The hardest thing I have found about reducing my use of plastic water bottles is when I am extremely thirsty and forgot to bring my reusable water bottle with me. Although I can find a water fountain in any building, it is very convenient to have a water bottle I can access at any moment during class. On days when I forget my reusable water bottle at home, I find myself very tempted to go to the cafe in Skillman to purchase a plastic water bottle to carry around with me for the day. I’ve caved a few times, but I’ve tried very hard to remember my water bottle every morning. It’s the days I’m in a really big hurry that I tend to forget my reusable water bottle. The most positive aspect I have found about using a reusable water bottle instead of plastic water bottles, is my reusable water bottle has become an accessory. I feel like I’m missing something when I forget to bring my reusable water bottle with me to class. I’ve found that I actually really like the water bottle, as weird as it sounds, and I’ve found that I think it will be a habit I will keep after the sustainable behavior challenge is over. This behavior change has made me feel good about myself because I feel like I am having a positive impact on the environment. Rather than understanding climate change the impact humans have on the environment and not doing anything about it, I feel like I am contributing to making the world a better place. If more people take a simple step to sustainable behaviors like I have, I think there would be a very large impact on the environment in a positive way.
The website “Bottled Water Costs Consumers and the Environment” shows the impact of decreasing the use of plastic water bottles on sustainability. The fossil fuels needed to produce and transport plastic water bottles in 2007 was equivalent to fueling approximately 1.5 billion cars. The website explains that the United States overall has the cleanest tap water in the world, and that if we focused our attention economically to providing clean tap water to everyone nation-wide it would be more cost-efficient and more sustainable for the environment. Although a counter argument of the use of plastic water bottles is that they can be recycled, the website claims that approximately 75% of all plastic water bottles end up in landfills, lakes, streams, and oceans where they are likely to never fully decompose. The website has a campaign to “Take Back the Tap” which is aimed at providing access to clean tap water nation-wide. Clearly there are more sustainable ways, such as providing clean tap water to individuals, that would reduce the use of plastic water bottles and therefore make a more sustainable environment with the reduction of fossil fuels and decrease in plastic water bottles in landfills.