, killing our marine life. This is a tragedy in itself. Approximately 1.5 million barrels of oil—enough to run 100,000 cars for a whole year—are used to make plastic water bottles, while transporting these bottles burns even more oil.

Hopefully you find this information as heart-wrenching as I do. The good news is that there is something we can do. We are the ones purchasing billions of dollars worth of bottled water. We can stop. If we collectively choose to take a few steps we can solve this problem.

  • Drink from a reusable water bottle
  • Drink your tap water. If you don’t like the taste, buy a filter (such as Brita).
  • Write to your elected officials and ask them to support a ban on bottled water. If you don’t agree there should be a ban, then at least request that they put bottle bills in place. is a great place to write open letters to public officials.

We only have this one earth and this one life. We need to stand together and do what is right. We can’t take our planet for granted.

Did that sounds like a poem!?   Either way, you don't have to be a hippie to want to take down these corporations and save our planet.  Let's all do our part.  :) 


  1. But it's ok to be a modern hippie and want to take them down, right? ;)

    Ryan is a crazy documentary lover. He made me watch parts of this one last week, actually!!! It's definitely eye opening. We get all of our water distilled from a nutrition store and then re-use old Kombucha bottles to travel with.

  2. Thanks for a great post. Did you ever watched the show about the guy who ate McDonald's for a week. That's an eye-opener too.

  3. I can't remember the last time I bought bottled water. We have a filter on our tap both at home and at work, and I own more reusable water bottles than I'd care to admit. Plus, I'm cheap. If I'm going to pay over a dollar for a bottle of something, I'm getting a goddamn diet coke.

  4. Awesome, Rose! I'm cheap too, why pay for water when it's FREE!?

    Stephanie- I am a crazy documentary lover too. A bit obsessed. I'll take any suggestions you two have!

  5. Amen to that! Thanks for such an important post Kate and for being one of those people that thinks about these issues and plays an active part in doing something to fix the problems!

  6. Thanks for bringing this to my attention. I try to not to use bottled water but now I am really going to make sure I don't.

  7. I love the documentaries too and ever since I got Netflix, that's all I seem to watch now. I watched Tapped last week and it is criminal as to what is happening. I knew of the local fights (Poland Springs), but I had no idea they were extracting the water fir free.

    Fortunately, I drink tap water that I have chilled in my fridge in old water bottles that I recycled last year when we had a major water main break in Boston and we had to drink from bottles.

    If you have Netflix, you can't go wrong with the National Geographics documentaries. Lots of different subjects and about 60 minutes a show.

  8. I love drinking water from my Brita system at home, and even when I do use bottled water, I re-use the bottle multiple times. Now in full-disclosure, I did this mostly due to the taste of Brita water (yum) and because it saved me money.

    But now I'm stationed in Africa, where the only potable water is bottled, so I drink lots of bottled water. However, that is an exception, and a safety issue. I will be back to my Brita system when I come back to the states next month. :)

  9. lol I love "you don't have to be a hippie"

    B came home with a case of bottled water last week and I gave him the stink eye. He knows better now. :)

    Is that a new header? Maybe I spend too much time in reader. Anywho I love it!

  10. oh this makes me cringe. It is just so dang convenient!I need to buy a reusable water bottle! Thanks for the info!

  11. I rarely ever buy bottled water - a decision driven more by my wallet than my heart. We have an ever-growing collection of watter bottles slowly overtaking our kitchen. My son is Mr. Eco, and I love it.
    While you were learning and contemplating the Earth, I'm pretty sure I was watching Glee and drinking a beer. I feel like such an underachiever.

  12. yea i always carry my waterbottles around with me, i hate dealing with bottled water, plus i drink way to much for it to be cost effective!

    brita pitcher for the win!

  13. Thanks for an important post. I'm going to pass it along on facebook, etc. and I hope other will too.

  14. Good for you for watching, caring and posting! I gave up bottled water a long time ago. SO damaging to our earth!

  15. Why would you get an ugly disposable bottle of water when there are so many cute reuseable ones? It's about FASHION!

    No but seriously, I read that most bottled water is just filtered water anyway. As in the same damn filter you can buy and put in your fridge. From a wallet standpoint, I'm not paying for water unless I'm getting something that young virgins have bathed in...from an eco standpoint, the waste that goes into bottling up what is essentially tap water through a Brita never ceases to amaze me. Not to mention that plastics used in those disposeable bottles degrade quickly and are carcinogenic. I think it's a huge scam on the American people, many of whom think they are doing something positive for drinking water. It is a very important issue. Thank you for tackling it.

  16. I have aquired so many reusable water bottles from various races- I haven't had (nor wanted) to buy a bottle of water in forever! Thanks for this post, not enough people are thinking about their carbon footprint...

