Waste Not, Want Not….Day 4

If you haven’t been here….why?

Everyone whose anyone knows this is the place to be.  #AlternativeFacts.

Anyway, if you haven’t been here, scroll down to see where the series of posts began.

If you’ve been following along this week….yup, I’m still complaining.

6.  People who waste bottled water

I’m not exactly sure when bottled water became a household staple.  I never had it when I was growing up in the 80’s and 90’s.  In fact, I’m pretty sure the only water I ever drank as a kid was when it was infused with Kool-Aid or Tang….or maybe lapped up from a neighborhood hose, or a public drinking fountain.

It wasn’t until I was in my late 20’s, that water became my primary source of hydration.     But still, when the popularity of portable, bottled water began to rise, I still scoffed at the idea I would ever purchase something that could be had far cheaper by simply turning on a faucet.

But over the years, I acquiesced.  In large part, because I lived in places where the water came from chemically treated wells and I didn’t like the taste.   In my current community, our water source is groundwater, which is pumped from a number of well-fields in our town.  When we don’t get enough rain, the water is purchased from neighboring towns.  It’s all allegedly perfectly safe to drink, but that’s what PG&E told the residents of Hinkley, California and if you’ve ever seen Erin Brockovich, you know how that shit turned out.

So, these days bottled water is a household staple.  And yes, we recycle every last bottle….or rather the guy that drives around collecting everyone’s bottles and cans on recycling day to cash them in for five-cents a piece does.

Anyway, in my opinion, bottled water isn’t intended to be a one time swig sort of deal.  For that, a small glass of filtered water pumped through the fridge, or even from the sink wouldn’t likely cause a tumor.

Yet, if a person must crack open a bottle they only intend to drink a thimbleful from, why not return it marked to the refrigerator and save it for later?  You know, instead of discarding it somewhere, only to return for another bottle within the hour.

This happens both in my house and at work events all the time and it drives me crazy!  Take my husband for example.  At dinner, he will typically sit down with a full bottle of water in hand.

In all likelihood, he’s had to dig for it, since I intentionally stock the unopened waters in the back of the refrigerator and surround them with dozens of half consumed bottles I collected from various places throughout the house.  During the meal, he opens the bottle, drinks barely enough to get below the label and then leaves it on the table, cap off, until someone (me) collects it.

When we go to bed, he brings a new bottle with him.  He takes a sip and then places it on his nightstand among those from nights prior.


Then there are my step-children.  Give them a can of soda or some sugary sports drink and  it’s gone in no time.  I bet that if it were possible for them to somehow lick the insides of those bottles and cans, they would.  Yet, give them a bottle of water and it is guaranteed to end up in my collection.


When I grumble about the wasting of resources, my husband will suggest we dump the remaining contents of each bottle into the dogs water dish.  It’s not that I don’t like my dog, but he licks his own ass and isn’t opposed to eating poop and vomit if it’s available.  I think his gastrointestinal system can handle whatever is coming out of the tap.

Instead, I spend far too much of my time collecting these half consumed bottles, returning them to the refrigerator and later drinking them myself.  When I sit down to dinner, I come with not one, but five or so bottles with varying amounts of liquid remaining.

I have no idea who each bottle originally belonged to and/or what the water to backwash ratio is….but I can’t bring myself to dump them.  I can however,  bring myself to make snarky and passive aggressive comments about it.

At work, I’m often dismayed by the dichotomy between what is practiced and what is preached.  The Really Big Company spends millions on various green initiatives associated with manufacturing and distribution.  There are several Leed certified and Near Net Zero facilities sprinkled throughout the US and the “Planet” is one of the three pillars that make up our version of a mission statement.

Yet in large group meetings, the waste is beyond disgusting.  I’ve been in hours long meetings where upper level management have droned on ad nauseam about environmental initiatives….literally patting themselves on the back and high-fiving one another for their ingenuity.  When the meeting let’s out, dozens and dozens of partially consumed waters are left on conference room tables among other junk.

I don’t collect of any of these, I couldn’t fit them all in my car and I don’t travel with a platform cart.

Also, I feel like it would make me a hoarder.

Also, gross.

It’s not just work and home though.  I see this everywhere and I find myself wanting to scream, “Someone in Flint, Michigan would really like those 27 bottles of half consumed waters in your car asshole!”  

Maybe I’ll just get it printed on a t-shirt.  Or a coffee mug….or a reusable water bottle.



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