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From the Annals of a Crazy German Lady…

I am feeling a bit depressed today. Our baseball season has come to an end, and I will really miss watching this amazing American sport. Being German I did not know much about baseball until my son started playing. I instantly fell in love with it! There is nothing that gets your adrenalin pumping like a game of Little League kids going at it.

But there is one thing that really bothered me all summer. I had never seen such waste, mountains and mountains of trash, than at those little kids’ baseball games. Most of this trash came in the shape of water bottles.

I felt like a total outsider carrying around giant gallon sized refilled water-jugs from home. I could feel the stinging looks. (Lookey here: There comes the crazy German lady again with her water bottles.) My son was the only kid – I am pretty sure of it – who had a refillable water bottle in the dugout. I kept jogging over to refill his drink bottle about three to four times per game. Was that too much work? Not really. Not much different from grabbing a throw-away bottle from a cooler.

I know they all thought I was crazy. But what seems crazy to me is that people would pay up to $10 per gallon of bottled water (or even more if you buy at the concession stands) when you can bring it from home for about 1 cent per gallon. But that’s not the reason I am doing it. I am doing it because I like to avoid trash at all cost! I just don’t like it when a giant overflowing trashcan obstructs my view of the baseball field. Sigh!

Here are some facts I found on the Internet. Maybe I should print them up as handout for the next season? Will they still give me that look?

• Unlike soda and other carbonated beverages, there is no deposit on water bottles so fewer are recycled.

•Nationally, only 10% of plastic water bottles are recycled—90% end up as either garbage or litter.

•30 million single-serve non-returnable containers end up in landfills or as litter every day.

• We spend millions annually to clean up plastic bottles that litter our highways, parks and open spaces.

It’s a Waste of Energy

• 18 million barrels of crude oil equivalent were consumed in 2005 to replace the 2 million tons of plastic bottles that were wasted instead of recycled.

• Manufacturing that much plastic releases more than 800,000 metric tons of greenhouse gases into the atmosphere, contributing to global climate change.

• If we recycled the water bottles used in New York, we would save more than 67,000 metric tons of greenhouse gases.

• In New York, the oil used to make our bottles is equal to 66 million gallons of gasoline; enough to power 120,000 automobiles for a year.

Taking Action

• Since New York adopted the bottle bill in 1982, 90.6 billion beverage containers have been recycled. Roadside container litter has been reduced over 70%.

• San Francisco and Los Angeles have banned city departments from buying bottled water. Ann Arbor, Michigan is calling for city events to be bottled water free. Salt Lake City urges city workers not to buy bottled water.

Maine, Hawaii, California and Oregon have deposit laws that include bottled water.

What You Can Do

•Recycle or return all of your beverage containers.

•Pick up bottles along the road or sidewalk and recycle them.

• Drink tap water—it’s better for the environment, even using a fi lter is cheaper than buying bottles.

•Get involved—help start a recycling program at school, work and sporting events.

•Buy and refill reusable bottles.

•Learn more about your local recycling program.

7 thoughts on “From the Annals of a Crazy German Lady…

  1. Thanks for putting light on this subject. We have been trying to make the switch to our own bottles for a year now. It works out for the most part however sometimes we still have to use bottles of water for whatever various reasons.BUT we recycle like everything we can. It bothers me too that there is so much waste.

  2. I am the crazy recycler lady – and have been doing this for at least 20 years. I NEVER buy plastic water bottles – it drives me crazy too.

  3. thanks for caring! it makes me sad that this post got so little response. Maybe if more people cared we could turn things around. But these days I feel like a little fish swimming against a giant stream…

  4. Hockey kids almost always use their own water bottles so they can squirt them through their masks through the long spout. Even that sometimes seems like a waste of plastic… because they lose them or need replacing (yuck factor).
    Some teams have their team logo put on a set of plastic water bottles… maybe if the baseball kids had that they would use them??

    Don't stop doing what you feel is right, because 1 person making a difference is 1 person making a difference!!

  5. Thank you for such a great topic! We should all be aware of doing every day a little more for our nature…

  6. We've been using reusable BPA-free water bottles for some time now. My daughters carry them everywhere and have their own reusable bottles.

    One of the motivating factors for them is that they can have ice-cold water from our well or filtered water (we use the well water and filter some of it for drinking water) in the car or during their homeschool co-op classes.

    They love the taste of the water…and that it is so cold.

    They (and I) look at the water bottles that are thrown away and think it's so wasteful. The girls don't understand WHY people would buy water in plastic bottles that have to be thrown away.

    "Why don't they just bring their own water bottles, Mom?" they ask. I don't have a good answer for them because I wonder the same thing!

  7. Natallie, I like your idea with the team logo. Maybe we can try that for next year! I will talk to the coaches.

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