As I mentioned in my previous post, I was recommended the documentary, Tapped by my uncle. I sat down last night to watch it. Before watching the documentary, I always knew that buying bottled water was a (for lack of a more educated word) stupid thing to do. I mean if water comes out of your tap, then why on Earth would you purchase it? When it comes down to it, it’s purely a convenience thing; drink the water and throw the water bottle out. (Note that I didn’t say recycled.)
I highly recommend this film. I was very unaware of many of the facts and information that it revealed. It is very important that we are made aware of these kinds of things, we have NO idea how it affects our environment. There were many different stats displayed that revealed what a money guzzler industry bottled water is. I don’t really want to get into that side of it, just watch the film.
So, people buy bottled water. It’s a huge industry. If the bottles are recyclable, then we should be able to re-use them and be able to create a turnaround and not see them pollute and infiltrate the environment. So why do we see so many in the ocean, the beaches and in the garbage? When it rains, the plastic that is in the litter floats and makes it’s way into the rivers and streams and then we see it in our water sources. Charles Moore, the founder of the Algalita Marine Research Foundation, dissects the effect that bottled water has on our environment in Tapped.
Moore mentions that of the 80 million water bottles that are consumed by Americans every single day, so many of them end up on the southern beaches of the United States. Moore picks up a clump of what is supposed to be sand, but it is composed primarily of pieces of plastic. He calls it “the beach of the future.”
Because this garbage is out of sight and out of mind, that doesn’t necessarily mean that it all ends up in the right place. Bottled water is obviously not the only contributor to this, but if we eliminate it we can help in a really, really large way.
So much plastic is found in the middle of the ocean by biologists. In Tapped, Moore mentioned that in 2008 they went and took samples for the ratios of plastic to plankton. They found 46 times more plastic than plankton. In an hour and a half, I realized that this is a way larger problem than most of us think.
I know that this documentary is American, so I can’t really comment from the Canadian side because I have no facts, but I am sure we consume around the same per capita in conjunction with our waste management system, where I am sure a lot of these bottles find their way to our water sources too.
Now that we have done so much damage, how can we help out? It is pretty obvious that we should cut bottled water out. I can honestly say that I can check that off my list. There are also ways to get involved near you that can help clean up our oceans. One foundation that I am a part of in the Vancouver chapter of the Surfrider Foundation.
The Surfrider Foundation is a non-profit organization that is dedicated to helping keep beaches worldwide clean. The foundation was started by a group of surfers in 1984. They have over 50,000 members and 90 chapters all over the world. Some of their initiatives include the protection of clean water, low-impact beach access, beach preservation and preservation of special places. The Surfrider Foundation has already accomplished so many huge achievements such as the requirement of a national water quality monitoring from the federal BEACH Act in 2000.
Find your chapter and participate here : http://www.surfrider.org/
I am also participating with several other members of Emily Carr University of Art and Design’s Students’ Union to make Emily Carr the tenth campus in Canada to completely eliminate the sales of bottled water on their campus. It is a work in progress, I will keep you updated.
Remember, March 10th is Bottled Water Free Day! Take the pledge and spread the word.