I'm ever so busy doing what I do, and even more so, NOT doing what I do. When I am out and about topics and ideas pop into my mind and then Poof- like a puff of smoke from a prop gun -> gone or I have conversations with myself and promise to do a little research when time allows and then like a puff of smoke from a prop gun -> gone! Perhaps this an adjunct to the other tortures of being in my 60's.
I hate it when I surf the blogs out there and people apologize for their absence and the apologies are a year or more old- detritus, just like the plastic left behind by people who won't clean up after themselves. http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2010/08/100819141915.htm
and THAT reminded me of one of my bug-a-boos, plastic bottles! For the most part I speak of plastic water bottles but it applies to other plastic bottles as well,
It has been an exceptionally long hot spell of summer weather here in Ontario with virtually no rain until last week. Hot, hot , hot make no mistake about that! Perhaps on another summer the frequent thunder showers might have swept the trash down the gutters where perhaps the diligent homeowners, and tenants, have picked up the droppings outside their homes and secreted the empties into the blue bins. This year however is isn't possible to walk a block without finding an abandoned water bottle tossed to the roadside crushed and empty leaching their toxic components into the waterstream. Run off goes into the river, untreated, and at the other end of the system we take drinking water - treated for bacterial and key contaminants back out of the river. It is the same river !
Now I have a thing against bottled water. I think it is the basic right of every individual in a wealthy country such as our own to have access to free clean drinking water. It is what we strive to help to provide to developing countries around the world. It is a manufactured need to have people buying bottled water
( slated to reach 65.9 billion dollars world wide in 2012) and I object to the cost of processing those bottles that are thoughtfully recycled and I resent the cost of cleaning up after those that do not recycle . On line sources vary in presenting the facts about the percentage of bottles recycled from the Council of Canadians 50% to the 70% cited elsewhere. I have a personal memory of reading somewhere that in my community which has a high compliance with curbside recycling only 35% of plastic water bottles are recycled though I have no time right now to track down the source. This whole scenario of bottled water plays out wrong on so many levels.
When we recycle the bottles, IF we recycle the bottles, there is the cost - monetary and ecologically to do so and if the bottles are recycled, is it done locally or shipped overseas for processing? and if it is shipped overseas for processing (using more resources) is it done responsibly there? OR just dumped in a third world country to contaminate their soil or burned to contaminate both soil and air?
And what of those that are not recycled and end up in the land fills here - leaching contaminants into the local water table, filling what is often scarce agricultural land with residue that takes decades to degrade and those are the ones disposed of what of those on the pathways, trails, tracks and roadsides left to degrade at their own pace creating hazards for wildlife and birds and creating breeding grounds for mosquitoes?
My meandering mind only takes this one direction for now but I have tried from time to time to create a flow chart going the other direction from the store counter top to the source and I simply can't the implications are simply too widespread the steps to great. Not so with tap water it's all pretty straight forward. So my final thought is - Really are you that thirsty ? Can you not wait until you can turn on the tap and get yourself a glass of fresh water? it's the right thing to do.
Other thoughts on bottled water:
AND just imagine what the money going to bottled water could be used for . .