Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Bottled Water is Not the Answer

Bottled Water Is Not The Answer

Most people who drink bottled water do so mainly for convenience, but there are those who believe that bottled water is healthy.  What they may not know is that the bottled water industry is NOT regulated by the federal government because it is classified as a “food” and falls under the standards of the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA).
So while tap water from our faucet is regulated by the stricter Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) the FDA’s water regulations are not as strict – and they regulate the bottled water industry.  So while you could have bottled water that is unacceptable by the EPA, it could be just fine for the FDA and your local water bottling company.
Amazingly, bottled water is not tested for Cryptosporidium (a parasite) even though a 1999 study by the NRDC stated that 1 out of 5 (20%) bottled water tests contained higher than acceptable bacterial counts.
But, even with the FDA’s low standards, most corporations don’t comply with the FDA’s regulations concerning bottled water.  In fact, 60 – 70% of these corporations avoid any federal regulation at all, simply by bottling and distributing their water within the same state.  As long as they don’t cross state lines, they are exempt from all federal regulations.
As a child, when we heard that in the future water would be sold in little containers and cost more than gasoline, we thought that was beyond ridiculous!   Yet, here we are, 40 years later, paying over a dollar for 16 ounces of water in a plastic bottle (There are eight 16 ounce servings in one gallon x $1 each  = $8 per gallon).
And that is just the tip of the iceberg when it comes to the true cost of bottled water.  If you’re an environmentally conscious person, then you may already be aware that Americans are throwing out 2.5 million bottles per hour!  Please read that again – 2.5 million bottles per HOUR!

So, it is doubtful that we have reduced the size of the Pacific Garbage Patch which was twice the size of Texas when it was first discovered over 10 years ago.
Keep in mind that the Pacific Garbage Patch is only ONE of EIGHT of these floating landfills found around the world.  In 1975, a study showed that we were throwing 8 million pounds of plastic into our oceans annually.  Again, it is doubtful that this has been reduced in the last 35 years.
So, where does it all end?  How can we stop this madness?  Well, you can eliminate the use and disposal of plastic water bottles from YOUR own home entirely and provide your family with the healthy, purified water they deserve with a home water filtration system.
NOTE: Try out a glass water bottle, like the free one you will get when you order your water filter system from Aquasana.
Water bottles have a number stamped on the bottom of them inside a triangle.  Most water bottles come with the #1, which means it’s made from polyethylene terephthalate.  Phthalates  are plasticizers can leach out of the plastic and into your water.
These compounds are called “xenoestrogens” and they mimic estrogen causing the body to become more dominant in estrogen. Estrogen dominance can cause conditions like endometriosis, uterine fibroids, and infertility.
Phthalates are cancer-causing after long term use, most specifically with reproductive organs.    Usually, the harder the plastic, the higher the number on the bottom and the safer the plastic. The plastic used for bottled water is the least safest of all plastic containers.
So, how would you like your water served today?

Thursday, May 26, 2011

GASLAND trailer ~ shocking information, an important film

Very important movie, see the trailer here, it only takes a few minutes, and is enough to make you feel sick really.

Wednesday, May 25, 2011

Upcycled Plastic Water Bottles become Incredible Art Bowls

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by derekmarkham

Upcycled Plastic Water Bottles become Incredible Art Bowls

PET water bottles are everywhere, mostly used only once, but artist Gülnur Özdağlar shows us how to upcycle them into works of art

We’ve seen some outstanding examples of waste-to-resource thinking for plastic soda bottles lately, from stylish shirts to dog bedsmessenger bags, and even whole houses. Well, here’s a new one: Art bowls made from PET bottles.

Architect Gülnur Özdağlar has been creating bowls, cups, jewelry and home decorations from old PET (Polyethylene Terephthalate) bottles since 2008. She collects the bottles, then cuts, heats, drills holes and reshapes them into amazing creations.

The object for Gülnur is to “substitute with labour and artistic value the characteristics that the material loses during transformation”, thereby obtaining a product of higher value. She aims to create beautiful new objects from discarded things so that we would want to exhibit or wear them, highlighting the importance of recycling and thus encouraging it.

Her blog and Etsy store are named “Tertium Non Data”, which is Latin for “the third is not given” - a reference to an alchemic term relating to the process of combining two disparate elements to create a new, third element. Gülnur’s work is an amazing example of how everyday objects, in the hands of an artist, become works of art - not only that, but works of art made from one of the worst environmental scourges of our time.

