According to the Container Recycling Institute,
approximately 1.9 million tons of plastic bottles are wasted each year in the U.S. alone. Not
only does overconsumption of bottled water waste oil during the production
process (enough to fuel a few hundred thousand cars each year), but also the
non-biodegradable nature of plastic means that these bottles will be used maybe
once or twice then discarded at a landfill, where they will rot for nearly
1,000 years. In short, plastic bottles are horrible for the environment,
contain chemicals that could be harmful to your health, and cost you more out
of pocket than if you had brought a stainless
steel water bottle with you and refilled it from a tap or drinking fountain
Speaking of the environment, have you ever heard of the Great Pacific Garbage Patch? According to National
Geographic, it’s a giant mass of plastic debris and “microplastics”
floating in the Pacific Ocean that not only blocks sunlight (preventing it from
reaching the algae and plankton that need sunlight to survive), but also chokes
marine life that mistake the plastic for food and strangles them if they get
caught in the plastic. Even if you recycle, there’s no guarantee that your
plastic rubbish will avoid the ocean altogether, so there’s always a risk that
your consumer habits could be at least partially responsible for the
destruction of sea life.
There are many ‘green’ movements asking Americans to stop
and think about the damage caused by our overuse of plastic items. Current
advocacies include: ending the practice of selling six packs of beer and soda
with the plastic rings, encouraging shoppers to bring reusable bags instead of
plastic, and avoiding the use of plastic cups or bottles.
Aligned with the go-green movements, many stores are
starting to adopt practices that have existed in Europe for years. Some grocers
are charging extra for customers who opt
to take plastic bags (or they’re offering discounts to customers who bring their own, reusable bags). Coffee
shops are also jumping in on the trend by offering discounts on coffee to customers who bring in their own coffee cup
(rather than using the paper/plastic cups that may or may not be recycled after
a single use).
Going green doesn’t require any drastic changes to your
lifestyle. Even switching from plastic to more permanent cups and containers
isn’t difficult – you can easily get coupons
for items like these from SumoCouponor
go to a local discount store to buy a cheap water bottle. Over the long run, in
addition to helping the environment, you’ll also save quite a bit of money by
drinking water from the tap instead of constantly opening and discarding
plastic water bottles. It’s a win-win for everyone.
Kelly Kehoe is a staff writer for Money Street Smart and works with SumoCoupon.com, a site full coupons and coupon codes.