According to the Huffington Post, the sale of plastic water bottles will soon be banned at the Grand Canyon. This decision was made by the National Park Service on Monday and the plan is to eliminate all plastic bottle sales within thirty days. Instead, visitors will be able to fill up reusable bottles at water fountains.
Obviously, this decision is based on the environmentally concious nature of park officials. Apparently, the bottles make up 20% of the parks waste.
I think that this is a great idea that has long been necessary. The preservation of National Parks is an important cause and I think that this will lead to a ripple effect in other parks, and hopefully grow to be a mainstream cause. I think Americans are very lucky to live in a country where even clean water is readily available. Unfortuantely, many of us take advantage of the fact that we have running water, electricity etc. We forget that we are responsible for keeping the earth clean.
Littering, wasting electricity and using more resources than we need all contribute to the pollution of our planet. There are so many little things that each citizen can and should do to be be a responsible consumer. I think recycling is huge and so important. In fact, the plastic water bottles at the Grand Canyon make up for 30% of their recyclables.
But, what is going to be great about this new ban is that people are going to bring their own reusable bottles to fill at the park. Hopefully this will raise awareness among visitors to be more eco-conscious and maybe they will extend this practice more into their everday lives.
I spent the summer in Australia and one thing that really stood out to me as something that we as Americans could learn from would be their respect for the earth. Most people bring reusable bags to the grocery store and even other stores. The Australian Target actually charges customers a fee if they did not bring a reusable bag with them. Also, most people are opposed to buying plastic water bottles and instead fill up resusable bottles at fountains.
Again, I think we are very fortunate to live in such a great country, and I am very happy that the Grand Canyon National Park realizes their responsibility to be a leader and set an example for other parks, companies and people.