I have a drinking problem. No, it has nothing to do with all the wine that I drink that I talked about a few weeks ago. It's an addiction to diet soda. I've tried to give it up. I've tried to convince myself it's unhealthy for me. I've even discussed it here before. A couple of weeks ago, I decided to really give it a go. Not for my health, but for the environment.
The more I learn about plastic, the more I realize that using so much of it is just not good. Even if I recycle it, it doesn't get recycled into another plastic bottle. It gets downcycled. So every time I buy a plastic bottle of diet soda, it's new plastic that it's coming in. I stopped buying it. I've had it in a restaurant a few times because I know it's coming from a fountain.
I've been exhausted. My body is not reacting well to being denied all the caffeine and who knows what else I was filling it with daily. I had a meeting night before last at church, and I broke down and bought a soda on the way. 16 oz of yummy, fizzy, diet soda in an earth harming plastic bottle. I only felt a little built guilty.
Today, I was checking tonight's weather on weather.com and there was a little survey on the side. The survey asked "How many times can you recycle an aluminum can?" It gave a few choices as answers. I chose 5. I was wrong. The correct answer is "unlimited."
"Wow," I thought. "I didn't know that. Impressive." Then I went on with my work.
A minute later, it struck me. I can buy soda in aluminum cans! I don't have deal with my drinking problem! I can buy 12 packs in reyclable cardboard boxes instead of 2 liter or 16 oz plastic bottles.
Alleluia! I think I head the angels sing!
Seriously. I'll have to give this some thought. I really should quit drinking the stuff, but it's nice to know that the aluminum can is a better option if I'm unable to control myself.
I've found some interesting facts about recycling aluminum cans.
- Recycling aluminum cans saves 95 percent of the energy used to make aluminum cans from virgin ore.
- It takes about 400 years for aluminum to break down naturally.
- Using recycled aluminum beverage cans to produce new cans allows the aluminum can industry to make up to 20 times more cans for the same amount of energy.
- Recycling one aluminum can saves enough energy to run a television for three hours.
- Recycling aluminum creates 97% less water pollution than producing new metal from ore.
- Aluminum recycles in no time at all. When you send a can to a recycling depot, it’s processed, recycled, and back on the shelf again in about a month.
And, the most interesting fact I found:
- Aluminum can be recycled over and over without breaking down. In theory, we have an inexhaustible supply of it in circulation right now. If we recycled all our aluminum, we’d never have to make more.
These facts really make you think, don't they? Mostly, they make me think that when I do choose to buy a single beverage and I have a choice between plastic or aluminum, I'm going to choose aluminum. Even if the aluminum container only holds 12 oz and the plastic one holds 16 oz.
12 oz can ease my withdrawal symptoms just as well as 16 oz, right?
Aluminum recycling facts found at: