Earth Day: Help the Environment and Go Reusable!

Filter-tap-water-save-environment

IMAGE CREDIT: oliveventures.com

On April 22, 2014 the world will celebrate Earth Day, an annual day in which various events are held around the world to show support for environmental protection. One of the best ways you can protect the environment is by going reusable. Many have switched to using reusable bags and more, but what about making the switch to reusable water bottles? I may be preaching to the choir, but there are serious disadvantages to drinking bottled water. Reusable water bottles are more environmentally friendly and save you the long-term cost of paying extra money for plastic water bottles. There are three main reasons for you to start (or continue) using reusable water bottles.

Reduce waste: Did you know that the materials used to package bottled water takes hundreds of years to bio-degrade? It is believed that more than 80% of all plastic water bottles are simply thrown away and becomes litter. An estimated 2 million tons of discarded water bottles clog our nation’s landfills.

Save Money: The above graphic says it all when it comes to saving money. We pay much more for bottled water than we do for tap water. You are paying around 5 cents an ounce (when you consider the price per ounces in the average plastic water bottle) versus about a cent per gallon for tap water. Regardless of claims, the regulations surrounding plastic water bottles are less stringent than the regulations surrounding your local water supplier. The US public water system is monitored by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) which requires numerous daily tests for toxins and bacteria.

Be Healthier: Many plastic water bottles contain BPA (Bisphenol A) which studies have shown to be harmful to your health. It has been connected to cancer and hormonal issues. By switching to a reusable BPA-free water bottle, such as the Klean Kanteen water bottle, you are keeping your body protected from the harmful effects of BPA.

Many do not drink tap water because they question its safety or don’t like its taste. While these are concerns are understandable, there are solutions to this problem.

If you are weary about the taste or smell of tap water, carbon filters are the way to go. By reducing harmful bacteria and odors, you are left with filtered water that is free of smells, bad taste and chlorine. By installing a carbon filter inside your home (or even replacing your refrigerator water filter) you are reducing the amount of possible contaminates in your water supply and reducing bad taste and odor as well.

Stainless Steel Bottle

Reliable construction. Great fit for your house!

So are you ready to make the switch? If so, we suggest the Klean Kanteen Stainless Steel water bottle. Made from BPA free, food-grade stainless steel, this is an ideal alternative to bottled water. One of the best features of the Klean Kanteen bottles is found in its construction. These stainless water bottles will not impart or retain any odors or flavors. Unlike many plastic water bottles, the Klean Kanteen will not leech harmful chemicals into your drink. This water bottle is 100% recyclable, dishwasher safe, and is available in many sizes such as a 27 oz. capacity (pictured).

If you have already made the switch to reusable water bottles, congratulations! Urge your friends to do the same and drop the bottle! We offer a wide selection of reusable water bottles such as Vapur water bottles, and Brita water bottles. Browse through and choose which you prefer. In honor of Earth Day, let’s make an effort to go reusable! What is your favorite reusable water bottle? Don’t be shy and let us know in the comments below.

Recycling Water Filter Cartridges – Save The Earth

Go Green by Recycling Filters

IMAGE CREDIT: centersandsquares.com

Recycling is the process of separating, collecting and converting waste or used products into new materials. Through this process, you are extending the life of something that has already served its initial purpose, such as your water filters. Many of us switch to filtered water over concerns about the waste of plastic water bottles, which clog our nations landfills. However, we are often left wondering what recycling options exist for our water filters. While some filter manufacturers do not (as of this writing) offer recycling programs, there are many who do.

Recycle Brita Filter Cartridges:

Did you know the material from each Brita filter cartridge is used to manufacture personal care products such as toothbrushes and razors? To recycle your Brita filter:

1.)      Dry your old filter by shaking off the excess water and letting it dry for three days.
2.)    Wrap the filters in a plastic grocery bag and drop it off at a participating Preserve Gimme 5 recycling location (many bins may be found at certain Whole Foods Market stores).
3.)     If there is not a nearby location available, you can mail the filters to Preserve at:
Preserve Gimme 5
823 State Route 13
Cortland, NY 13045-6574

Recycle GE Water Filter Cartridges:

GE, the supplier of popular refrigerator water filters, is also doing their part in recycling used water filters. When replacing your old GE filter:

1.)    Remove the excess water from your old filter (let it drain overnight).
2.)    Place the filter in a plastic, re-sealable bag.
3.)    Sit the filter inside a sealed mailing envelope.
4.)    Address the filter to:
Stericycle Expert Sustainability
Attn: water filter recycling
2770 Fortune Circle Drive East
Indianapolis, IN 46241

Recycle Mavea Water Filters:

Mavea pays the shipping cost for you to recycle your Mavea water filter cartridge. To minimize the carbon footprint of shipping, Mavea recommends saving six filter cartridges for every shipment. To recycle your Mavea water filter:

1.)    Obtain their shipping label by filling out the form on their website.

2.)    Place your filters in a package weighing 2 pounds or less and drop it off at your nearest UPS location.

For information on the Filtrete Water Station, Everpure and additional recycling options from our vendors, see How to Recycle Water Filters.  Be sure to conduct research to see if your water filter manufacturer offers a recycling program. If they do not, contact your local recycling center. If your filter is made with #5 plastic (which is used to make signal lights, brushes, bicycle racks, etc.) then your recycling center may accept the filter cartridge for recycling. In addition, search online for recycling companies to find any that recycle old air and furnace filters.

Are Smart Oil Water Filters the Solution to Oil Spills?

oil spills

IMAGE CREDIT: www.katu.com

Out of all the environmental dangers that affect us, one of the most alarming are oil spills. Environmental tragedies such as the Exxon Valdez oil spill that occurred in 1989 and the more recent BP Deepwater Horizon oil spill in 2010, exposed just how serious the consequences of these disasters can be. Oil spills often result in immediate and long-term environmental damage. Some of the damage caused can last for decades after the initial spill occurs. The long-term damage from such a disaster can affect beaches, Marshlands, eco systems and wildlife habitats. Once the oil stops floating on the surface of the water and begins to sink, it can kill or contaminate fish and smaller organisms that are critical links in the global food chain.

During the on-going oil spill cleanup, one major development has come to light as a potentially useful source. The introduction of a “smart filter” could be beneficial in cleaning up environmental oil spills. It is designed with a shape-shifting surface that has the ability to separate oil from water through the use of gravity alone.

The coating on the filter not only repels oil, but attracts water. Most natural substances absorb oil, and the few that repels it also repels water because of the higher surface tension of water. The coating on the filter is a blend of rubbery, commercially available polymer and a nano-particle. This material ensures that water spreads on its surface, while the oil beads up allowing it easier to separate the oil from the water. This new development also shows potential for other applications such as wastewater treatment, oil purification for fuel applications and technology relevant to the cosmetics industry.

As we continue to learn more about this filter in the coming months, let’s make a commitment to create a more positive impact on our environment through recycling and reducing energy consumption. Do you think the Smart Filter is a viable solution to cleaning up oil spills and other applications? Feel free to share your thoughts in the comment section below.