  17. I love you even more for this post! I literally cringe when I see someone throw away a recyclable material-no excuse nowadays!!

    Thank you for posting this you Hippie! ;)

  18. Great great great post. Thank you sweet Kate - you ALWAYS make me think.

  19. The worst part about the girl scouts in when I see them while grocery shopping. I can't help but want to buy more boxes. But only if the KIDS are selling. I hate seeing a parent manning a cookie table with no kids in sight.

  20. Since water is my all time favorite drink and what I drink most of, I totally love this post. Thanks for sharing the information!

  21. Thank you for this post! I was going to do Environmental Wellness next Wednesday, so I will definitely drop the link to this post. :)

    I am happy to report that I am a water bottle geek. My Nathan water bottle is filled all day long (I drink about 190 oz. of water every day), and it's my finest accessory. I don't care where I go, it goes with me (even into restaurants).

    The local news in San Antonio did a report on bottled water vs. tap water. Not only was tap water cleaner, but water from the TOILET was cleaner than the water in the plastic bottle. I'm.just.sayin'.

  22. How can there be so many people throwing away bottles instead of recycling??? It is so, so easy to recycle. Ugh.

    I never drink bottled water. It tastes like plastic to me. I have a giant 32 oz bottle from Brita that I actually got as swag for a fun run (it was for kids. I worked it. One of the biggest loser contestants is from AL and sponsored a kids fun run and had a bunch of other contestants come talk. It was super fun-they ran around the block a few times and then through the kids' science museum doing obstacles.) If I do want a small thing of water to take, I just reuse a bottle. yes, bpa, I know. I don't do it often, but sometimes I just need a small bottle!

  23. Great post, everything here is dead on. Yea, it is not good to drink bottled water due to the plastic, and also we are basically drinking tap water. I bought a Sigg bottle and basically take it everywhere that I want water. I try to avoid buying any bottled water if possible.

    And if you want to get really annoyed, have you heard about the Great Pacific Gargage Patch? It's a huge floating trash landfill in the Pacific Ocean the size of Texas. It is mainly composed of plastics, and a lot of the trash comes from plastic bottles it seems like.

    Other documentaries that I liked:
    The Cove
    Super Size Me
    Katrina - Beyond the Levees

    I still need to see these:
    Food Inc
    The Last Truck
    Waiting for Superman

  24. I can't believe they don't pay for the water. Seriously shocked. I stopped drinking bottled water about 2 years ago - I am embarrassed to think about how many bottles I must have used before that.

    Sigh. This is just one of the things that we have to be better about with the environment.

    I wish my congressman wasn't an a-hole, but, well, it's a function of my district. I have written him before but I feel it is pointless with that guy.

  25. I just cringe at my co-workers who keep cases of water bottles under their desks. Now, I know I'm not eco=friendly on everything I do, (I'm a total shop-a-holic and love clothes)but the water bottle thing really bugs me too. Reusable water bottles are sooo cheap and we have filtered water through our fridge in the break room at work...
    I have to say though, I can't watch too many documentaries like this because I get panicky about the world coming to an end....but maybe that is the point - scare us into action!

  26. I love that you are so passionate about this. At my house we don't use water bottles hardly ever. We use washable bottles that all my kids carry with them and which I use. That being said, we do buy some water bottles in case of emergency. And by emergency, I mean like an earthquake or something of that nature. Not I am running out the door and need a water, am too lazy to fill it, so I'll just take this one.
    Now my two cents about legislation: I think that the government screws up pretty much everything that they try to fix and that they should keep out of personal freedoms. I'm tired of them telling me what I can and can't buy and now what I should and shouldn't eat. I think that educating people, like what you're doing on your blog and through the movie will help people make good decisions so much better than some law maker telling me how many water bottles should be produced or even taking away that option all together. Don't we all want the freedom to choose? Don't we live in America? I know it sounds harsh but even though it seems like it would be good for everyone, I don't like the idea of the government telling me what I can and can't buy. Like I said, just my two cents! Wow, you're not going to want me to comment anymore are you?

  27. This is a subject that's very dear to me!!! (I've never heard of this movie though. Where do you guys find all these awesome documentaries?)

    My husband drinks Coke and does buy that in plastic bottles, but we recycle everything religiously. As for me, I can't tell you the last time I bought a bottle of anything. I have two aluminum bottles and a Nathan handheld, and that's all I ever use.

    I think we could all stand to be a little more hippie-fied.

  28. I totally agree with you about bottled water. I have always felt that it was a waste of money and that it was silly for a plastic bottle to end up in a landfill because I was to ignorant to educate myself about the production and recycling process. Our culture allows us to be very wastefull people, and it makes me sad.

