Sometimes the only way we get to the truth, the way we get behind the marketing, ad campaigns and propaganda is through truth-tellers. We share with you some of the best reasons to evolve beyond plastic – your health, the environment, cost savings and more. But sometimes the visual story tells us more and moves us to more urgent action. The documentary Trapped is one of those visual stories sharing the truth of your plastic bottled water. Not only are plastic bottles leaching chemicals, clogging our landfills, floating in our oceans, but the about40% of bottled water is nothing more than tap water. That’s right, the same stuff that comes out of your faucet. So check out the trailer, then check out the film and tell us what you think.
For Earth Day next week, I decided to do a personal inventory of the amount of plastic in my daily life. I l kept it simple and didn’t include things related to having two young children (it’d seriously skew the number). I only counted plastic containers, products or pieces of plastic I consumed or touched as part of my day. I kept a Daily Plastic Tally for 5 whole days. And the results? It isn’t pretty – on an average day I touch 53 plastic products (the range went from 34 to 76). Here’s my average list of things:
Dental floss container
Make up pods
Toaster (plastic lever)
Dried fruit container
Hot water kettle (for tea)
iPhone charger (wires are coated in plastic and the charging base is plastic)
Credit cards (made of plastic)
Car (so many parts are made of PVCs and other plastics)
Tissue soft pack
Deli meat container
Snack zip-top bag
Frozen vegetable bags
TV Remote control
Camera (I take pictures nearly every day with a digital SLR, but the body is mostly plastic)
Various gym equipment (this could get long – think treadmill, bike helmet, swim goggles, push up bar, etc)
Random kitchen tools like spatulas, measuring cups
Dish drying rack
Laundry soap and measuring cap
To be fair, plastic is unavoidable in certain things and in some ways it can reduce the weight of products or increase the convenience. But as I kept tallying – day after day – I kept realizing I could make better choices and cut down on the plastic in my life. For the last 36 days, I’ve been tweeting the 1 green thing (see #my1greenthing) and challenging myself to make an effort to be better for my health and the environment. Thankfully my water bottle is glass with silicone grippers and cap and I switched to glass food storage containers. Small changes add up.
So what do you think? Or better still send me your Daily Plastics Number and any tips you have to cut down on the plastic.
We wanted to start the year by sharing what we think is the most compelling story on the story of bottled water. Annie Leonard, the very smart creator of The Story of Stuff, created this video last March in celebration of World Water Day. It was a near-instant viral success being picked up by news outlets including Fast Company and Huffington Post. Have a look and you’ll see why.
I know we like to share infographics, we find their ability to share our consumption in interesting ways helps us all better understand the impact of our plastic water bottle habit. Check out this one below from Do The Reuse Challenge that equates our U.S. water bottle consumption to fueling school buses. No matter how you look at it, we’re way over-consuming plastic.