Tuesday, August 19, 2008

Easy Green Tip: Thirsty for a Sigg

So, I feel like a dummy, and I'll tell you why. I, like many people, drink water from bottles. As you know, water comes in plastic bottles. This industry, at last glance, is worth $8 BILLION dollars (it has a higher growth than any other drinks in the beverage industry, even alcoholic beverages!). The reason why I feel like a dummy is: the public perception is that bottled water is cleaner than drinking water from the tap, when in actuality the opposite is true:

While the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) regulates the quality of public water supplies, the agency has no authority over bottled water. Bottled water that crosses state lines is considered a food product and is overseen by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA), which does mandate that it be bottled in sanitary conditions using food-grade equipment... The FDA is allowed to interpret the EPA's regulations and apply them selectively to bottled water. As Senior Attorney Erik Olson of the NRDC explains, "Although the FDA has adopted some of the EPA's regulatory standards, it has decided not to adopt others and has not even ruled on some
points after several years of inaction."

One brand of "spring water," which had a graphic of mountains and a lake on the label, was actually taken from a well in Massachusetts in the parking lot of an industrial facility. The well, which is no longer used for bottled water, was near hazardous waste and had experienced contamination by industrial chemicals.

That's pretty disgusting! So essentially this "natural spring water" that we are being sold is actually not at all from a spring and is actually dirtier than the water coming from my faucet. Once again, THANKS FDA!! (I'm really beginning to believe this government agency is completely useless)

Additionally, only 3-5% of plastics are actually recycled! When I tell you the number of plastic water bottles added to U.S. landfills EVERY DAY, you're going to freak...brace yourself....ready?
More than 60 million plastic bottles end up in landfills and incinerators every day – a total of about 22 billion last year. Six times as many plastic water bottles were thrown away in the US in 2004 as in 1997.
Not to mention, it has been discovered that plastic does something called "leaching" which means the teeny, tiny, toxic molecules that make up the plastic actually break down into whatever is being held inside the container. This includes water that we drink and anything in cans as, nowadays, cans are lined with plastic. Crazy huh?

And if you read the Plastic Ocean article I'm obsessed with you will know that this "leaching" is linked to the following health disorders: mimicking the effect of estrogen on the human body in males, which has been making male animals grow female organs, cause birth defects and also are linked cause of obesity.

But, I love my water. I like it still, fizzy, mixed with fruit juice. You name it, I'm drinking it at an unprecedented rate (especially since my diet coke ban, which I would like to point out is now at 21 days!). So what's a water lovin' girl to do?

I was at Whole Foods a couple of weeks ago and saw these awesome water bottles. They are made by a company called Sigg and they are made of aluminum and NOT lined with plastic. I leave it at my desk and just fill it up at a water fountain. There are many companies out there that make a similar looking bottle, but I like these best. I got one in classic off white. Pretty fancy huh?

Are you going to get a Sigg and stop the "leaching" into your body? Leave me a comment and tell me your thoughts!


Anonymous said...

One thing about Sigg's liner -- the company says it is safe, but won't share what it is made of with the public.

Anonymous said...

There is one other thing - not all plastic is the same - the plastic in water bottles is very flimsy, for lack of a better word, and does leach. They should never be used more than once, if they are used.

John Kim said...

I don't know about the whole harmful than tap idea...check this out http://news.aol.com/health/article/trace-arsenic-in-water-tied-to-diabetes/140652?icid=100214839x1208156386x1200435290

Plus...tap just tastes funny...

Danielle said...

Well considering most bottled water is just tap water re-bottled anyways, I prefer to not pay for the privilege of ingesting arsenic. Also, New York Tap water is among the cleanest in the world. They are not actually from "Springs"

Also, did you know that one brand made by Coke has sodium in it to make you more thirsty so you keep buying their brand?

Danielle said...

And you can get a filter for your tap so that the water you drink wont taste weird

Anonymous said...

some comments from across the 'water' in London...

I got my company to install a water fountain that is connected to the regular water supply but filters and chills it rather than using plastic water bottles like lots of old fashioned water coolers.

Kaz - London

CinnamonJenkinz said...

Thanks for the tip!

I'm going to rush out and get a SIGG. I re-use a water bottle at the office.....ICK....I am at this very moment full of tiny lil molecular toxins! Scary.

You're my favorite hippie!



Anonymous said...

i thought i was doing my part (and saving money) by only buying and using 2 poland springs bottles a week and refilling when necessary. I was shocked when i read some of those stats...i'll be buying a sigg bottle to keep by my desk...thanks for the tip! Love your blog!!

Anonymous said...

Hi Dani! I love your website. It is great to see you getting the message out there. I have been a greenie myself for many years. I stopped using bottled water about 8 years ago when the school of science at UM took us to Miami-Dade water treatment center.Being there taught me that city water actually goes through a rigorous filtration process and is constantly being tested for toxicity. Also all these records for chemicals found in city water is public and easily obtained. Well water and bottled water is bad because it is not regularly checked for these things. Often times they are contaminated by local cleaners or people just repairing cars in their yard. use the tap and a H20 filter and that is the best water out there!