The Story of Stuff

The Story of Stuff may be familiar but I ran across it and it brings a pet peeve to mind:

[youtube=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OqZMTY4V7Ts&w=425&h=344]

One issue we’ve been debating at Conscious Cup Coffee is whether to continue to offer bottled water. We’ve had reasoned arguments on both sides. Those who favor retention point to stories about drug levels in muncipal water supplies. I’m unsure whether bottled water resolves that issue because, to the best of my knowledge, drug levels aren’t tested for bottled water.

My biggest concern, other than sourcing locally, is the waste stream. Opportunities to recycle outside of the home are minimal. Walk through the commercial districts in our area and not one recycling bin can be easily found.

A couple of facts from Green Upgrader:

90% of the cost of bottled water is due to the bottle itself
80% of plastic bottles are not recycled

What will motivate people to recycle their bottle waste? California is seeing some success in increased recycling because the state demands a deposit on the bottles. Is money the motivation? (This reminds me of days trolling the boatyard near our home along the Ottawa River picking up bottles to reclaim the deposit and buy baseball cards.)

I just dug out my bph-free water bottle and stainless coffee to-go cup. We offer a discount at the cafe to those who bring in reusable drink bottles. Iced water is available free from a lovely, red urn.

Next step with my Chamber of Commerce is to promote use of recycling bins in the fronts of stores alongside the trash cans. I just bought one for the cafe.

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