blog action day part three – avoid bottled water

Today is Blog Action Day so I plan on providing some of the small things that contribute to reducing my impact on the environment.

I try to avoid buying and drinking bottled water as much as I can. This is because:

  • Creating and transporting plastic bottles containing water is not environmentally friendly.
  • Transporting water from one side of the world to the other (eg. Evian, San Pellegrino) is just plain ridiculous.
  • Empty plastic bottles end up in landfill.
  • The cost of creating a bottle of water uses about 16 times its volume in water.
  • Tap water is drinkable. For those who don’t like the taste, water filters are available.
  • Spending money on bottled water is a waste of money.

Bottled Water

Picture by cowgummy

blog action day part two – use your local library

Today is Blog Action Day so I plan on providing some of the small things that contribute to reducing my impact on the environment.

I try to use my local library as much as a I possibly can. Using the library has many environmental, economic and social benefits:

  • Most suburbs/areas have a local library. This means you don’t need to travel very far to borrow books.
  • Libraries are free to use and therefore economical (I understand libraries are funded by council rates, but you do pay these whether or not you borrow from the library!)
  • Borrowing books is the ultimate form of recycling. I usually only read most books once so it makes sense to borrow them. Less books would need to be printed if more people borrowed books from libraries.
  • Libraries have a large variety of books across the various branches, much larger than a retail book store. You can easily find some old lost gems for loan that are well and truly no longer for sale.
  • Every time you read a really good book you can be happy to know that many other people before you have read that exact same book.
  • Libraries offer social clubs as well as an environment to enjoy without material or commercial solicitation.
  • Reading books makes you smarter and more of an interesting person.
  • Libraries offer more than just books: cds, dvds, magazines.

Library Book

blog action day part one – shop locally

Today is Blog Action Day so I plan on providing some of the small things that contribute to reducing my impact on the environment.

I try to do as much of my fresh food shopping as I can at my local farmer’s market. These are held at the Powerhouse in New Farm on the second and fourth Saturday of each month.

The reasons I do all my fresh food shopping at the local farmers markets are:

  • The supply chain is shortened. If food travels a shorter distance, less carbon dioxide is created during its transportation.
  • The food I buy does not use fancy plastic packaging (I use green bags), nor does it require long term retail refrigeration.
  • The food I buy is so fresh that it lasts a full two weeks in my fridge. This means less food is wasted.
  • Because the food lasts two weeks, I only need to do my shopping once every two weeks. This means I travel less frequently to the shops.
  • Most of the market vendors I shop at do not have plastic bags so this encourages people to use environmental bags.
  • The food tastes more intense and is better for my body.

Take the example of garlic:

Chinese Garlic

Exhibit A

  • Grown in bulk in China.
  • Unknown growing conditions.
  • Has traveled 8000+ kilometers before it hits your belly.
  • No idea how long it has been in transportation.
  • White in colour, artificial tasting.
  • Costs $0.99

Australian Purple Garlic

Exhibit B

  • Locally grown in Australia by an Australian farmer.
  • Organically grown, no chemicals.
  • Has traveled less than 100 kilometers for you to eat it.
  • Beautiful purple in colour, fresh and flavoursome.
  • Costs $3

You decide.

blog action day is coming

Blog Action Day is imminent and I am currently thinking of a topic that I’ll write about next Monday.

In the meantime I noticed their article on ‘50 Quick, Painless Ways You Can Help the Environment Today‘.

The list reminds me of a bit of “Change the world for ten bucks“, which is an excellent ten dollar investment by the way!

I am happy that I have pretty much already followed most of the ideas on their list, including 42. Use Cloth Shopping Bags. I have a small collection of shopping bags that I use every time I go shopping. I used to occasionally I forget to take them shopping with me. I have overcome this by a) hanging some on the back of the front door to our apartment so I can’t forget them, and b) folding one up and putting it in my work bag for any incidental purchases (or library borrowings).

Bloggers Unite - Blog Action Day