Friday, July 24, 2009

Bottled Water Versus Tap Water; What's Your Choice?

Many times what is right for me and my family isn’t what is right for you and your family. And yes, it is difficult to make the right choice, but I am going to try and forgo convince for the sake of the environment. I drink a lot of water, all bottled. There are so many different thoughts on bottled water. Many people talk about the cost of buying water verses just simply drinking tap water. According to this article here “Commercially-bottled water costs $.25 to $2/bottle…[while] Municipal tap water costs less than a penny to fill a gallon jug! This article here talks about the rise in tooth decay due to the lack of fluoride in bottled water. But, I am only going to focus on two issues; one the chemicals in the bottle that may or may not harm you and two the concern for the environment.

I’m sure you’ve heard the discussions about the chemical bisphenol A (or BPA) but, if you haven’t you need to know that BPA’s a chemical found in soft/flexible plastics that has been found to leach into the food or liquids you drink when heated. Environmental Health News has an article here that explains the side effects of BPA including heart disease and diabetes. The main concern is said to be when the plastic is heated in the microwave or left in the car, but now there is a Harvard study that says BPA is also leached into cold liquids. If BPA is as dangerous whether the food/liquid is cold or heated makes me just a little nervous. If you are concerned about the BPA's in other products, the Green Guide has a great article here about what to look for when purchasing plastic containers.

Being concerned for the environmental is another reason to stop purchasing plastic drinking water.I didn’t feel so bad about my use of plastic bottles while we were collecting them to recycle, but as we found out while living in central Arkansas, no one would take our plastic for the purpose of recycling and we were forced to throw away several large garbage bags of plastic bottles. Now I don’t know what your local recycling center accepts, but you may want to find out before you dismiss the issue. Just click here and enter you zip code to find a recycling center near you.

According to this article only 12% of plastic bottles were recycled in 2003. In fact, I dare you to keep up with ALL the plastic your family uses in a week, including what you use outside the home. Put it all in a garbage bag then at the end of a week look at how much plastic your family has throw away. Now I want you to multiply that by the 112 million families that live in the United States. That’s a lot of plastic; what do you think happens to all of that plastic?

I'm a realistic individual; I know our family won’t be able to give up plastic all together. I'm just talking about taking a small step toward reducing our carbon footprint. So, we decided to buy a PuR water system.

We picked this one up at Sam's Club. It was very reasonably priced and will hold up to 18 8oz cups of water, it even came with 2 aluminium bottles. As you can tell it doesn't take up much room in the fridge.

Okay, so who's up for the challenge? Let see how many plastic bottles we can keep out of the landfill this year!

Saturday, July 18, 2009

Exceptional Grace

Remember in school when you learned all the rules. Do you also remember that there are exceptions to rules; like -i before -e except after -c.?

Leviticus, the third book of the Old Testament, contains the laws; including dietary restrictions and rituals of worship, as well as details of ritual cleanliness. Many fundamentalist, people who believe in a strict adherence to the Bible, follow these laws. They live by the rules. Now, that sounds like a very reasonable thing to do; but is really?

In Acts 10: 9-16 Peter is told in a vision to not call anything impure that God has made clean. Now understand that Peter lived by the rules of only eating food that has been cleaned according to the law and now he is being told to eat this food that God has made clean. The story continues in verses 17-28 when Peter is ask to go to a Gentile's house. Jews viewed Gentiles as unclean . For Paul to enter Cornelius home he was saying the he would not call any man impure. Paul was living by the exception to the rules.

The choice is the same for us. Will we be bound by the rules of being friends with people who believe just as we do or will we be more interested in the exceptions. It is not always easy to lay down those rules that we have spent a life time following, but isn't that exactly what God is asking us to do?

I have to believe that God is up to something, and that I should ere on the side of grace. So ask yourself; are you the type of person that lives by the rules? Or are you the type that lives by the exceptions?

“Be the change you want to see in the world.” mahatma gandhi