Did you know there’s an island of garbage the size of Texas floating off the coast of California? It’s true! Of that garbage, 90% of it is plastic. This plastic waste threatens our environment and our health, so how do we reduce it? There are lots of ways to get started, like using canvas grocery bags, organizing beach cleanups, and replacing bottled water with a drinking water system from Angel Water! After all, there’s already two million tons of water bottle waste in our landfills. Here’s how to cut back!
When you look at some places like New Delhi, India, you see sewage and smog, but when you look around here it seems relatively clean. Why? You can thank the EPA. In the 60s and 70s, Americans grew concerned with the environment. Congress passed the National Environmental Policy Act of 1969 and Nixon created the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) to enact it. Today, the EPA oversees hundreds of programs dealing with the air, pollution prevention, wastes and recycling, toxins and chemicals, pesticides, and water. They recommend you get your water tested at least annually to ensure your water is clean—so schedule water testing with Angel Water today!
Bottled water harms both you and the environment. It’s bad for the earth because it depletes sensitive water sheds, produces massive amounts of pollution during bottling and distribution, and leaves behind tons of plastic waste. It’s bad for you because it doesn’t have to meet state and local regulations, is less frequently tested, and is proven to contain pathogens as frequently as unfiltered tap water. Not only that, but it’s far more expensive than tap water.
A drinking water system from Angel Water will provide you healthier water, reduce your impact on the environment, and cost you less on an annual basis.
Since 2001 the Barrington Area Council of Governments (BACOG) has been researching and exploring ground water. This interview with Janet Agnoletti talks about how the Barrington area can protect their groundwater and the importance of water testing.
What is the purpose of BACOG?
BACOG focuses on regional planning, legislative work, management of development and land use, and the protection of environmental resources. The importance of groundwater was unexplored when I started as an executive director back in 2000.
Our education goes to help people understand where their water comes from and how it’s part of a bigger aquifer system.
Where does the Barrington area’s groundwater come from?
It comes from an interconnected system of shallow aquifers located underground. The Barrington area water does not come from a river, a stream or a lake below ground. Groundwater flows through soil materials that were left by the last glaciers that were here. That helps contribute to the good water quality we have.
What’s the best piece of advice you would give someone who wants to protect and maintain their well?
In all the Barrington communities there are 35,000 people within 80 square miles, nearly all of whom use water from shallow aquifers. Out of that there are 8 municipal wells, 6 of them in shallow aquifers, as well as a handful of deep aquifer wells used for irrigation or other purposes.
The best piece of advice I would give to private well owners is to test for nitrates and bacteria once a year. The homeowner is responsible for the quality of their water even if there is no legal requirement. Some people are aware of it but they don’t test regularly.
Anytime you open the well column or have plumbing work done, make sure to test your water. That activity may introduce bacteria into the well column.
What are some water problems that impact the Barrington area?
Our aquifers are loaded with iron. It won’t hurt you but it stains fixtures and is aesthetically unappealing.
Where can residents test their water?
Residents can test their water through Angel Water and BACOG water testing events. For more information on water testing visit angelwater.com.
Emily Mayberry, a staff member at Angel Water is donating a week of her time to the Ojai Foundation. During her trip with the Ojai Foundation, she plans to restore the relationship between earth and water by improving drainage systems and participating in a restoration project.
The project is located in Maricopa, CA and she’ll be heading out during the month of January.
“I like to take gain new skills and knowledge about water and conservation because they are key components in my life,” Mayberry said. “I’ll be able to bring experiences back and share them with others.”
The trip is centered on learning new skills to live in balance and harmony with the earth, experiencing community in many forms and a hiking trip into the Sespe Wilderness.
“I’m so excited to see where this opportunity leads me,” Mayberry said.
We’ll follow up with her as she plans for her trip and returns with some great stories about water conservation!
Seabin Waste Collector Collects Ocean Plastic
As a new water filtration system, the Seabin marine waste collector makes it possible to remove plastic from our waterways. Designed to float in marinas, inland waterways, residential lakes and harbors, the water-based rubbish bin is like a vacuum for the sea.
The Seabin is situated on the surface and is plumbed into a shore-based water pump on the dock. The water gets sucked into the bin, bringing floating debris and floating liquids with it. The water then flows out through the bottom of the bin and up into the pump on the dock. The catch bag is made from natural fiber, but there is also an option of installing an oil and water separator. Each Seabin can be operated by one person and, thanks to its small size, can be fitted to yachts.
Ocean Cleanup by Boyan Slat
Boyan Slat, a 19-year-old from the Netherlands has created an Ocean Cleanup Array could remove 7,250,000 tons of plastic waste from the world’s oceans. The device consists of a n network of floating booms and processing platforms that could be dispatched to garbage patches around the world.
While the device has been disputed by ocean scientists, The Ocean Cleanup will deploy a 2000 meter array off Tsushima island, which lies between Japan and South Korea. The system is set to start functioning in 2016 and will work to remove plastic until 2018.
Why is Removing Plastic Important?
Removing plastic from our ocean is essential to the Barrington community, if we wish to continue drinking water. It’s true that we offer reverse osmosis systems that are designed to remove contaminants like lead, fluoride and E. coli. However, if we don’t recognize the way plastic is destroying our water ways the real problem will never be solved.
