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Making small changes in your daily life can make a big impact.  Check out this slideshow for quick tips on going green:

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I’ve always had a reusable water bottle, but it was only recently that I started making a conscious effort to never buy bottled water.  Bottled water may be convenient and seems like a healthy choice.  Plus, the bottles can be recycled, right?  So, what’s the big deal?  Why did I cut bottled water completely out of my life, and why might you consider doing so too?

Waste:Disposable

The Pacific Institute found that 17 million barrels of oil were required to produce the plastic bottles (just the bottles) for U.S. consumption in 2006.  It also takes 3 liters of water to produce 1 liter of bottled water.  So, every bottle we consume actually represents three bottles.

About 90 percent of water bottles are not recycled and end up in landfills.  Plastic takes thousands of years to break down, and Reusablebecomes toxic when it does.  Recycling may be better than throwing the bottle completely away, but this too uses up nonrenewable fossil fuels.

Health:

Did you know that in the U.S., tap water is tested more thoroughly and more frequently than bottled water?  This study actually found chemical contamination in all the bottled water brands they tested.  If you’re still unsure about tap water quality, invest in a water filter like PUR or Brita.

Economics:

Bottled water is expensive!  Bottled water may cost up to 10,000 times more per gallon than tap water.  On top of this, some bottled water is actually just tap water in disguise.  A reusable water bottle is a one-time purchase, and refilling it instead of buying bottled will save a ton of money in the end.

Global Reality:

There are many places in the world where tap water is unsafe to drink.  During my semester abroad in Ecuador, I saw some of my friends get sick just from brushing their teeth with tap water.  Water contamination comes from pollution, and consuming bottled water causes a lot of pollution.  Here in McMinnville, we are extremely fortunate to be able to drink from the faucet.  Watch The Story of Bottled Water.  Think globally; act locally.  Go with the reusable water bottle.

More articles:
Bottled Water Wars | Tap water beats bottled in Oregon environmental study

This is the first year I’ve had a bike on campus.  It is also the first year I’ve had a car.  After three years of having only my own two feet to get me anywhere, I was ecstatic to have my options triple.  However, I soon realized how much I was taking advantage of the fact that I had a car—I was spending money and wasting gas on trips that I could have done via bike.

Biking

The pollution that comes from driving our cars is a topic that has been drilled into us since kindergarten.  We have all seen gas prices rise beyond belief, so the financial factor and depleting oil reserves are probably not new news either.  These are all reasons I made a deal with myself to not drive my car unless completely necessary, but they aren’t the only ones.  An important factor in “going green” is health.  Not just the health of the planet, but of ourselves.Bikes

Biking and walking are both great forms of exercise.  Even if it is just a quick stroll to class, or a brief ride to the grocery store, your body will appreciate it.  Now that it is May, the weather here in McMinnville is starting to remain sunny and warm.  There was a reason we were always told to go outside and play as kids—being outdoors is good for us!  Fresh air and sunshine easily brighten my mood.  As the end of the semester nears, I have found that being outside is a great stress reliever as well.

If you’re already an avid biker or walker—that’s awesome!  If not, try walking or biking somewhere you’d normally drive, and see how it feels.

The Linfield campus is becoming more and more bike-friendly—several new bike racks were just installed by Alternative Spring Break participants, and the Linfield Bike Co-Op is now open and running.

July 2020
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