“Excuse me… do you have a few minutes for us to talk to you about the ecological effects of drinking bottled water?”
You couldn’t count how many times I heard this line during our participation with one of Catching the Spirit's stewardship project. Catching the Spirit is “an outdoor environmental stewardship and outdoor recreation/learning program that encourages leadership development and social responsibility.” We were participating in Toxic Free Canada’s “Getting off the Bottle” campaign. And so, what better place to try to educate people then up at the Capilano Reservoir- where most of Metro-Vancouver’s tap water comes from; also where much of the bottled water you buy comes from.
Why pay up to $3 for a bottle of water, when it’s the same stuff that comes out of your tap and, in fact, probably not as clean? Bottled water companies don’t regulate their water as often. But even worse than the financial effects of bottled water are the long term ecological effects.
Did you know it takes 28% of a bottles’ volume in crude oil to manufacture, fill and transport it. And in BC alone, 130 million water bottles ended up in the landfill in 2007. In the process of manufacturing the bottle, at least two cancer causing toxins are released into our atmosphere. It’s not enough to just recycle; we need to stop buying bottled water, so the demand will be reduced and the manufacturing will be unnecessary. Do we really want our world to suffer, from the simple choices we can make every day, such as bringing a reusable bottle with us to the park or to the beach.
The youth at Catching the Spirit were excited to be sharing their knowledge with the rest of the community. You can probably imagine how good it feels, to know that what you’ve done today will affect your world for years and years to come. At Capilano River, 85 pledges were signed to reduce the consumption of bottled water; for a single day that’s something to be proud of. Everyone’s excited to be making a difference at Catching the Spirit, and “Getting off the Bottle” is just one of the fabulous projects the youth have done to make a difference in their parks, their communities and their world!
Now it’s your turn to keep this rally going. Educate your friends and family, and encourage people to lay off the bottles. It all starts with the simple choices we make every day that can make or break our futures.
LISA ODLAND is a Canadian Citizen as well as a global citizen. Lisa is sixteen years old and lives in North Vancouver, British Columbia. She is grateful and fortunate to live in such a beautiful country and community, and that’s why she loves to give back to it. She enjoys volunteering her time for the amazing world we live in, and creating change for a better future. Lisa's hobbies include reading, writing, traveling and learning new things.