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Bottled Water is Bad

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In the past twenty years, sales of bottled water have gone through the roof and quadrupled. In the US alone, sales accounted for $11.7 billion in 2007, which was the year of record dollar sales, as more and more people make health-conscious decisions to buy water instead of soda, sugary juices, and caffeinated beverages. However, one liter of bottled water produces as much as half a pound of greenhouse gases once the plastic is produced and the product shopped halfway around the world. Tally all the water consumed in the US, and you could power 250,000 homes for a full year. It's a drain on and an unnecessary use of resources.

Bottled water has its place, though. It provides a healthy alternative at large events, for example, where people will need to purchase drinks anyway. In areas without access to potable water sources, bottled water is a boon. Yet too many people reach for bottled water rather than tap water at home. The latter is every bit as healthy as the former, and costs a lot less. What's more, most people would be hard pressed to discern any difference between the two. In taste tests at Ithaca College in New York, tap water beat out bottled water four out of five times.

Many people recycle the plastic, which of course helps the environment. Yet far too many plastic bottles still end up in landfills - in the US, 3900 million pounds (1770 million kilograms). Many states in the US don't have a redemption policy on plastic, which exacerbates the problem. More importantly, though, people should strive to reduce resource consumption, reuse resources whenever feasible, and lastly recycle resources. All those empty water bottles simply don't allow that.

Preview some of the lesson material:

Warm Up: Do you agree or disagree? Why?

  1. Tap water is better than bottled water.
  2. There is a big difference in taste among the varieties of bottled water.
  3. I drink at least five bottles of water every day.
  4. Bottled water is a waste of resources.
  5. I recycle the plastic from bottled water.

Fragments: Remember how the fragments were used, and complete the sentence from today's article.

  1. In the past twenty years, sales of bottled water have...
  2. Tally all the water consumed in the US, and you could...
  3. Yet too many people reach for...
  4. Many people recycle the plastic, which...
  5. Many states in the US don't have a redemption policy on plastic, which...

post-Comprehension: Talk about the following questions in pairs/groups. Remember to support your answers!

  1. How concerned are you with plastic bottles and their use of resources? Why?.
  2. Will this article cause you to stop buying bottled water? Why/not?
  3. What problem causes the greatest damage to the environment? Why do you think so?
  4. If we continue to use resources and pollute, what will the world be like in fifty years? Please explain.
  5. Were you surprised by how much Americans pollute? Why/not? How does your country compare

Google Search: Type "plastic bottles" into Google. Look at the websites, and/or read additional articles on this topic. Discuss or write an essay about your findings.

Download the lesson:



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