Wednesday, August 26, 2015

Avoid bottled water (A concern for Franciscans and all people of faith)

I submitted the following for our Fraternity newsletter -

Pope Francis has called us all to respect the environment. He even set aside September 1 as “World Day of Prayer for the Care of Creation.”
As Franciscans, we have a special concern for all of creation.

One of the simple, practical ways to help protect creation is to stop buying and using bottled water.
There are many reasons to avoid bottled water.

First, the bottles are produced from petroleum. The production and transportation of bottled water consumes millions of gallons of oil annually. In addition, it has been estimated that it takes 2,000 times the energy to produce bottled water than it does to produce a comparable amount of tap water.
Although many of us try to recycle, the truth is that not everyone can do so or does, and not all those bottles can be recycled anyway. As a result, billions of pounds of plastic bottles are added to landfills each year.

Depending on the quality of the bottles, many plastic bottles leech chemicals into the water they contain. Those chemicals have been linked to all sorts of disorders, including cancer, diabetes, weight gain, and infertility. Plus, government regulations that cover municipal water do not cover bottled water. Tests of bottled water have sometimes shown that bottled water actually contains more pollutants than does municipal water.
Bottled water is sometimes just tap municipal water that may have – though not always - gone through an extra step of filtering,  but then is sold for many times the actual cost of the water.  For us in Rochester, this seems especially unnecessary as our tap water has been judged as among the best in the country.

Some of that bottled water comes from companies based in drought regions – such as California – thus helping to add to the droughts.  In some places, the companies throw their economic weight around to make sure they get more of the water to sell, depleting the supply for the local residents.
What can we do?

If concerned about water quality, buy a water filter for your tap, or buy one of those pitchers that can filter. It’s actually cheaper than buying bottled water. Use a recyclable container for carrying your water; just fill it from your tap or filter unit.
This is just one way we can cherish Sister Water and to show our concern for the rest of creation that St. Francis so loved.

Pax et bonum

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