Eliminating plastic water bottles at Alnoba
Sometimes the big global environmental problems seem daunting, and we wonder just what one person can do to make a difference. The answer is: each of us can do at least one thing—and if all of us do something, change happens.
Alnoba was conceived by the Lewis Family as a model of sustainability with a focus on the preservation of our natural resources and education about environmental issues.
One of the biggest environmental issues to impact our lands, oceans, and wildlife is plastic. Plastic is a huge problem because it is degradable, not biodegradable, meaning plastic cannot be recycled by living organisms, but rather will slowly be degraded by environmental factors, such as the sun and rain, into smaller and smaller pieces. These pieces will remain on the earth forever and are being digested by birds, animals, and fish.
One of our “one things” was to institute a plastic water bottle ban on the 400-acre Alnoba property. It’s an educational opportunity for everyone who visits Alnoba in the course of a year—and those numbers can have a huge impact.
The dialogue begins with the first connection between Alnoba and a group, when they are advised to bring a reusable water container for the day. To compensate for the ban, two pump houses and water stations were built to connect to deep well water, and signs are posted at each pump house[PS1] .
In 2017, more than 8,000 people spent time at Alnoba for leadership training, nonprofit organization meetings, seminars, youth meetings, and more. The elimination of an average of three water bottles per person per day adds up to 24,000 fewer water bottles added to landfills every year. In fact, the elimination of plastic water bottles resulted in the elimination of the need for 4,000 bottles for one company event alone!
Did you know?
· Ninety percent of all plastic bottles are never recycled.
· It takes at least 450 years for a plastic bottle to decompose in a landfill.
· About 1.5 million barrels of oil are used every year to make the bottles, and even more oil is burned transporting them.
· Most of the time, the water inside the bottles has more contaminants than regular old tap water.
· The EPA has stricter standards for tap water than the FDA does for bottled water, which is something to think about when you’re thirsty!