Tuesday, September 22, 2009

Want Cheaper Fuel? Quit Buying Bottled Water!

Most people these days are fed up with the high price of gasoline and other fossil fuels.
It's unfortunate that most people don’t realize that fuel is only a small part of the big oil picture. Remembering back a couple of decades, gasoline was only $1.00/gallon and I never saw people running around everywhere they go with those silly little plastic bottles of water.

I always thought buying water by the ounce was economically foolish. These same people would probably buy baking soda by the gram too. I buy close to 6000 gallons of slightly arsenic and nitrate tainted drinking water per month for about $20.00 plus fees and I don’t have to drive anywhere to get it. The water comes right out of my tap.

The plastic that makes those bottles is made out of oil and everyday millions of them are being tossed in the trash. Americans are carelessly and foolishly tossing “oil” out with the trash. Then, they have the nerve to bitch about the high cost of oil. The majority of Americans fail to realize that they are a very big part of the problem. Now, doesn’t it seem silly to spend billions of dollars to get oil out of the ground, only to put it back in?

The petroleum products that make those bottles are transported to an injection molding factory where they are initially made. For a brief period of time, I actually worked in a factory where two liter beverage containers were made. I also made those 1.75 liter vodka bottles and 1 gallon milk jugs.

Once produced, the bottles are transported to the facility where they are filled with water. Strangely enough, the bottles cost more than the water. Once the bottles are filled, they are packaged into cases which are usually made of plastic and cardboard. Those cases are then put on pallets which are then wrapped in plastic shrink wrap. These pallets must be loaded onto vehicles and shipped to various retailers. At the retailer, the pallets are broken down and the shrink wrap is tossed in the trash. A garbage truck will then come to the rear of the store and haul it to a landfill while customers enter the front of the store to purchase the bottled water. The customer drives the water home, drinks it and throws the empty bottle in the trash. Twice a week a garbage truck shows up to haul all of those empty bottles to the landfill. A huge amount of fuel is required to transport those silly little bottles all over the country. Imagine all the waste that little bottle creates.

The numerous facilities that produce this product require huge quantities of energy a.k.a. fuel to crank out millions of bottles day and night. The byproducts of that production end up in our atmosphere.

Water is quite heavy, making transportation costs very high. Water from the tap is delivered to most homes using only gravity which is still free and environmentally friendly. The Romans figured this out thousands of years ago, but for some reason, modern Americans would rather use huge quantities of crude oil, gasoline and diesel fuel to get water in little plastic bottles.

Many people have no clue as to what they are doing to the planet in the name of convenience and the time for them to wise up is long overdue.
“Human society sustains itself by transforming nature into garbage.” --Mason Cooley, 1927-2002

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