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We all know how important it is to drink plenty of water and in recent years we’ve all become much more aware of our water intake and getting our recommended 2 litres per day.
What has also changed is the way we access our water. From our ancestors drinking water directly from a spring to tap water being introduced in Australia in the 1850s and bottled water in the late 1980s, our access to plentiful and safe drinking water has never been greater.
The growth in popularity of single use bottled water has been particularly noteworthy – we purchase 15 billion plastic bottles each year! This is a staggering figure especially when according to Cool Australia, “when Australia was first introduced to bottled water… we all thought it was a joke.”
On the one hand, it’s great to see so many people drinking water as we all know about its health benefits. However a downside of the colossal rise in the popularity of single use bottled water are the environmental costs.
A potential solution to the insatiable demand for single use bottled water is the greater provision of spring water coolers in communal areas – however are spring water coolers better for the environment than their smaller counterparts?
The Environmental Issues Caused By Single Use Bottled Water
There are a whole range of environmental issues caused by single use bottled water, not just in Australia but across the world.
This starts with the manufacturing process as most single used plastic bottles are produced from crude oil and it can take up to 3 litres of water to produce 1 litre of water according to Clean Up!
Then transportation comes in to play – both in transporting the single use bottled water to retailers but also by consumers going to those retailers to purchase them.
The biggest environmental issue that most of us have seen or heard about is the amount of litter and landfill that single use plastic bottles produce as according to Cool Australia, less than 40% are recycled so most end up in landfill or waterways.
Plastic bottles can take 450 years to decompose and unfortunately when they end up in waterways are often mistaken for food by marine animals.
5 Ways Spring Water Coolers Are A More Environmentally-Friendly Choice
Some of the biggest challenges we face today are environmental challenges such as pollution and waste management and we can all look at our lifestyle habits and how we make more sustainable choices.
One of the habits we can look at is the way we consume our drinking water and what we can do to help reduce and eliminate single-use bottles.
A potentially more environmentally-friendly and convenient way of consuming water is through communal spring water coolers.
Here are 5 ways in which they are a more environmentally-friendly choice:
1. The Manufacturing Process
The average spring water cooler bottle holds 15 litres of water – this compares to the average single-used plastic bottle holding anywhere from 350 millilitres to 1.5 litres so many less spring water bottles are required to service the same amount of people.
For example, in an office with ten people seeking to drink their recommended 2 litres of water per day each, there would be a requirement for 100 litres of water. Their needs would require only seven 15 litre spring water bottles versus 200 0.5 litre single use water bottles!
2. The Transport Process
Most spring water coolers include a monthly delivery service that provides customers with the number of bottles they require each month. This contrasts with the process of getting single use bottled water to the end use which firstly requires them to be delivered in bulk to the retailer and secondly requires the end-user to go to the retailer to purchase them which depending on their needs could include several trips per week.
3. The Need For Plastic Production
As mentioned above, spring water coolers hold so much more water than their single us counterparts and they are recycled and reused over and over again so the need for plastic to be manufactured is considerably less when it comes to spring water cooler bottles. In fact, here at Pacific Springs our spring water bottles can be used for anywhere between 5 – 10 years.
4. They Use Less Energy Than Traditional Kettles
Most water coolers also come with the option for instant hot water to make hot drinks such as tea and coffee. This reduces the need to continually boil water in a kettle several times a day.
Expert Energy estimates that an instant hot tap can use up to 50% less energy than traditional kettles. What’s more, 67% of people overfill their kettle every time they use it which wastes a lot of energy – this compares to an instant hot tap only dispensing what is required.
5. The Promotion Of Recycling
While spring water cooler bottles are made of plastic, they are not single-use and refilled and reused time after time and thus a much more sustainable practice and much less likely to end up in landfills or our waterways.
So Is A Spring Water Cooler An Option For Your Home Or Workplace?
There are a range of reasons why spring water coolers are better for the environment than their single-used plastic counterparts so if you’re thinking of ways to adjust your habits just get in touch and we can explore the options with you!
- https://www.coolaustralia.org/bottled-water-secondary (Accessed 16/02/23)
- https://www.cleanup.org.au/newpage (Accessed 17/02/23)
- https://reductionrevolution.com.au/blogs/how-to/fridge-power-consumption (Accessed 20/02/23)
- https://www.sustainability.vic.gov.au/recycling-and-reducing-waste/at-home/avoid-waste/minimise-single-use-items/plastic-water-bottles (Accessed 21/02/23)
- https://www.wwf.org.au/news/blogs/the-lifecycle-of-plastics (Accessed 21/02/23)
- https://www.vanellagroupmn.com/the-negative-effects-of-plastic-on-the-environment (Accessed 21/02/23)
- https://expert-energy.co.uk/ (Accessed 21/02/23)
- https://www.borgandoverstrom.com/en/blog/hot-tap-boiling-tap-kettle-differences/ (Accessed 21/02/23)