MHC Launches "Kick the Bottle"

Posted: February 29, 2008

Bottled water is convenient, trendy, and healthier than soda. But the plastic bottles litter the landscape, create mountains of waste, and take oil to produce--1.5 billion barrels of oil annually to satisfy U.S. consumers alone, enough to fuel some 100,000 cars for a year, according to the Washington D.C.-based Earth Policy Institute. Plastic water bottles also take up to 1,000 years to biodegrade, yet U.S. consumers throw 10 billion of them "away" each year.

On top of all this, bottled water typically costs 1,000 times more than tap water, which, in the United States, is carefully regulated for quality. Yet the "designer water" craze that started in the 1980s is still going strong, with global consumers now spending $100 billion on bottled water annually.

The Center for the Environment's "Kick the Bottle" campaign is raising awareness about these impacts in order to reduce bottled water consumption and lighten the environmental footprint of the MHC community. During the week of March 3-7, the center will hold events, activities, and info sessions in Blanchard and other locations around campus to inform our community about the local and global impacts of bottled water from its manufacture to its disposal.

"Water is being called the 'Blue Gold' of the twenty-first century," said Chris Baskind, publisher of Lighter Footsteps, a Web-based magazine dedicated to sustainable living. "Multinational corporations are stepping in to purchase groundwater and distribution rights wherever they can, and the bottled water industry is an important component in their drive to commoditize what many feel is a basic human right: the access to safe and affordable drinking water."

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