We’re not talking about a kale smoothie! Whether you’re drinking water, iced tea, your favorite sports drink or an iced mocha latte, your choice of container can make a difference to the watershed.
As convenient as it is to grab a plastic bottle out of your refrigerator or a gas station store to stay hydrated on the go, the sad truth is that our convenience comes with a huge cost: 91% of plastic waste is not recycled! All this plastic trash ends up in landfills or making its way through waterways into the ocean. If it makes it to the landfill as trash, that plastic takes about 400 years to decompose. In the rivers, streams and in the ocean, it poses a huge threat to aquatic life.
You can do your part to minimize plastic pollution with these 4 tips:
- Trust the Tap: Tap water is a safe choice throughout Riverside County. The EPA requires that all community water systems prepare an annual water quality report, called a Consumer Confidence Report (CCR) and these are generally available online. To find your CCR, visit the EPA website here.
- Choose to Reuse: Invest in several stainless steel tumblers, making it convenient to fill and carry for every day travel. Cleaning by hand is a cinch. Use regular soap and water for daily cleaning. Allow to soak in 1-2 tablespoon of vinegar with water for fifteen minutes for extra cleaning. Be sure to use non-abrasive materials to wash and dry.
- Skip the Straw: Let your server know that you don’t need a straw and drink straight from the glass. The glasses are cleaned with the dishes and utensils you’re using so a straw won’t make a bit of difference! If you’re mouth sensitive to cold or heat, consider bringing a reusable stainless steel straw to restaurants.
- Recycle: Only about 1 in 4 plastic bottles are recycled. If you must use a plastic bottle, make sure to recycle it! Discard in a public recycled bin while you’re traveling or stash in your bag or car to recycle at home. Let that plastic bottle become insulation for a ski jacket or sleeping bag in its next life!