By D. Lanier Shook April 24, 3013
Water bottles — one liter and smaller — are an environmental nightmare. Even if they’re recyclable, a lot of them will end up in the landfill. They consume a lot of energy in the bottling and transportation process. But, like it or not, we’re going to consume bottled water.
After one particulary thirsty day we here at the Lifestyle Desk began contemplating this issue. After a few minutes we decided lots of other folks are in a similar situation. Bottled water has several advantages, including convenience, taste, and health.
Too many of us are far too dehydrated — kind of worrying when you realize your brain has a lot of water. Today we as a society consume far too many things other than water. Kidney trouble, headaches, skin appearance, and even eye trouble are just a few of the maladies that more water could help.
Bottled water is convenient and usually safe, especially if you’re travelling. Some brands have a taste that encourages us to drink more of it. Recently I’ve started reaching for a seltzer or club soda when my stomach’s not happy. It packs the same carbonation as soda pop without added coloring or sweeteners.
Having said all that, we still end up with a big pile of plastic bottles. So I had our Lifestyle folks pull together a list of things to do with your old bottles. Yes, the idea is mildly humorous, but reusing your bottles before you recycle them — and please recycle them — makes sense. Take a look at what they pulled together.
- Packing cushions. If you’ll put the lid back on those bottles you can wedge them around everything from fine china to hot dishes. I actually discovered this one Thanksgiving as we were traveling to relatives.
- Grease container. I hope you know not to pour cooking grease down your sink drain. It’s a bad idea and you don’t have to take my word for it. Click here to check out what the Metropolitan Sewage District has to say about the subject. Of course, once you fill the bottle with cooking grease you shouldn’t recycle it.
- Fill it up with tap water and take it with you. Although you shouldn’t do this forever and ever, doing this for one day isn’t a bad idea. Empty the bottle, and refill it at a tap or water fountain.
- Fill your bottles with another beverage. One that comes to mind are the drink mixes you put in the bottle and shake up. I carry milk for coffee in 20 ounce or even liter bottles.
- During the winter you can fill the bottles with hot water, PUT THEM IN AN INSULATING SLEEVE, and use them as a hand warmer. You can also use this for therapeutic purposes. Of course, this is also a great way to burn yourself. Make certain the bottle isn’t leaking and you’ve got a something between it and your skin.
- During the summer you can fill the bottle with water and freeze it. These can be used to keep food cold or keep you cold. One they thaw you can drink the contents.
- In a pinch cut the top off of your bottle and use it as a cup. Obviously you’ve got to be careful when you cut the bottle and about it’s sharp edges once you cut it, but in a pinch it can work pretty well.
- Flotation device. A 20 ounce bottle won’t hold up much, but if you tape one to your keys or a flashlight it could save you a lot of trouble when you’re around the water this summer.
One final note. Always remember to be safe and to remember to recycle empty bottles.