Kicking the Bottle Habit

Goodbye, Old Friend

I said I would be greener in 2011.  I’ve got plenty of room for improvement but one thing I know I must do right now is kick my bottle habit. 

It’s time.

It’s never easy to say goodbye to an old friend who has been through so much with you.  The 1.5 liter Poland Spring bottle has been by my side every day for several years — a move that now seems short-sighted, irresponsible and, well, selfish. 

PS 1.5L was a constant companion.  She was with me for my daily commute and hung out with me in my office every day.  She joined us for every car ride we’ve taken as a family, right there in her dedicated drink holder.  She had a special place on my nightstand,  was there for every outdoor walk I took these last few years, and even attended the births of my children. 

Excessive?  Sure.  Uneducated of me?  I’ll own it.  Environmentally hostile?  Gulp (no pun intended).  OK.  

(But damnit, I was well-hydrated — you have to give me that.)   

We’ve all had friends who were not good for us — friends that our parents, our spouses and our other friends have gently told us to reconsider, to even abandon.  But it’s hard.  You don’t want to believe that this friend is not really a friend.  I knew, deep down, this day would come, but I wasn’t ready until now.

PS 1.5L, I did some reading up on your contributions to society and, as I suspected, I didn’t like what I saw.   The Daily Green and Ecosalon have told me this much about you and your kind:

  • 1.5 million barrels of oil are used every year to manufacture disposable plastic water bottles for the U.S. market. That’s enough to fuel 100,000 cars for a year according to an article in the New York Times.
  • The bottling process itself wastes two gallons of water for every gallon of water that it actually packages.
  • Americans buy an estimated 28 billion plastic water bottles every year, nearly 80% of which will end up in a landfill. One bottle can take thousands of years to decompose.

I knew, in generalities, what the facts would point out — but the specifics are staggering.  There’s no two ways about it.

And then there’s the cost.  If I do the math, I might weep over what I’ve spent on this friend (you’re welcome, Poland Spring headquarters).  So let’s not do that — let’s just silently agree that this has been an unnecessary and steep expense.  Thanks.

If I may put up one last morsel of protest, I just plain like PS 1.5L better than my (free) tap water.  My husband laughs at me and often challenges me to a blind taste test.  (I know I would prevail, by the way.  You drink as much water as I have and tell me you wouldn’t know the difference.)  But, still.  It’s not enough – not nearly enough — of a reason to keep my old friend around any longer. 

{Photo courtesy:}

So, PS 1.5L, I guess that’s it.  I wish I could say, “It’s not you, it’s me,” but that won’t work here.  It’s definitely you.  It’s better to just walk away then to drag this out by slowly diminishing our friendship.  I’m not proud of how long it has taken me to get to this point but maybe my parting letter here can convince other holdouts to leave the likes of you behind as well.  Then I would feel like some good could come out of our destructive friendship.

Oh, and by the way, tell your evil cousin, the plastic bag, that she’s next.

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  1. Kudos to you for taking the plunge (into filtered tap water that is!) Every little step that each of us can take will help not even on a global level, but in our communities and homes as well. I’m going to try to take some inspiration from you and make a change in my own life. Thx!

  2. whitney says:

    Nice domain! I too used to hang out with PS 1.5, and she is beautiful. But I also gave her up, which has greatly improved my own pocket change. I can’t do the aluminum containers (metallic-y water is gross), but I reuse glass tea bottles and refill with filtered. You’ll get used to the taste, or try a squeeze of lemon or orange in it to cover. Since you’ll just have one of those in your bag, right?

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