For many of us, bottled water is a daily staple. A case of 32 bottles of spring water can be bought for less than $5 at the local Wal-Mart. However, the environmental impact of each bottle of water is multiple factors larger than the bottle alone. Between bottle creation, transport and bottling, each liter of bottle water actually requires 3 liters of water to get it to the end user. Plastic bottles are also difficult to dispose of and have contributed to the formation of the Great Pacific Garbage Patch.
If everyone could fill up each water bottle they used at least one more time we could cut our plastic consumption for water in half. With the number of water fountains that fill up water bottles vertically, it is now easier than ever to reuse a bottle. Plastic water bottles are so harmful to our environment because they are extremely difficult to dispose of. There are currently 2 million tons of plastic water bottles in US landfills alone, which will take 1,000 years to bio-degrade. This number is growing every day and if we do not slow down we will only continue to pollute our environment past a point where it is reversible. For this to happen it will take one very small act from a large number of people. Cutting our bottle consumption would make an astronomical difference in the world, with very little impact on the daily behavior of each individual involved.