Guest Blogger Carolyn Jess Talks Reusable Water Bottles

We have invited Carolyn Jess back to help us out as guest blogger in 2015 with a focus on native wildlife. Jess is a 14 year old student who has agreed to be our special guest blogger about wildlife conservation. Carolyn was awarded the Alban Heiser Conservation Award in 2014, presented to her by Jack Hanna. If you would like to contact Carolyn or have comments, you may send them to conservation@houstonzoo.org.


I am sure you have heard the story that if you took all the plastic water bottles thrown away in one year, they could circle the earth four times! If you stop and actually think about that, it’s kind of scary and overwhelming. Will we be drowning in a pile of plastic bottles, trying to keep our heads above the top? What about our sea turtles, birds, and whales who mistake these bottles, floating in our oceans, as jellyfish or other food? Humans and animals alike are facing a real challenge with plastic pollution.

But, plastic is all around us, as I type my school papers and click my mouse, I have plastic at the tip of my fingers. We need it, but what will happen to all those bottles and other plastics that are not recycled? They have to go somewhere and we are not recycling them fast enough to really keep up with what we are using. It takes about 450 years for one bottle to decompose. So where do we go from here?

 

reusable water bottleI know it is important to recycle my plastic bottles, which is a step in the right direction, but it’s time to take that action a little bit further. How many plastic water bottles could I save by using a refillable thermos or reusable water bottle? If I do the math and figure that if someone drank about three bottles of water a day, that is 21 bottles in one week. If that person used a reusable water bottle for a full month, they would have saved about 84 plastic bottles, not to mention the money saved by not having to buy bottled water in the first place. What if I got all my friends to try this water bottle challenge, or even my school? That is a whole lot of plastic not being used. I did some research on the amount of plastic water bottles thrown each year. The number was much higher than I anticipated. It is estimated that we throw away 35 billion plastic water bottles every year.

Plastic is so convenient and easy to use, but eventually, we are going to run out of room in our oceans and our land and have a sea of plastic. Take the challenge of not using plastic water bottles for a week. Use a thermos or refillable water bottle instead. With the money you saved from not buying water, you can take yourself out to the Houston Zoo to see the animals you are helping out in the wild!



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