Off the Bottle: Quick Switch #005

Since I've been rambling about the waters of baptism this month, water issues have been on my mind. Thus, a super-simple #QuickSwitch for your Wednesday morning.

One of the quickest steps toward sustainability and living righteously with creation is to forego plastic water bottles.

Quick Switch 005

Let's just let them go, beloveds.

Under normal circumstances, there just ain’t no need for their waste of resource and finance. Those suffering due to natural disasters or chemical spills have reason to use packaged water. Those of us who find ourselves safe and out of harm’s way, however, can go off the bottle.

What’s wrong with disposable water bottles?  

Well, I am glad you asked. This “Story of Stuff” video tells it well:

To sum it up:

  • Bottled water is a scam. Major corporations created a market in order to sell you water 3,000 times more expensive than tap.
  • Tap is usually cleaner and tastier than bottled, which is funny because…
  • Most bottled water companies are selling you basic tap water wrapped in plastic. Toxins from the plastic itself leach into the bottled water.
  • Bottled water has less safety regulations and quality checks than municipal tap water.

To make the switch:

Save your money, do good for your neighbors, and love on the planet by banning the bottle from your life. Here are some tips to help you in this simple and life-giving pursuit.

My  trusty coffee thermos  and pretty water bottle with me on the first day of spring semester this year.

My trusty coffee thermos and pretty water bottle with me on the first day of spring semester this year.

  • Claim your canteen. Grab a reusable water bottle that fits your lifestyle. I used a Nalgene through college, then moved to lidded Mason jars, and now I’m using this pretty little thing my mom gave me for my birthday (pictured). Water bottles come in all shapes, sizes, and materials. Find one that you love and keep it with you always.
  • Keep a cup… at work! If you have an office or space to call your own at work, keep a reusable cup there for quick trips to the water fountain or breakroom—or for instances when you forget your water bottle at home. #beenthere
  • Carry a cooler. When I was a youth pastor, we carried a large Gatorade cooler everywhere. You know the kind, with the spigot on the side? That way we always had water, but NEVER had to resort to disposable bottles. Personal water bottles were always first on the list of things to bring on Youth Group trips and outings. It took a few tries, but the teens easily and quickly latched onto the idea. If I get to have kids of my own one day, I plan to pick up this idea again for days that we are on the go.
  • Coast through security. I am always the thirstiest when I travel, especially by plane. Airports have made it pretty easy to bring your own bottle--just make sure it is empty when you arrive. Atlanta, Charlotte, AND Dallas-Fort Worth airports have refill stations, so I bet your nearest hangar does as well. 

Further Action:

  • Investigate who controls your community watershed. That's right. Get nosy. REAL nosy. County and state officials are elected in the USA to serve the people and pursue the common good. Make sure they are doing their job, especially when it comes to water.
  • Encourage your church or school programs to go off the bottle. Consider volunteering to coordinate the behind-the-scenes stuff necessary to make that happen.
  • Host a viewing. "Tapped" is a well-made independent documentary about the human and creation costs of bottled water. Invite folks into your home or favorite gathering spot, put out some popcorn, serve ice water (duh), and see what good comes about!

Bonus video, anyone?

Here's another reason to kiss bottled water goodbye. Dental hygienists want us off the bottle, too. :)  

So, there it is.

Your simple quick switch toward sustainability: ban the bottle.

Are you off the bottle? Tell us about your success in the comments below.

Good luck, and happy switching!