Thirsty Drinkers Reduce Plastic

Photo by Friends of the Chicago River.

The Washington Post reported on a recent study published in the journal Science that challenged the 1946 recommendation from the Food and Nutrition Board of the National Research Council that we all need eight glasses of water a day. They said the recommendation is often misinterpreted and even got it wrong. The 1946 endorsement stated that the 64 ounces of water we “need” can come from food and beverages such as tea and coffee, a guidance that is mostly ignored hence the eight glasses a day imperative we are all accustomed to. Current day research instead reveals that humans need to drink when we are thirsty and that individuals each have different “water turnover,” i.e., the amount of water we lose and replace in a day. It can depend on age, size, and what you do all day.

Since almost 500 billion plastic bottle are used a year, if we stop buying and giving away plastic water bottles to people who aren’t thirsty we can reduce the carbon and pollution footprint from so much plastic.

At Friends we lament the number of number of plastic water bottles given away at meetings and special events no matter how long or short. Those wasted bottles can turn up as litter in and along the Chicago River system and all over the world contributing to the extraordinary pressure litter places on environmental health. Friends of the Chicago River has long fought for a sewage and litter-free river system and our Litter Free Chicago-Calumet River Program has engaged thousands and thousands of people in the rivers care.

Now that you know you don’t need it, please help your colleagues, friends, and family to reconsider their plastic water bottle footprint, and don’t take one when offered. The river and earth will thank you.