An average bottle of water only costs about $1.21 but what else does that bottle cost us?

Some scary facts about bottled water:

  • In 1976 the average American consumed 1.6 gallons of bottled water each year
  • In 2008 the average American consumed 28.3 gallons of bottled water each year 
  • Americans are the world’s leading consumers of bottled water, consuming four billion gallons per year.
  • Sixty million plastic bottles end up in US landfills every day.
  • Bottling water has produced more than 2.5 million tons of carbon dioxide.
  • It takes three liters of water to produce just one liter of bottled water.
  • 1.5 million tons of plastic is used to manufacture water bottles each year.
  • Only one out of every five water bottles is recycled.
  • You can get approximately 450 gallons of tap water for the price of one bottled water.
  • In the United States alone plastic bottle production consumes approximately 17 million barrels of oil per year.
  • Disposable water bottles make up one third of all trash dumped in America’s national parks.

Since 2008 nearly 20 of our nation’s national parks have banned the sale of plastic water bottles at their vending machines and concession stands in an effort to reduce park based greenhouse gas emissions and the amount of litter in the parks.

-Zion National Park banned the sale of bottled water in 2008 eliminating more than 60,000 bottles from the waste stream in the first year alone.

-In 2012 Grand Canyon National Park banned the sale of water packaged in individual disposable containers and began a “Reduce, Reuse, Refill!” campaign after finding that disposable bottles comprised 20% of the park’s waste stream and 30% of the park’s recyclables. Estimates indicate that over 40,000 bottles were removed from the waste stream in the first year.

These parks and almost 100 other parks are members of the Climate Friendly Parks Program, a collaboration between the National Park Service and the US Environmental Protection Agency to reduce the green house gases being generated by our national parks.

Save money and protect our public lands by ditching the bottled water habit and switching to reusable water bottles.

*photo by Leonard John Matthews