Lately I’ve been seeing all kinds of memes and quotes about the fact that this decade is ending in less than three months. It’s really had me thinking about what I could do in that short amount of time to end the decade with a bang. Last week I was heading back from an event in the city when I saw a plastic water bottle in the car. A lightbulb went off and I decided then and there to make a commitment:
I will not buy one more plastic water bottle in this decade. Not for myself, not for my daughter, not for my husband.
I felt so good about that decision that I shared it on my Instagram stories. I asked my followers, with an Instagram poll, if they would join me in this commitment. 6,207 people voted that they would, in fact, join in this challenge. 6,000 people! I was so jazzed up that I literally started shaking.
Let’s figure that 50% of those 6,207 people were aimlessly tapping things with their thumb and 50% of those have already forgotten about it. Even with that, we have 1550 people committed to the cause. Let’s estimate that those people buy/use an average of 3 plastic water bottles per week. That factors in those who buy them daily and those who rarely do at all.
There are 10 weeks left in the decade, so multiply that by the 3 water bottle average and you have 30 water bottles per person on average from now until Jan 1. Multiply that by 1550 and you have 46,500 water bottles.
That’s 46,500 water bottles that we, collectively, could save from landfills and oceans and wherever else they end up.
And I think this is a really conservative estimate. I think that more than 1,550 of you will join me in this commitment and we can get that number up to 100,000.
Over 1 million plastic bottles are purchased every minute and nearly 80% of these end up in our landfills and oceans. At this rate, the amount of single-use plastic ending up in our oceans will outweigh fish by 2050, unless we make a change. (source)
That fact feels overwhelming and incredibly disturbing. It feels like as a single person, we can’t make a difference. But guess what? There is power in numbers. If we each make this small personal commitment, the ripple effect could be big.
There are amazing environmentalists out there who are living zero-waste lives and doing wonderful things. But I’m a busy mom who already has anxiety and can’t change and upturn my entire life overnight. Over the last few months, I’ve been making clean swaps here and there when they make sense for me and my family.
If you want to start making a change but don’t know where to start, this water bottle challenge is a great place to start and a great jumping-off point. And hopefully it will inspire all of us to do more.
All I’m asking of you is that you don’t buy a single plastic water bottle between now and December 31st, 2019. That’s it!
How to commit:
1. Just commit! Make the promise and keep it.
2. Invite your friends, family, and coworkers to commit as well by sharing this post or just telling them what you’re up to.
3. Share how you’re enjoying water without plastic bottles on social media with #LSWaterBottleChallenge
Some tips on going plastic-water-bottle free:
– Bring a reusable bottle wherever you go. I use this one in 22 oz (fits in my car’s cupholder) with a straw top.
– Always plan ahead. If you’re leaving the house for a long period of time, bring enough water or plan to stop somewhere where you can refill. Even airports have water fountains everywhere these days so it’s actually pretty to do. Even bring a reusable bottle to the movies.
– Nicolette told me about Findtap, an app that helps you find refill stations wherever you are. If you don’t know where to refill, this is a great resource.
– Don’t forget your kids! We use this bottle for Amalia and bring it everywhere we go. I like it because it doesnt’ spill, water stays cold, and it’s easy to clean.
– This might not be true for everyone but historically, I’ve bought a bottle of water because it feels like a treat. It sounds silly now, but I think there’s something to that. Fill your glass or bottle up with lemon slices, frozen berries, or cucumber if you want to make it feel more special.
– I don’t personally have this, but my friends Grace and Jess rave about the Larq self-cleaning bottle. It filters your water for you so you can literally fill up anywhere without worrying about what’s in the water.
So are you in?