Forgot your reusable water bottle — and got so thirsty you wasted money on FIJI water? Turn that eco-faux pas into valuable environmental research by saving the bottle — and joining Environmental Working Group’s 2009 Bottled Water Label Scavenger Hunt. You could win a snazzy stainless steel water bottle to prevent such faux pas in the future!

The skinny behind the scavenger hunt: Eco-nonprofit EWG’s doing some research on bottled water, which as you may have heard, often contains scary pollutants AND could be leaching estrogen-mimicking compounds from their plastic containers to boot. Despite those dirty findings, many water bottles boast labels that promise the purest, cleanest water from some faraway, untouched source.

Are those promises true? That’s what EWG wants to find out. To help, just follow these three steps:

1. The next time you need to buy a bottle of water (even we EWG’ers sometimes forget our reusable bottle) choose a non-sparkling, unflavored water bottled in glass or clear plastic.

2. Carefully remove the entire label from the bottle. We need all the information from the label, so if necessary, cut the plastic around the label to get it all off.

3. Write down:
* the name and location of the store where you purchased the water
* the date you purchased the water
* your name, email and mailing address

4. Mail your labels and other information to:
Environmental Working Group
Attn: Nneka Leiba
1436 U St. NW, Suite 100
Washington, DC 20009

Everyone who sends in a label get a Shopper’s Guide to Pesticides magnet — and whoever sends in the most labels (no duplicates!) by June 15 gets an EWG-logo’d stainless steel water bottle and reusable grocery tote printed with EWG’s pollution solutions tips.

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