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Archive for July, 2011

The state of Vermont is considering a plan to get rid of bottled water services to all state government offices.
Vermont bottled water issue
Naturally, this has many state employees quite upset. Many do not have on-site access to water that is fit for consumption. The state argues that spending “more than $200,000 annually” on bottled water while millions have already been spent on public water treatment makes no sense. They’ve also tested water at 8 different office locations and determined the water to be potable.

The state is also looking to do the right thing from an environmental perspective, in addition to saving money. They make the obvious point that many chemicals go into the the process of making the plastic for the water coolers. However, they did not make the obvious distinction between the large, durable plastic water jugs that are reused and the common smaller plastic disposable water bottle. So while they mention the environment, their main concern is largely monetary, and that’s fine. It would be better if they were to just focus on their economic concerns, as that seems to be the primary issue here.

Both sides seem to be completely unaware of any other options. The best solution in this case is one that has already been adopted by many different types of businesses and office environments. It simply involves the installation of a high-capacity water filter that can provide filtered water throughout an office. There would, of course, be costs involved with this change but it would be considerably less than paying for a water delivery service.

Another option would be for states like Vermont to actively seek out a mutually beneficial relationship with a home water filtration company like Aquasana. The state could work out a deal to purchase a large number of filters from the company at a discounted price and pass the savings on to state employees. Office workers can simply take their home filtered water with them to work. They would obviously also have the benefit of having access to this water away from work as well.

The second option would require that enough employees are willing to spend some of their own money for their own home water filters. This would not be an issue once people realize the many benefits they would gain with this plan. They would save money on water away from work, gain a more convenient way to get water, and maybe even become a little healthier.

There’s no question that many, if not all states are still suffering financially from the recent recession. The challenge that our elected officials have are considerable. With such large budget deficits, many officials are faced with cutting some very basic and crucial public programs. Ideally they will strive to always do the right thing and protect those that need the most help.

I think that this story is a grey area. As important as clean drinking water is, state employees do have reasonable options – like bringing water from home. These difficult times are calling for all of us to pitch in a little more and find new ways to work together. Hopefully that idea will catch on.

In a follow-up to the recent water pollution issue concerning the EPA, the House of Representatives has voted to block the agency in its attempt to gain more control of state water quality standards.
bottled water
There was a 239-184 vote in favor of a bill that seeks to limit the control of the Environmental Protection Agency. According to the Politico article, politicians opposed to the EPA’s recent actions accuse them of attempting a “huge power grab” and “creating a regulatory nightmare” for most of states in the union. The agency has also been accused of creating a distrustful and bitter atmosphere.

While the bill is not likely to be passed, because it must get through the democratic senate and be approved by the President, it’s another shining example of conservative distrust of government. It’s easy to agree that too much power in the hands of any one person, organization, or government is obviously not a good thing. However, attempts to limit or combat an organization whose sole purpose is to protect the environment in which we all live is quite ignorant.

Ignorance is, of course, not the largest threat to the EPA and the environment. It’s greed. No shock there, huh? Stricter regulations on businesses that create water pollution will obviously show up in higher costs of doing business. Industry leaders make a good case when they say that this not only hampers their ability to get things done, but also prevents them from hiring more people.

Is this really the situation? Is it quite possible that the desire for an ever increasing bottom-line is what’s preventing industry leaders from hiring more people?

It’s easy to conclude that the EPA chose the wrong method to get its much needed job done. No one likes being strong-armed, and that’s what the agency attempted across many states. One thing should be undeniable – we need a government agency like the EPA. The simple fact is that industry’s profit motive will not keep our water clean. The truth is that it does the opposite.

Instead of an overbearing and controlling agency, we need one that will strive to be more cooperative while still being able to do the job that needs to be done.

There are obviously no easy answers here. A real solution will take time. I believe that it is not only possible to be profitable and environmentally responsible, but that the two ideas go hand-in-hand. Business leaders are starting to realize this. It should be one of the EPA’s tasks to lead in this important education, instead of merely dictating.

It has been happening with increasing frequency and severity. Many American towns are dealing with flooding like never before.
bottled water
Flooding often contaminates local drinking water supplies and forces people to stock up on large amounts of bottled water. A recent example of this happened a little over a week ago in Minot ND. A local grocery chain sold 45,000 cases of bottled water in a span of two weeks.

It is safe to guess that most of those bottles are not going to get recycled. However, local recycling organization – Earth Recycling – has seen a corresponding increase in business in relation to the boil order that has been in effect. The fact remains that not all of that large number of bottles of water will make it to a recycling center. This is simply not environmentally acceptable. It seems that as long as disposable bottled water is produced it will lead to another source of unnecessary waste.

