In her blog, features writer Sarah Holmes makes an effort to stop wasting water bottles
Week 2 of my challenge was all about cutting back on my plastic bottle use.
It’s always been a guilty habit of mine to pop into the newsagent’s and grab a bottle of water on my way into work.
Not only am I paying a small fortune for something that literally runs from the taps for free, but the massive amounts of ocean-clogging, earth-polluting waste material that it produces is criminal.
According to a study released earlier this year by the water filter experts BRITA, Britons use 7.7 billion plastic bottles each year.
Of those, 5 billion bottles end up in landfill, where it takes 450 years for a single bottle to decompose.
All this time, the bottles are releasing harmful micro plastic particles into our soil and oceans, which pollute our food chains and affect our own well-being.
In addition to that, it takes 162g of oil and seven litres of water to produce just a single one litre disposable PET bottle, which amounts to the release of 100g of Carbon Dioxide. I could go on, but I’m sure you get the picture, which is why my first resolution this week was to stop buying plastic water bottles completely.
Instead, I invested in a BRITA Fill & Go and made sure to fill it at the kitchen tap every morning before I left for work. The impact it has had on the sheer volume of my recycling is reason enough to keep it up.
But I wanted to do more. I still had some bottles left over from a previous week, so I decided to make something out of them that would curb my plastic bottle use even more. Water isn’t the only thing I’ve been buying in plastic bottles. There’s also the hand soap, body soap, shampoos and conditioners that I regularly stock up on.
So I decided to make a soap dispenser out of an old water bottle, which was ridiculously easy to do. I simply soaked the label off in warm water, and filled the old bottle with soap that I made myself by boiling down a bar in hot water. Fix a hand pump from an old soap dispenser and you’re ready to go.
I’ve reused these plastic bottles to create dispensers for my homemade hand soap, and shower wash.
It’s even a great way of dispensing your washing up liquid because you use less with each pump. Going forward, I’m definitely going to keep looking for ways to cut down on my plastic use across the board.
As a society, we might be a long off living a truly plastic-free life, but even small steps can make a big difference.