Are There Really Any Reasons to Drink Bottled Water

One of the fastest growing businesses over the past 10 years has been bottled water. At first, it just seemed to be an unnecessary fad, and then it turned into a pretty nice convenience for those that enjoy hiking, camping, and exercising. After all, rather than having to find a drinking fountain or a clean stream, you could just pull out your bottle of water and know exactly what you’re drinking.

But then, it actually went far beyond just that. Bottled water companies have done a great job marketing their product and also in destabilizing our certainty in our very own tap water. I recently heard an ad that explained how clean and pure their bottled water was, and then they posed the question, “Do you really want to know what you’re drinking from your faucet?” They made tap water sound so bad with that question, but they of course didn’t back up that question with any factual evidence that proved there was anything wrong with tap water. So, today, you’ll not only see bottled water in the hands of everyone while they’re out on the road, but you’ll also see refrigerators stocked full of them! Is this really necessary? And this can’t be eco-friendly, can it?

Bottled Water is Just Water

While there are claims from every bottled water company that their water is the best and the most pure, their water is still just water, and is hardly any different than what we drink from our tap. But, by claiming that their water is superior, they are able to charge a huge price compared to your tap water. For instance, let’s say that you can find a bottle of water for $1. It sounds like a good deal compared to that $4 Frappuccino or your $2 soft drink, but that still leaves your with a cost of 5 cents per ounce, which equates to $6.40 per gallon. Do you know how much your tap water costs? About $0.01 per gallon. That bottled water is a rip-off.

Terrible For the Environment

Do you have any idea how much plastic waste is created each year just from bottle water alone? 1.5 million tons of waste per year! Not only are we overspending on the water, but we are loading up our landfills at record rates! You might be thinking, “But I thought that many of these plastic bottles are recyclable?” While this is true, the bottles actually have to be recycled in order to be reused. Many of the bottles are just thrown away (about 80% of them), and still others are just thrown alongside the road and into our streams and oceans. Overall, these bottles are not improving our environment. Nope, they are in fact hurting it tremendously.

So What Can You Do?

Quite obviously, the first step is to stop buying those plastic bottles. Instead, go to your local store and pick up a stainless steel water container. Fill it up with that tap water and you’ll not only be saving yourself a bunch of money, but you’ll also be saving the environment at the same time!

 

Like What You See? Share the Story!

8 Ways to Prevent High Energy Bills This Winter

When you live in a cold climate, a fair portion of your budget goes to keeping you and your family warm and staving off the arctic temperatures.  Of course, no one wants to pay more than they need to.  The key to lowering your energy consumption in the winter is to take action early in the season.  Now is the perfect time.

An Ounce of Prevention. . .

One of the best ways to use less energy is to look for silent money drains.  Do you have a drafty old door?  If you can’t afford to install a new one, consider installing weather stripping at the bottom to keep out the cold.  If you don’t want to spend the money for that, you can put something by the door to block the cold such as an old towel, though weather stripping would work better.

Likewise, an easy, fairly frugal solution for drafty old windows is to install plastic window covers.  You’ll keep the cold out and save a bundle on energy bills.  If you don’t like the look of plastic on your windows, heavy thermal curtains can also do a good job of keeping out the cold.

Don’t forget to also insulate your pipes, especially around your water heater.

Caulk any areas where drafts might seep in such as where your floor and wall meet if the two have started to pull away from each other as they tend to do in old houses.

Comparison Shopping

Don’t forget to also take the time to comparison shop.  You likely have several energy providers you can choose from.  Don’t assume that the company you went with last year will automatically offer you the best rate.  Instead, take the time to comparison shop using an online tool such as the one at Totally Money and see which will offer you the best deal.

If possible, consider signing up for the company’s budget plan.  Then, you can pay the same fixed rate every month rather than being susceptible to high energy bills in the winter and low ones in the spring and fall.

Bundle Up

If you’re someone who likes to keep your home toasty so you can wear t-shirts and shorts all winter, please reconsider.  Instead, drop your heating temperature by a few degrees and wear long pants and a shirt and sweater or sweatshirt.  Some people even invest in thermal long underwear to wear under their pants at home so they can keep the temperature even a bit lower.

Even better, MSN suggests installing an automatic thermostat so you can drop the temperature significantly when you’re at work and bump it up an hour or so before you come home so your home won’t be uncomfortably cold.

Saving on your energy bill not only helps you keep more money in your wallet, but just as important, it helps you use less of Earth’s natural resources.  Curbing your energy consumption is a win-win on many levels.

What are your favourite tips for saving on energy usage?

Like What You See? Share the Story!

Save Water by Using a Rain Barrel

Are you a fan of sustainability and being eco-friendly? Then you’ll love this idea. Most of us have rain gutters on our houses. It keeps the water from running down onto our heads when we walk out the door, and it helps transport all that water away from our house, rather than constantly dripping right next to our foundation.

So where is your rain gutter sending your rain water? For many of us, the spout is about 12 inches away from our house, and is just simply pointed away from dwelling place. It works well, but guess what? By doing this, we’re wasting a very precious resource.

The Resource of Water

Many of us forget just how precious water is. What if you didn’t have a shower? What if you didn’t have a faucet that just squirted water out at your bidding? I’m sure you’ve seen videos of those poor countries that have to walk for miles just to get to a fresh water source. They then fill up one or two buckets for their families and haul it all the way back home. This water is not flowing through a faucet or coming out of a shower head. Nope, it’s definitely much more labor intensive.

The way we use water today is quite wasteful. We take long showers, leave the water running the whole time we brush our teeth, and we might even water our lawns for hours at a time. Rather than being so wasteful, why don’t we do the best we can to preserve our fabulous resource of water?

The Rain Barrel

A rain barrel is an incredibly simple too, but it’s unbelievably effective. Instead of just pointing your water spout away from your property and letting the water flood into your yard, why not shorten up that trough a little bit and run the water into a rain barrel? This barrel is most commonly a 55 gallon drum will a screen on top that will filter our any sticks or leaves that might come through your rain gutters. Obviously, this simple filtering system doesn’t make the water safe for drinking, but it makes it perfectly safe for watering your garden or your plants around the house.

When I first heard of the rain barrel, I wondered how you got the water out. Most of these barrels come with a short hose that’s attached to the bottom of the barrel and the water is emitted by the simple power of gravity (as I said, this barrel is very simple). So, there is some pressure there, but only what gravity will provide. Think of it as a big Gatorade jug. There will be some pressure, but it’s definitely not a pressure washer.

With this barrel, you’ll not only be reducing your water usage, but in doing that, you’ll also be reducing your monthly bills! All it takes is a simple barrel at the end of your gutter system and you’ll be doing good things for the environment and saving a little money in the process!

Like What You See? Share the Story!