My last two blog entries since moving to Salt Lake City have shown some negative environmental news in Utah so I decided it was time to start highlighting some of the positive efforts going on in my state. Let me start off by saying that I have never lived in a place that was so health conscious. It seems like everyone I meet here is either an outdoor enthusiast, an exercise fanatic, a health-food lover or some combination of the three.
Salt Lake City is an active town and anyone who has ever lived an active lifestyle in an urban setting knows that it is easy to turn to quick and convenient bottled drinks to keep yourself going.
We can pretty much all agree that it is not environmentally friendly or economically feasible to buy bottled water every time you need to hydrate yourself on the go. While it seems that almost everyone owns a reusable water bottle these days, when you live in a city it's not always easy to find a place that will refill your water bottle without requiring you to make a purchase. This is why the government of Salt Lake City's sustainability department
has teamed up with a program called "Tap It," to make sure that utilizing reusable water bottles is not only eco-friendly, but convenient, as well.
"Tap It" is a network of cafes and restaurants around the United States that will let residents refill their reusable water bottles for free. "Tap It" encourages residents to trade plastic for reusable water bottles by making it easy to find water sources. If you have regular access to the web, you can check out the "Tap It" site
for a list of businesses around the country who are participating in the program. If you are an iPhone user, you can download the "Tap It" application. For those of you who aren't so technologically savvy, you can just look for the "Tap It" sticker in the windows of your favorite restaurants and cafes.
According to the Sierra Club
, more than 30 billion plastic water bottles are discarded each year in the United States and they can take up to 1,000 years to decompose. These bottles that we use to make our lives convenient and easy will linger on the planet ten times longer than we will! Not only does the bottled water industry create a lot of waste with its product, it wastes a lot of energy in production. Meeting the U.S. demand for bottle water requires the energy equivalent of about 40 million barrels of oil per year!
Saying no to bottled water is one of the simplest ways to be a friend to our planet and it will save you money in the process. For those of you who already own reusable water bottles, check out the "Tap It" website and never beg a restaurant for free water again! For those who don't have reusable water bottles: go buy one. With programs like "Tap It" in place, convenience is no longer an excuse to buy bottled water.