Tuesday, March 17, 2009

The "Price" of Being Environmentally Friendly

So, as you can assume from looking at my profile, I'm a student in Environmental Management. I'm looking to go into consulting, and a potential minor of mine is accounting. Why? Numbers fascinate me, especially when they tell you things you ought to pay attention to.

Well, I recently lost my Sigg waterbottle, and have spent the first week of classes without it. Instead, I've been using all debit and buying plastic waterbottles, under the assumption "It's too expensive to buy a new Sigg, I'll wait until the end of the month until my mother comes up with it."

Well, before class today, I did some number work. I've purchased an average of 4 20oz bottles everyday (I drink mainly water.) I reuse them once, then recycle them. Each bottle of water costs $1.75 from a vending machine- that's the cheapest way to get them, since I'm on a college campus and can't go off to buy bulk or on sale at Wal*mart. If you buy bottle water from the cafeterias, you'll be charged about $2, with tax.

Let me explain the math. Four water bottles each day at $1.75 each is $4.50 each day off my student debit account, about the price of a strawberry parfait, my favorite dessert. So, every day, I'm giving up a strawberry parfait. I'm fine with that. But spending 4.50 every day adds up to $31.50 each week, just on water.

Here's some more perspective: I go school in New York, where the minimum wage is $7.15. I have to work 4.41 hours every week to pay for the water I'm drinking. Since I'm a full-time student living on-campus, I can only work 10 hours each week at my job. That means that 44% of my income from my job this week will go to buying water.

Water, people. Something that I could have just gotten for free out of a fountain. Something that the United Nations deems a right. A 16oz water bottle costs about $16.00, meaning it will pay for itself before the first week is over. If you actually use it, you'll end up saving yourself a pile of money in the long run, not to mention make your life a little greener.


  1. Great post. And just think, you have great NY water to fill your reusable bottle with.

  2. If you haven't done so, check out "TAP IT" - an app that shows restaurants in the city that will refill your bottle. I can't wait to come back to NY just to use it!

    Great post!


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