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Go Green with reusable water bottles

Kelly Ann Schneider

Oct 31, 2009.

I have discovered an easy way for me to save the planet, not contribute to landfills, and be so super green and eco chic. All with my new Rubbermaid reusable water bottle. Who knew going green could let me save money and resources, and be trendy at the same time?

At the gym and feeling good

Most people bring along their Propel or Fiji water and sip away while working out. I look at those bottles and see a 30 year process to decompose in a landfill. Then I look at my ever so cool clear plastic Rubbermaid bottle: refillable with a wide screw top, colorful pop top to drink from, dishwasher safe [which is why I have half a dozen], 20 oz capacity, and BPA (Bisphenol-A) free! Now that’s going green!

On a diet?

The 20 ounce capacity makes it easy to get your eight glasses of water each day: just drink about three and a half bottles of water and you’re done! It’s the easy way to calculate how much water you are drinking.

Still want to drink Propel Water or Gatorade instead of water?

Well you’re in luck because now you can purchase individual serving packets of Propel, Crystal Light, Gatorade and other refreshing energy drinks, and easily mix the powder in your Rubbermaid bottle. The wide screw top makes it easy to pour in, then just shake and drink, and from my experience the colored powders will not stain the bottle. Now we are really saving plastic bottles!

Now a fun bottle for everyone

Rubbermaid now has colorful tops on these water bottles: choose from original blue, aqua, green, or maroon. Each member of the family can keep track of their own bottle. And being BHP free makes it a clean and healthy way to refill a plastic bottle. Another bonus: it does not sweat, is leak proof and fits in my car cup holder.

The Rubbermaid Chug refillable bottles cost less than $5.00 each and are available at stores like Target, Wal-Mart and most grocery stores. Some stores sell bottles in two packs and Amazon sells them in a nine pack. Yippee for going green!

Check those “Plastic Numbers” Carefully!

The small plastic numbers on the bottom of plastic containers are also known as the SPI Resin Identification Code. The code, which indicates the general class of resin, has been developed to provide a consistent national system to facilitate recycling of post-consumer plastics.

Ever wonder why it is so small and hard to read? On the following statement is made, "The code should be applied where it will be inconspicuous to the consumer at the point of purchase so it does note influence the consumer’s buying decision."

Using refillable containers, ideally glass is the most environmentally friendly option. Or, plastic containers that can be re-used many times, such as food storage containers.

The general rule is to recycle all plastics with the codes 1-6, although some like #5 are very difficult to recycle. Look for alternatives to products made with #7.However, there are other issues such as determining the original manufacturing processes. For example, #2 milk containers are blow-molded while margarine tubs are injection molded. Blow molded containers can usually be recycled, while there are not a lot of companies that will recycle injection molded products. So, if a facility is not nearly your containers will go to a landfill anyway. Most cities and towns distribute a guide as to the best way to recycle in your community. Call them now for a copy.

Whenever possible, choose products in recyclable containers. And, no matter what don’t recycle containers that contained toxic materials such as antifreeze, motor oil, pesticides, paints, solvents and other hazardous materials.

What the numbers indicate:

1. best for recycling. When recycled it is used to make bottles for cleaning products, non-food containers, egg cartons, industrial paints, carpets, jackets, and hulls for sailboats

2. used extensively in household plastics. Recycled #2 is used to make plastic lumber, plastic toys, trash cans, garbage bags, plastic lumber, detergent bottles and grocery bags

3. commonly used in garden hoses, flooring, shower curtains, plumbing and house siding. PVC is harder to recycle, but can be used to manufacture more house siding, drain pipes, handrails and fences

4. used for cellophane wrap, plastic bags, disposable diaper wraps, and squeeze bottles. Very difficult to recycle.

5. found in auto battery casings, long underwear, plastic tubes. Very seldom can be recycled although efforts are being made to make carpets, recycling containers, water meter boxes.

6. Usually found in coffee cups, take-out food containers, egg cartons and packaging peanuts. Can often be recycled into insulation, plastic lumber, cafeteria trays and hard plastic pens.

7. Used in some kinds of food containers and Tupperware. Recycling is not possible at this time.

Finally, think about the products you are buying. Do you really want carpet made from recycled plastics? Are there health issues you might want to think about?

Recognizing Household Hazardous Waste

Did you know that many common products used daily require special handling for disposal and may not be discarded in sinks, storm drains or household trash? These items are classified as “household hazardous waste” (HHW) and are typically labeled Caution, Warning, Danger, Poison, Toxic, Flammable or Corrosive.

Common HHW items include:

  • Automotive products, including antifreeze, fluids, motor oil.
  • Batteries - home and car.
  • Cathode ray tubes (TVs, computer monitors).
  • Florescent light tubes and ballasts.
  • Fuels.
  • Herbicides.
  • Hobby supplies.
  • Household cleaners.
  • Medicines.
  • Mercury (thermometers, thermostats).
  • Paint products.
  • Paints (latex and oil).
  • Pesticides.
  • Polishes and waxes.
  • Pool and spa chemicals.
  • Propane tanks from barbecues.
  • Small household appliances with LDD displays.
  • Unused road flares.
  • Wood preservatives.
  • Most cities and municipalities offer special community programs such as annual collection events, door-to-door collection programs, collection facilities and other options. It is suggested that
    you contact your local government to determine procedures.

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