    If you are looking for something tonight to fill up your evening, I'm sure that the Amanda Knox Story will be in rerun on Lifetime. The story was a bit odd and made it even more difficult to figure out what the truth really is. It actually wasn't very good, but for some reason I could not turn it off!

  29. great post woman.


    I certainly can & must do better.

  30. Such an important issue! I hate seeing people pay money for huge containers of bottled water when it is so much better and cheaper to fill up a reusable bottle. My campus is pushing hard to get bottled waters off-campus, and they are always giving away reusable water bottles to help out.

  31. Girl, I am such a hippie!! Slash did you change your layout/banner?! I love!:)

  32. Great points. We went to Turks & Caicos last year on vacation, and they gave you one refillable bottle for the whole week for that very reason. Obviously they have space issues on a small island, but it's something to think about.

  33. Wow. Seeing the pictures really puts in in perspective.

  34. I want to see it. It is on my netflix list. I can admit that I can do better then I do now. For sure 100%. important issue, they should show that in schools. My kids are really young and they are already interested in this. I took them to visit a recycling center last year.

  35. I hear you. I keep one big bottle and refill. I rarely buy bottled water.

    Have fun on the trails.

    Jealous in Carmel Valley

  36. thanks for sharing kate! total eye-opener for me, i may just have to check out that film. i've been using a reusable bottle for a while now and have a Brita at home.

  37. ugh. this post hits home with me too. I teach at a school that is collecting bottle caps for some cause or another. I think they melt them down to make shampoo bottles or something. Anyway, I know its a good cause and it is great to reuse those bottle caps, however, the amount of caps that comes in makes me sick. I just keep thinking about the amount of bottles that must come from. Reusable bottles, people!

  38. Mick and I watched that doc, also. It's scary the things we just don't know (ignorance is bliss). I have never really been a bottled water drinker because I'm cheap. Ha! This is really good information to get out there. Thanks for posting!

  39. Great post. I'm going to put that documentary on my list of ones I want to watch! Thank you so much for sharing.

  40. LOVE THIS!! I could not agree more with you. We are all about using our camelback water bottles. We even use reusable thermas.' If we do ever have a plastic bottle we use it over and over again until it is gross. AWESOME POST!!!! Girl, I am sorry that you are spreading yourself to are crazy busy and training for a trail are my hero. Today is our day to be awesome at avoiding eating out of STRESS and fueling properly. I think the world of you!! You are absolutely amazing!

  41. I will definitely be watching this documentary tonight. I never knew the affects at all. I'm surprised of all the things I am blind to that are going on in this world.

  42. HUGE and important reminders, thank you.

    You said that you like Mira Mar, do you think it's dangerous to run there alone during the day? I've been hearing mixed thoughts on that!

  43. this is SO SO true. great post! I stopped drinking bottled water a long time ago for not only that reason but also because of the plastic itself causes cancer (yes, i know everything seems to cause cancer),... i like to think it helps.
    I have heard a lot about this documentary and this makes me want to watch it that much more.

  44. Bottled water offends my environmentalist self and my wallet. I only buy in dire circumastances. Why pay for something that is free?

  45. Kate,

    Thanks for visiting my blog. I was just scrolling through your blog and I am seriously in love. I think we would be fantastic friends in real life, haha.

    I have a random question for you (as a vegan). I'm not vegan but I have seriously been giving it some thought lately because 1) dairy is killing my insides and 2) for the first time I've really started thinking about animal treatment and all of the crap they add to animal meat. In the past it's kinda been out of "sight, out of mind", but rencently I can't shake it. I was wondering if you could recommend any good books on veganism.

    Thanks so much and have a great weekend :)


  46. Kate...once again you are freaking awesome, and my favorite, and you are going to singlehandedly change the world!!
    I used to be all about the bottled water, but I've been a lot better about using my reusables! This is another GREAT reminder of why that is so important. Have an AWESOME weekend! xoxoxo

  47. You know, it's not too late to sign up for the run!

  48. This article may interest you

    Houses made from plastic bottles. No exactly up to code without rebar and concrete, but still a good idea.

    I just found your blog. You are so cute!

  49. Plastic water bottles are my arch-nemesis. I seriously try to educate everyone that I meet about how ridiculous it is to pay for something that flows freely from your tap... and tap water has more State and Federal regulations than bottled water. I actually just wrote a blog about it, too.

    I guess I am going to have to watch that doc... but I feel like it will make me even more angry. Thanks for bringing more awareness to this problem!

  50. Great post. I love my Brita filter- it's cheaper than bottled water anyway! Save money and the environment, people!

  51. wow, this got a lot of discussion going! I am glad you reminded me to be more aware of this. I just helped direct a conference, and at one point I got very sad to look out at the sea of people sitting at our tables with half empty bottles of waters. I wished we just had an alhambra jug, and re-usable cups.

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