The bottled water story is really just one of a lack of education and awareness. It seems that many are simply not aware of an alternative way to get clean water in an emergency situation, other than buying wasteful plastic bottles. The fact is that home water filters like Aquasana can provide people with safe drinking water. It’s actually more convenient than bottled water because you don’t have to leave your home to get the water you need.

Admittedly, if the flooding is severe enough in your area where your home is actually flooded, you won’t have access to the water that your filtration system can provide. The only exception would be if you had enough time to fill up some containers before you were forced out of your home.

Is laziness also a contributing factor to the popularity of bottled water? I think so. It really does not take that much effort to use and maintain a non-disposable container for drinking water. This is very similar to the idea of someone reusing cloth bags for grocery shopping. It’s not that difficult. Fortunately, many grocery stores across the country are starting to discontinue the use of plastic bags. It’s just another source of unnecessary waste.

You might argue that being in an emergency situation, like a flooding area, might change my perspective on plastic contained water. I have to admit that I have not been in that kind of situation. However, I do know that the water bottled industry is hardly regulated, so there really is no guarantee that these companies are selling healthy water.

I would like to think that I would have enough time to fill up some water jugs with my home water filtration system in time before being forced to leave my home. From an environmental perspective, it’s the right thing to do.

South African scientists have discovered a way to purify highly toxic water that has been polluted by various industries.

The method is called “eutectic freeze crystallization”. The word eutectic means the lowest possible temperature of solidification. Part of the process involves freezing the polluted water to simultaneously separate the toxins and purify the water. This is effective because pollutants naturally separate from water as it freezes, forming salts and sinking to the ground. What is truly remarkable about this method is that scientists claim that about 99.9 percent of polluted water can be used again after applying this method.
medicine in water
The implications of this new water purification system are tremendous. Any industry that pollutes water as a by-product of doing business now has a way to do the right thing environmentally and save money as well. Only two things are produced by this purification method – clean water and pure salt. Businesses can save money by selling the salt that is produced and reuse a high percentage of the water that they need. This is just another great example of how good environmental responsibility can also be good for business as well.

This is a much needed system of cleaning toxic water. Until now, water pollution from industrial sources was stored in large “evaporation ponds”. These ponds have been significant sources of groundwater pollution. They also did not effectively eliminate the toxins in the polluted water as they were merely turned into poisonous solids. Another drawback to this conventional method is that it requires six times the amount of electricity compared to the eutectic method.

The article that is being referenced here mentions a few countries that have expressed interest in this new water treatment system. Not surprisingly, the United States was not one of them. This is quite sad, as world powers should be the ones setting examples and leading the way to a greener future. There really is no legitimate reason why this system can’t be adopted by every industry worldwide. It’s a win-win. Companies can improve their bottom lines and provide for a more sustainable future for themselves and the general population.

Probably due to development and implementation reasons, this water cleaning system will not be available for a few more years. It will obviously not solve every water pollution problem that the world has, but it is definitely a significant step in the right direction. In the meantime, as more examples of how toxic our water sources can be, the more I am thankful for water filtration companies like Aquasana. We need as many water filtering methods as possible, considering the high level and number of pollutants that exist.

There are a large number of Americans who apparently are not concerned about the many repercussions of taking prescription medicine.

In addition to many negative side effects experienced by its users, pharmaceutical medicine is also becoming a considerable threat to the health of everyone else. A considerable amount of these drugs pass right through the user and into waste water management systems. It is also a very common practice for people to dispose of their undesired medicine by flushing it down a drain. This is a problem because public waste water treatment plants are not designed to remove these kinds of synthetic chemicals.
medicine in water
The good news is that water filter companies like Aquasana sell products that can remove the chemicals left behind by pharmaceuticals.

Not surprisingly, chemicals from medicine are not the first thing that people think of when types of water pollution are mentioned. However, this is definitely a serious addition to the already large number of known water contaminants. Anyone who is considered to be relatively health-conscious will tell you that ingesting any chemicals of any amount can damage your health.

Those that take pain medication and other drugs are not the only guilty faction, of course. Pharmaceutical companies also do much to contribute to this growing source of environmental pollution. As with just about everything else in our world, consumer action can make a big difference here.

I personally never take artificial medicine. I also think that it is safe to say that most people do not need to take the medicine that they do. The sad fact of the matter is that the medicine that is being sold today actually makes people sicker. I’m sure that previous statement might sound pretty radical or even considered plainly untrue by your typical user. That idea is quite unfortunate. The fact is that natural medicine is the only real medicine.
do not flush medicine
Hopefully more people will become aware of this urgent matter. Those that currently want to get rid of their medication should be aware of the fact that there are many drug buy-back programs that are available. Worse case scenario, dispose of your pills in the trash instead of the toilet.

Hopefully those that take medicine will consider how much healthier we could all be if they could manage to do away with those poisonous pills.

Please spread the word.

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