Series: Sustainability and You

by Amanda Zufolo


Reusable Water Bottle vs. Plastic Water Bottles

Back in the beginning of the semester, we were asked to pick a sustainable habit and follow through with it until the end of the semester, but ultimately for a lot longer than just the semester. I honestly was stuck on what to choose for my habit until I was looking back at pictures from my study abroad trip to Bali, Indonesia this summer. It reminded me of the growing problem with plastic waste there and how easy it was to carry around a reusable water bottle during my time abroad. This is when I decided to commit to myself to use a reusable water bottle as opposed to a plastic one-time use bottle. These one-time use bottles stay in landfills for over 1,000 years after use. This means that the lifetime of these bottles is roughly ten times more than our own lifetime will be.

In the beginning of the semester it was easy to remember to carry around my water bottle, but about halfway through I felt as if it became a chore to remember it. That’s when I began to fill my bottle at night and put it in the refrigerator over night, so I just had to grab it and go before leaving the house. This helped cut down my morning routine by a few minutes and made it easier to remember to bring the bottle. I also bought a new bottle I was excited about because rewarding yourself is always a way to stay motivated to follow through with a habit.

I’m happy to say that I’ve cut down my plastic bottle use immensely. Unfortunately, I have not eliminated all plastic bottle use from my life, but hopefully within the next few months I can eliminate most of the use. My goal throughout the next few months is to only use one plastic water bottle per month and by the end of 2016, I will not use any at all