One Green Thing: Put your hands together for some applause

By Jan Herbert
Rockford Park District

Whether you were “green” before the color was fashionable or whether you’re just ready to find the “shade” that works best for you, here’s information about doing just “one green thing.” reports the sale of bottled water was to be illegal at the Grand Canyon National Park beginning in March.

Park officials are responding to the increasing problem of plastic litter around the canyon. Officials report bottles represent 20 percent of the park’s waste and 30 percent of its recyclables.

To make certain park patrons are hydrated, there are 10 water stations to be installed. Oh, yes, and park visitors will be allowed to bring in reusable bottles to fill at the stations. Can I hear some applause for this wisdom, please!

The melting of plastic to create bottles takes a tremendous use of energy, and some of it can never be used again. Plastic is made from oil, and sometimes from corn. Either way, when plastic is made and then thrown away, we lose. It is a “double loss” when you consider that as plastic degrades, it releases methane. If the landfill it is in is not “collecting” the methane to use for fuel, it goes into our atmosphere.

Regarding plastic:

• a 1-liter bottle of water takes 26 bottles of water to produce the bottle (according to

• 12,000,000 BARRELS OF OIL were used to make the 88.5 billion plastic bags consumed in the United States in 2010 (also according to

Think about it … and then think about it again. We are an intelligent people, should we not be able to solve this challenge? Recycling helps, but so does avoiding the purchase in the first place. And definitely remember to take your own water bottle when you visit Grand Canyon National Park, because there won’t be any bottled water for sale.

For more information, e-mail Jan Herbert at

From the Nov. 7-13, 2012, issue

Enjoy The Rock River Times? Help spread the word!