Bring Your Own… Cup

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Billions of disposable cups end up in landfills every year
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8 million tons of plastic is dumped in the ocean yearly

5.25 trillion pieces of plastic trash are floating in our oceans. The Pacific Garbage Island alone covers an area ranging from the size of the state of Texas to the size of the country of Russia (!). And there are 5 of these types of islands. Plastic degenerates into fine particles and micro beads, which hover just below the surface, making it hard to see, but causing immense harm to marine life.

We live in a “throw-away” culture. One that enjoys a use-once-then-discard mentality about too many things. As a group, we often try to make ourselves feel better about our impact by committing to recycling. While worthy, recycling simply isn’t sufficient. Worse, it’s often not applicable. For example: did you know that many disposable paper cups cannot easily be recycled due to the plastic or wax coating on the inside that makes it waterproof? This paper biodegrades much slower in landfills for the same reason. The 5 major global garbage islands are just one example of the impact of our fixation on single-use items for convenience as opposed to necessity.

The reduce, reuse, recycle mantra is as important as it ever was. At Optimal Health Center, we took a look at which behaviors we could adopt to make positive change. We’ve elected to replace “convenience vessels” with reusable options at our homes and at our office. In other words, we’re choosing bottles, cups, and mugs made from sustainable, responsible, non-toxic materials that can easily be washed and reused indefinitely.

Why vessels? Everything needs to start somewhere. Our providers frequently recommend patients drink more water. Chronic dehydration is a common cause of health conditions, and in our Desert community, it’s even more prevalent. Life can be busy and hectic, and it’s so easy to just grab a bottle of water from the cooler at the convenience store and then toss it when it’s empty. That’s great for your hydration, but that bottle is terrible for the planet, and the toxicity in the plastic bottle isn’t healthy. The right vessels represent a one-two punch for healthy bodies and healthy environments.

We’ll publish a few posts in a series on medically and environmentally healthy hydration designed to help our patients and readers score points for themselves and for the planet.

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