Did you know it requires 1400 times more energy to produce bottled water than tap water? Today is Blog Action Day, and thousands of bloggers across the globe are writing on the topic of water. So I thought it would be a perfect day to highlight the new video created by the folks at Ethical Ocean, a new online ethical marketplace, showing just how much energy goes into producing bottled water.
And also highlight the results of Ethical Ocean’s Plastic Challenge.
And give away a reusable stainless steel water bottle.
So read on…
How Much Coal, Diesel, and Water Does It Take to Produce a One Litre Bottle of Water?
Ethical Ocean did the math. Watch the following video to learn the numbers.
I’ve written extensively about bottled water… about the environmental harm from extraction to disposal. And most of us know about the petroleum that goes into the bottle itself. But I hadn’t really considered all the energy and water inputs required to create and ship one bottle: the equivalent of 670ml of coal to power the bottle manufacturing plant, 270ml of diesel fuel to ship, and 2 litres of water just to process the bottles. That doesn’t even include the water in the bottle itself!
If you’re worried about global warming or saving energy, consider cutting out the most unnecessary products first. Bottled water is up there because not only is it harmful environmentally, but it’s completely unnecessary in a country with regulations to ensure clean drinking water. Buy a filter if your water is not perfect. A filter is less expensive than buying bottles of water, and it won’t have the same negative impact on the planet.
(If you’re wondering how Ethical Ocean came up with its figures, check out the references listed at the bottom of their bottled water inputs calculation sheet.
Give Advice, Show Your Plastic, and Win a Bottle!
Four of the Ethical Ocean team members are taking the Fake Plastic Fish Show Your Plastic Trash Challenge this month. (Read my Intro on their blog.) They’ve completed their first week of collecting and tallying their plastic waste, and the results are in. As you can imagine, some participants have further to go than others, but they could all use some advice.
To enter to win a stainless steel bottle, please check out their Challenge Results and leave at least one comment with suggestions for what they can do to cut their plastic even more this month. Receive 1 entry for each comment, for a total of 4 (since there are 4 participants.) AND receive 5 entry points for committing to taking the challenge yourself! Just leave a comment at the bottom of this post letting me know what you’ve done.
11/04/2010 Update: The winner of the Ethical Ocean stainless steel water bottle is Natalie. Congratulations!
Ethical Market Place
The Ethical Ocean Marketplace works by requiring its vendors to meet criteria in 6 categories: eco-friendly, fairly traded, organic, animal-friendly, people-friendly, social change. But it doesn’t stop there. Realizing that there are conflicting opinions about what makes something eco-friendly, for example, Ethical Ocean takes a crowd source approach, asking its users to rate products and leave comments about the claims made by each company.
For example, there are bamboo products offered on the web site. And there is debate as to whether bamboo fabric is actually eco-friendly or not. Instead of banning bamboo from the site, they have published the bamboo debate on their blog and ask readers to weigh in. But probably a more effective way to weigh in is to rate the bamboo products on the site, voting for whether the product is truly ethical or not and posting a review.
The goal is to provide a space for consumers to hold companies accountable for their green claims, to reward those who are truly ethical, and to call out companies that are merely greenwashing.