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Ban the bottle

Dear Editor:

How would you feel if you knew water that eventually forms the Roaring Fork River was being siphoned at the source and sold for a profit by a powerful multinational company? It’s about to happen. Nestle Waters North America has recently secured rights along the Arkansas River near Buena Vista, where the water will be pumped to trucks, driven to Denver and bottled under the Arrowhead brand.

What does the Arkansas River have to do with our watershed? Thanks to trans-mountain diversion tunnels at Grizzly Reservoir and at Turquoise Lake more than one-third of the water than would normally flow into the Fork from these upper watersheds is delivered instead to the Front Range.

What’s wrong with bottled water? The production of the bottles themselves is extremely toxic and consumes enough crude oil every year to run 200,000 cars annually. The transportation of the water from the source and then from the bottling factory to the consumer creates an enormous carbon footprint. The water in the bottle is far less regulated (yes, there have been recalls) and far more expensive (by as much as 1000 percent) than any municipal water source. There is considerable proof that the plastic leaches dangerous toxins into the water (even BPA-free bottles) that is immediately consumed by everyone from children to pregnant mothers. Lastly, despite local recycling, millions of these bottles overwhelm our landfills every year. There are entire islands of floating debris in our oceans made up of nothing but discarded plastic bottles!

What can you do? Ban the bottle! Don’t buy bottled water. Use tap water at home and at restaurants. We literally have some of the best water on the planet at our fingertips. Use a reusable, refillable steel container for your daily commute or hike. Recycle. Support the Roaring Fork Conservancy, which is sponsoring an important documentary on the subject this week called “TAPPED.”

The movie will be shown at the Church at Carbondale at 6:30 p.m. today. Call 927-1290 for more information. We’ll even give you a free container!

Scott Bayens

Carbondale


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