I finally sat down and watched Tapped, a documentary by Stephanie Soechtig, and it made me promise myself never to buy bottled water again. (The argument against bottled water, I’m sure, is old news to most of you, but if for some reason you haven’t sworn off the stuff yet, please read on.)
Some years ago, coincidentally right around the time concerned scientists and news services were alerting the public to the presence of BPA (Bisphenol-A) and similarly harmful chemicals in the purportedly “pure” bottled water, I had made the decision to get a metal water bottle for the gym. My reason for switching to metal, however, was more of a concerted effort not to throw away so many things, it just didn’t seem right to produce so much waste, recyclable or no, when my demand for such a product was causing the supply of more stuff that simply didn’t need to be, so that was the end of that. At the same time, out went paper napkins and those little yogurt containers, I stocked up on canvas grocery bags, started buying earth-friendlier cleaning products, and yes, I sent my parents biodegradable doggie poo bags. It was a massive and awesome green overhaul. (No comment on the unopened Diva Cup.)
In the case of plastic water bottles, in addition to their sheer wastefulness, there arose another reason to stop using them. It seems that more often than not, the plastics used to create these bottles break down, enter the water, then in turn enter the thirsty well-intentioned albeit naive consumer, and cause a variety of health problems (many of them quite serious and thyroid-related) for the individual (and his or her offspring…when even applicable, because one of the effects of these chemicals is reduced potency/fertility…). And the kicker is that studies suggest that even the smallest trace is harmful - it doesn’t take continued use, as one would think.
On top of that, we add the matters of the little-to-no quality regulations (no FDA tests are required if the product doesn’t cross state lines, and 70% of bottled water is sourced and bottled in-state; and even if bottled water does cross state lines, it is checked periodically at best; compared to the rigorous daily testing of municipal tap water); and questionable sourcing (often simply tap water, sometimes taken before the local need for it is met, and even throughout droughts), and we arrive at a well-supported case to drink from the tap and to switch to stainless steel containers.
[Side note: Upon finishing the documentary I decided to buy some extra bottles from Klean Kanteen. They make a variety of colors and sizes (I went with the 27 oz. - I’m a woman who can drink), including baby bottles and insulated bottles - all very cool - not to mention, a more responsible, heathy choice all around.]
A neat visualization of data project from the Digital Scholarship Lab at the University of Richmond.
“Looking at the map, there’s no single event that you can point to and say, ‘Emancipation happened here,’” Mr. Ayers said. “But in the absence of the defining moment, you start to see patterns of how African-Americans helped the Union and followed the paths of the armies and fought for their own emancipation. Here, the emancipated people appear as key players in their own stories, not told through the eyes of someone else.” - The Chronicle of Higher Education
Sheikh Abdulla bin Ali Al-Thani, a member of Qatar’s ruling family and a former university professor
-“Why is Qatar investing so much in education?”
'Kansas Gov. Sam Brownback (R) signed a bill yesterday that will allow pharmacists in the state to refuse to fill a prescription they think could be used to induce abortion. But since the “conscience” measure says they cannot be required to provide a drug or devise that they think “may result in the termination of a pregnancy” — but does not define which drug in particular — the law’s opponents say it could allow a pharmacist to interfere with a woman’s health care by refusing to distribute birth control or emergency contraception.’ - Think Progress
I am so fuming with rage that I can hardly type. WHY are we allowing our nation to even suggest such a regression for women’s rights? This is an asinine misogynistic movement disguised in pro-life garb. Women *are* life. We think, we speak, we create, we love, we learn, we have glorious sex, and we change the world. We decide. We will not lose the ground we have fought for. We will not stand for this.