By Joe Bongiovanni
The 70’s was a time of cultural revolution and environmental awareness never seen before in the United States. At the same time, air pollution and contamination of Clean Drinking Water reached staggering levels. Carbon dioxide was continuing to increase in parts per million and the Erie Canal Caught Fire from the level of chemical pollutants that had been dumped into the water supply. And after the publication of Rachel Carson’s best-selling book Silent Spring in 1964, concern for the environment and public health was at a tipping point.
Peace Activist John McConnell was the first person to come up with an idea of a day dedicated to honoring our planet. The original celebration was to take place on March 21, 1970 in commemoration of the first day of spring in the northern hemisphere. Senator Gaylord Nelson from Wisconsin is credited with being the founder of Earth Day after witnessing a huge oil spill in Santa Barbara, California in 1969. The senator had been inspired by the anti-war movement and emerging public conciseness, so he announced the idea to the national media and hired a staff to promote the event across the country. It is estimated that over 20 million Americans participated in the festivities through the United States.
An organization called Earth Day Network grew out of the first Earth Day on April 22nd, 1970. “Earth Day Network (EDN) works with over 22,000 partners in 192 countries to broaden, diversify and mobilize the environmental movement. More than 1 billion people now participate in Earth Day activities each year, making it the largest civic observance in the world.” The EDN has been responsible for successful Earth Day campaigns for over 40 years. Issues that are tackled include climate change and access to Clean Drinking Water.
Earth Day is great way to increase awareness on public health. It’s also a great way to do something positive for the environment. Angel Water has always been committed to providing our customers with safe and Clean Drinking Water. Call (847) 382-7800 to find out how you can benefit from a Reverse Osmosis Water Filter or Whole House Water Filtration System.
By Joe Bongiovanni
Go for a Walk, Run, or Bike Ride
These are great ways to get outside and get active. It’s also a great way to cut down on pollution. Car exhaust is one of the leading contributors to the greenhouse effect. There are a ton of parks in Illinois that provide a great opportunity to get away. It also has an extensive network of nature walks and bike trails.
Plant a Tree
What better way to commemorate Earth Day than to plant a tree. Trees provide all sorts of benefits for humans. They create oxygen while at the same time removing carbon dioxide from the atmosphere Also, trees recycle and are natural Water Filters. Not to mention they prevent soil erosion while shading the area around it. Planting a tree is a great activity to do with a group of people. You can do it with friends or organize an entire community event. A tree lives for over 50 years and can serve as a lasting reminder of the memories.
Sign a Petition
Petitions are a great way to raise awareness and enact change from a grassroots level. With the advent of the internet, online activism has become more prevalent and digital petitions can be distributed across larger distances with greater ease. The White House has an entire webpage devoted to petitions to President Obama by American citizens. Websites like the Earth Day Network have petitions regarding banning new coal power plants, increasing MPG standards, and decoupling utility profits.
Calculate you Carbon Footprint
A carbon footprint is defined by the Merriam-Webster Dictionary as, “the amount of greenhouse gases and specifically carbon dioxide emitted by something (as a person’s activities or a product’s manufacture and transport) during a given period”. There are many carbon footprint calculators to choose from like the one created by the Environmental Protection Agency or Earth Day Network. Once you know how much carbon is produced by your actions, steps can be taken to reduce these.
San Francisco has the ambitious goal of eliminating all landfill waste by 2020. After the city achieved a 50% reduction in waste by 2000, as mandated for the entire state of California, San Francisco set ambitious goals of 75% waste diversion by 2010 and zero waste by 2020. The goals help promote sustainability through the conservation of natural resources, reduction of pollution and contaminants, and the addition of green jobs to the local economy.
“The City’s 3 bin system, policies, financial incentives, and extensive outreach to residents and businesses, helped San Francisco achieve the highest diversion rate of any major city in North America. San Francisco diverts 80% (1,593,830 tons diverted in 2010) of its discards from the landfill.” –San Francisco Department of the Environment
San Francisco continues to make huge strides towards a goal of Zero Waste. Recently, the city’s Board of Supervisors voted for new legislation that will ban bottled water on public city property. The ban would prevent any city tax revenue to be used to purchase bottled beverages. By 2016, the law would be enforceable for all street vendors on public property and by 2018 nonprofit organizations would be prohibited from using bottles unless receiving a special permit. The new legislation follows similar legislation that phased out the use of plastic bags in San Francisco grocery stores. Now there are cities in states like California and Hawaii where plastic bags a completely illegal.
The new legislation is designed to reduce the amount of waste going to landfills each year. The Great Pacific Garbage Patch is the direct result of our worlds over reliance on plastic products. This mass of plastic and other debris has been estimated to up to as large as the entire continental United States. Plastic bottles can be recycled, but are frequently discarded in the trash and end up in landfills. Over 30 Billion bottles of water are sold each year and the average American will use 167 bottles annually. And that’s just for BOTTLED WATER!!!
By David A. Kaiser
#water #drinkingwater #bottledwater
Huge win for Vermont! The University has BANNED bottled water.
Say hello to the future: