So, I’m guilty, even though I know better. I am not a “hard core” environmentalist per se, but sustainability is important to me, because usually – it makes sense. I’m even working on a “Sustainability Credential”, associated with my career field. But plastic water bottles are soooooo ingrained into our everyday life. Full disclosure – I rarely use them. But my wife and daughter do. A lot. Like many families, we have numerous cases of bottled water set aside, “just in case” but they also use them daily. That being said, I grab one now and then, and especially use them on hunting and fishing trips. Other forms of reusable water bottles are fine for lots of things but not really practical for a hunting expedition or day on the water.
As I was reading this month’s issue of the Florida Sportsman magazine, I read with interest the Publisher Blair Wickstrom’s column on water bottles. I learned some things and overall, couldn’t help but agree. Tap water is highly regulated by municipalities so when we choose bottled water in most American cities and towns – it is merely out of convenience and for the sake of our refined palettes. Further, as Wickstrom points out, bottled water is a couple thousand times more expensive than tap water. Based on those two facts alone, is it really worth the damage we are causing to the environment? Just look at the pollution and the millions of gallons per day of water we are pulling from our dwindling sources of fresh water. At this point, or collective obsession with bottled water is just plain dumb and selfish.
The bottled water business is just way too powerful to be curtailed via regulatory means or government action. It will absolutely take the actions and collective conscience of citizens to change their behavior. I get that a total elimination of bottled water in your life might be unreasonable. I’m still going to keep our “SHTF” stash, and will still likely use bottled water on hunting and fishing trips. But I am making an extra effort to reduce use to as close to zero as I can, and will continue to harp at my family, hoping they will change.
There is still hope for corporate responsibility, and I encourage you all to contact your favorite companies with the same veracity you would display if you were unhappy with them – to help do something. Costa, the well-known maker of sunglasses, has really stepped up their efforts in regards to plastic. Their campaign is modern, educational, fun and not preachy. Let’s just do what’s right.
Most hunters and anglers are conservationists and have a vested interest in sustainability. Let’s all have a look at how much we use bottled water. We need to start somewhere.