Originally Posted by Ms"B"Haven
I take water from home and put it in 1-liter empty Coke bottles. I want my coffee to taste the same as home. I also take it from home because I want my dogs to not have a change. However, if I run out of "home" water, I refill the bottles from what I hope is a reliable source.
Hi Ms. B and everyone, so glad we're having this important discussion! Thanks markopolo for the great poll and the good question about the Steri-pen's overall environmental impact (see my response below...).
First, I totally agree a good water filtration system
that also treats bacteria and viruses is preferable, but for those who bring water from home for short trips...
Ms. "B" Haven, Can I suggest using glass jars or bottles
to hold your drinking water in? And at minimum, using Brita
to everyone else.
I know glass is heavy and potentially breakable, but it will preserve the 'flavour' and taste better. Those plastic pop bottles are actually designed for 'one-time use'. They can leach out chemicals with re-use -- especially
in hot weather.** So instead, Try buying and saving those large, oversized jars of pickles and relish, etc, you find at Costco, or smaller mason jars.
Or even get those tall, square-shaped glass kitchen containers found in dollar stores and kitchen shops, which I believe are leak-proof and store nicely side-by-side. You can even order glass containers online. Costlier, but worth it in the end - the benefits and savings to health, environment, and economy (preventive healthcare, folks!) are endless.
This is not exactly RV-oriented, but see LifeFactory's silicone-wrapped glass bottles (esp, for nursing babies):
Having worked with environmental health activists and having the privilege of volunteering on a resource guide for an award-winning documentary film on children's environmental health, Toxic Trespass
. I now know indisputably that what I've long feared is coming true. See http://www.womenshealthyenvironments.ca
Childhood cancers, learning disabilities (autism, ADHD, etc), and birth defects, to name a few health crises, are ON THE RISE. And they all get passed on down the line. More girls are now being born than boys because toxic chemicals/metals that are in so many everyday consumer products are affecting DNA and reproductive organs (it's ubiquitous - from Swiffers to air freshners to carpeting, new bedding, drycleaning, fire retardants, etc). Again, see Toxic Trespass... (http://www.toxictrespass.com
Also I'm a pet owner, too, and like you, I try to be careful about the water I give to my pets. All this info applies ditto to your beloved furry friend.
And ditto Davydd's comment about bottled water being no better than tap water. Mainstream TV news reports not only confirm this fact, but they offer shocking revelations about the standards of bottled water.
The different numbers on the bottom of plastic containers have different levels of toxicity.
(this link is more accurate than the one below)
, Really appreciated your point about how eco-friendly is Steri-Pen
's product materials and packaging. Thanks for pointing that out.
Another must-see film is Manufactured Landscapes
). This docu film features stunning photos of industrial-human-natural landscapes, mostly in China, taken by award-winning photographer Edward Burtynsky. Anyway, I figured the choice between buying 1 Steri-Pen vs. 100s and possibly 1,000s of plastic water bottles that many RV'ers here seem to be opting for - per person, annually! - seemed less toxic to the planet. But, hard call!
You're so right: Smaller does not equal less polluting.
(eg, As a teen in the early 80s, I suggested using water distillers as an alternative to the growing trend toward plastic bottled water, yet my engineer father quickly pointed out that the copper heating element in electric distillers are toxic to produce and involve invasive mining.)
Too bad there isn't an automatic ecological footprint calculator
for each product to compare the overall impacts on the planet. Generally, I try to go for the most natural products, locally-sourced. Clearly the Steri-Pen doesn't meet that criteria, but along with it being small and highly effective, I was thinking how serious a threat bacteria-laden water can be, ie, risk of death. Having travelled in countries where I simply would not want to risk my life drinking the local water (the closest I ever felt to dying was when I caught a bad virus in India), the Steri-Pen seems a useful safety tool for both local+foreign water consumption, though I'm sure there are far better water filtration/sterilization options (that said, UV light is 100% effective vs. some filters which only claim > 97%).
Dr. Oz has done an informative (and shocking to some) segment on tap water quality and bottled water issues. Apparently in the U.S., you can check the tap water quality for every city/county online. Keywords are 'tap water quality + consumer confidence test'. http://www.DoctorOz.com
Finally, a similar water-related issue: black holding tank water treatment in RVs
. After my very first RV trip this summer, I was horrified to learn that I had to deposit this toxic-looking gel bag into the holding tank to deodorize the waste and help break it down. Sure enough, I've since read that the gel is FULL of bad stuff. See link below for eco-friendly alternatives...
For biodegradeable treatment for deodorizing your black wastewater holding tank
(sorry I get overly passionate and long-winded, but this is a vital issue! Don't Campers and RV'ers have a front-line responsibility to do the least harm to natural environments we're visiting or living in...?)