Category Archives: advice

Thinking Outside the Bottle

water bottles in front of river image

“Thinking Outside the Bottle”,* the title of an article from a flyer that was handed out by the Sierra Club at the recent EcoFest at the Unitarian Universalist church in Wichita.  As one who has been drinking, and enjoying, filtered water for a number of years, the title caught my eye.

Also, as one who is an ardent recycler, ever looking for places to recycle even more items, I have been concerned about the number of plastic bottles, large and small, that are used for bottled water that I see as litter and in trash cans.

For all of us who are concerned about conserving water and stopping pollution, what if we “say good-bye to plastic, disposable bottles?”

Consider the following:

  • for every 3 liters of  fresh water that goes into making bottled water, just one liter ends up in the bottle–the other 2 go to waste;
  • in 1 year more than 900,000 TONS of plastic was used to package 8 BILLION gallons of bottled water–most of that plastic ended up as litter or in dumps;
  • if we turned all of the energy that goes into making a bottle of water back into oil, the bottle would be one quarter full of oil.

How can we think outside the bottle?  Here are a few alternate methods of having good tasting water handy:

  • obtain reusable containers and fill them with a supply of filtered water that you keep at home;
  • for public events, set out pitchers of filtered water and reusable cups;
  • install a quality water filter on the tap in your home.

Every adjustment each of us makes to live sustainably and tread more lightly on the Earth (regardless of how small or seemingly insignificant each adjustment is)  is magnified because we are modeling that behavior to others.  How will you “think outside the bottle?”

* Source: Tomorrow’s Planet, by Ann Pinkerton and Eileen Weckerie

Elegy for a Walnut Tree

black walnuts on a tree image


Old friend now there is no one alive

Who remembers when you were young

It was high summer when I first saw you

In the blaze of day most of my life ago

With the dry grass whispering in your shade

And already you had lived through wars

And echoes of wars around your silence

Through days of parting and seasons of absence

With the house emptying as the years went their way

Until it was home to bats and swallows

And still when spring climbed toward summer

You opened once more the curled sleeping fingers

Of newborn leaves as though nothing had happened

You and the seasons spoke the same language

And all these years I have looked through your limbs

To the river below and the roofs and the night

And you were the way I saw the world

W. S. Merwin

Belledessa was deeply inspired by this poem and is her contribution to our ‘Advice From A Tree’ series!