If you’d like to try your hand at creating your own PET bottle bowls, she has a great tutorial on it atInstructables: Make an art bowl from pet bottle.
”After heating process, it becomes more stiff, rigid, durable and glassy. It becomes even stronger and crystallized when perforated. This re-formed and perforated second life as a bowl is longer than the original bottle.”

Be sure to check out Gülnur Özdağlar’s websiteblog, and Etsy store for more information on her work, which also includes jewelry from PET bottles.
via If It's Hip It's Here

Thursday, May 5, 2011

What is the Life Cycle of a Plastic Bottle?

From an article at WiseGeek

Plastic bottles are used to package a wide variety of things, from juice to soft drinks, and they play a ubiquitous role in the lives of many consumers, along with other plastic products. With a growing awareness of the environmental issues which surround plastics, many people have become interested in the life cycles of plastic products, from manufacturing to eventual disposition in a landfill or recycling facility. Being aware of the process behind the production of plastics can encourage consumers to think more carefully about how they use and dispose of such plastics. Because plastic bottles are a very visible form of plastic use, plastic bottles make an easy target for activism and education.
The life cycle of a plastic bottle starts, obviously, with the creation of the plastic used to make it. The vast majority of plastic bottles are manufactured from petroleum, some of which comes from deposits as much as three billion years old. Some manufacturers use bioplastics made from plant materials to create their plastic bottles, out of concern for the environment.
In the case of a plastic bottle made from petroleum, the oil must be extracted before being shipped to a processing facility and then distilled to separate out the various hydrocarbons it contains. Oil extraction is performed all over the world in a variety of locations, and it has a number of environmental impacts. In areas where oil is drilled from the seafloor, for example, oil spills are common, and regions like the Middle East are famous for their heavily polluting oil fires, caused by intentional or accidental combustion of oil fields. In some nations, oil extraction is also bound up with a number of social issues. Nigeria, for instance, has an oil industry notoriously plagued with problems; oil workers are often poorly paid and exposed to very hazardous conditions, and periodic devastating fires along oil pipelines are not uncommon.
Once oil has been extracted, it is typically moved into container tankers for shipping to refinery facilities. At a refinery, the oil can be submitted to a variety of distillation processes, such as fractional distillation, where the crude oil is heated, causing its various components to separate so that the refinery can make gas, fuel oil, plastics, and a variety of other products. Crude oil can also be “cracked” with chemical catalysts to generate hydrocarbon chains of a desired length; this practice is common, because demand for various petroleum products constantly fluctuates, and cracking ensures that oil is used extremely efficiently and generates the maximum possible profit.

Wednesday, May 4, 2011

free water on tap at all London bus and rail stations

Exempt: tube stations which get notoriously hot will not get the tap water vending machines due to logistical problems

Free water on tap at all London bus and rail stations

Mark Prigg, Science Correspondent
10 Jun 2008 

Tap water vending machines could be installed in Tube and rail stations across London.
They would allow commuters to refill their water bottles, either for free or for a small charge, under plans announced by Thames Water today.
Andrea Riding, community liaison executive for the company, said: "There is a real momentum behind tap water but for people on the go it is a real problem. These machines would allow every rail and Tube station to offer free, chilled tap water.
"I think we have seen a real sea change in the attitude of Londoners to bottled water and now we hope we can bring that choice to people on the move as well."
She said Thames Water was in negotiations with several large agencies, includingTransport for London, about the scheme.
Mrs Riding continued: "We would hope that a company like TfL would run the operation and we think the machines would be a welcome addition to every Tube and bus station.
"It's something that will appeal to everyone, as you can simply fill a bottle on your way to work, then again on your way home."
The vending machines require a power socket and a connection to the water mains. They filter and chill the water and are also capable of selling reusable water bottles. Mrs Riding said the company was hopeful of winning the support of Boris Johnson, adding: "We worked with Ken Livingstone on this idea, so we are hopeful the new mayor will back it as well.
"There would be a nominal charge of perhaps 20p per half litre to cover the cost and upkeep of the machine but we are hopeful that a major sponsor could be attracted.
"The sponsor could have their advert on the machines and bottles and that way it should be possible to offer free tap water to everyone."
The announcement of the project comes in the wake of the Evening Standard's Water On Tap campaign, which aims to reduce the amount of bottled water Londoners consume because it is environmentally unfriendly.
More than 3,000 restaurants, bars and clubs in London have signed up by pledging to offer their customers free tap water alongside bottled.
The public's perception of bottled water is also changing. Shop sales fell by nine per cent to £284million in the year to March, according to independent retail analysts TNS.