Water Bottles

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Hydration is important. I preach that basic truth of human nutrition every day and make sure that my son takes a bottle of water to school.  I know they have faucets there, but still, it never hurts to have some extra water.

Ok, you know where this is going, I don't even have to say it, but here it goes: having water available is a must but single use plastic water bottles are a big no-no! They are a huge source of waste and pollution. Instead of rephrasing let me just quote National Geographic (ok, the kids' edition, but still, they are believable):

Americans buy more bottled water than any other nation in the world, adding 29 billion water bottles a year to the problem. In order to make all these bottles, manufacturers use 17 million barrels of crude oil. That’s enough oil to keep a million cars going for twelve months.

Think of that: 19 billion plastic water bottles - a year! They end up in landfills and in oceans were they do not degrade or only degrade very slowly. Basically what happens is a process called photodegradation in which the UV light breaks down the plastic in ever smaller pieces (eventually we don't see anymore and think, great, the plastic is gone). These pieces can be consumed by bacteria but it takes a very long time (scientists think around 50 years) and sun light (which there isn't much of at the bottom of the ocean or a landfill).

A lot of the plastic gets burned which releases toxic gases and, obviously, isn't a great option either.

Energy and water required to make one disposable plastic water bottle.

Energy and water required to make one disposable plastic water bottle.

Here is a great little graph summarizing the resources it takes to make a plastic water bottle. It's from the City of Portland.

Another graph from the same website makes it clear how environmentally friendly reusable bottles are. Sure, they need more energy to make than a flimsy plastic bottle, but that investment is recouped very quickly.

After only a few uses the reusable bottle has recouped the larger investment in resources to make them.

After only a few uses the reusable bottle has recouped the larger investment in resources to make them.

Water Quality

Now, there are places where people don't have the tap water option. Flint, MI comes to mind. The Bay Area generally doesn't. In fact, at least up until now (add your favorite quip about the degrading state of our environmental protections here) most of the US has save drinking water. One common misconception is, that bottled water is more strictly regulated than tap water. That is not true!

It's important to note that the federal government does not require bottled water to be safer than tap. In fact, just the opposite is true in many cases. Tap water in most big cities must be disinfected, filtered to remove pathogens, and tested for cryptosporidium and giardia. Bottled water does not have to be.

Source: National Resource Defense Council

How safe exactly, is the South Bay tap water? I spare you the research and let you know that the tap water in the South Bay is safe to drink. (Just to make sure, there are always exceptions, people with certain diseases, compromised immun systems, etc. might need to adhere to stricter standards, I am talking about the average person.) Some cities had some monir violations a few years back but the water quality is good. If you want to check for yourself here is a link to an organization called MyTapWater.

Make Yourself a Bottle Carrier

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Of course, there is a tie to FabMo in all of this. Good stewardship of the earth is an important part of our  mission at FabMo. We rescue materials and then we can use these materials to make beautiful things that can help further protect the environment.

So how about making a pretty bottle holder to carry your reusable bottle around? Since mine isn’t done yet I am taking the cheap way out and just give link a few tutorials.

Here is the domestic goddess, Martha Stewart, showing you how to make a really simple one with ribbon https://www.marthastewart.com/920016/how-make-bottle-holder.

This is a more sturdy version and can easily be made with FabMo material: http://madquilter.blogspot.com/2009/01/square-base-water-bottle-carrier-tote.html

and this one:


Or - come up with your own ideas and patterns - that’s what I generally do, which is probably why, nothing is ever quite ready in time for my blogs :-(

Tina Baumgartner