Saturday, March 22, 2008

Small Space Waste Reduction: Filter For Good


I don’t know if you have seen the Brita ads with the person running on the treadmill. The short of it is “30 minutes on the treadmill, forever in a landfill”. You think it’s the person they are talking about, but then you realize it’s the plastic water bottle.

I’m beginning to realize just how dumb bottled water is. A few years ago Coca-Cola admitted that their Dasani Water was well water, from the tap no less. Filtered, over priced and bottled, but tap water nonetheless. In addition to paying too much for tap water, you get all the convenience of destroying the environment with plastic bottles. Bottles that either consume rescores through recycling or more frequently get buried in landfills.

Well Brita, along with Nalgene and Filter for Good, are trying to save you money and save your planet. It is really quite a simple premise — get yourself some reusable bottles and a water filter and it’s by-by middleman. You can bottle your own water. You will begin saving money very quickly. The bottles are cheap and you may even have one already — Nalgene bottles are everywhere. The Brita filters are quite reasonably priced — I’d wager less than the cost of one case of that fancy bottled tap water. I recommend the Brita Space saver it will fit better in your small space.

So you have the filter, the bottles and your tap water — now you’re in business. Just remember to thoroughly clean your bottles and you can save money, the environment and space all at the same time.


I bought a new Brita filter pitcher this weekend, the slim model. It was $12.00. Not a bad deal.


Anonymous said...

It's wonderful to give up bottled water and opt for filtered tap water. But have you ever wondered what happens to all the used plastic Brita filter cartridges at the end of their lives?

If you lived in Europe, you could take that filter to a drop-off location where it would be sent back to Brita for recycling. Unfortunately, here in North America, we have no options for recycling our Brita cartridges at all. Each plastic cartridge is either landfilled or incinerated, adding to the toxic waste that is already choking our planet.

That's why I have signed on to the Take Back The Filter campaign ( to urge The Clorox Company, which owns Brita in North America, to redesign their filters and provide a way for us to recycle them, as is done in Europe. I urge you to join me!

Here's how you can help:

Sign the Petition (

Send in your used filter cartridges: (

Read more about the issue: (

Spread the word to as many folks as you know. If we don't speak up, who will?

Michael said...

I am starting to feel that signing any petition is a waste of time. They sort of replace actually action and make us feel better about ourselves.

Brita Filters can be reused, they can be refilled at home with the very same super active carbon that is in there when you buy them.

You need to do a little work the first time but after that it's easy. Details here.

Anonymous said...

Actually, this one is not a waste of time. It's gotten Clorox's attention already, and it's only been up since Monday night. I just got off the phone with a Clorox rep, and I and the other campaigners are planning our next move.

This is not a petition sponsored by a big environmental group. It's just a bunch of scrappy bloggers who want to see something change and won't rest until we do!

It's great that some people will refill their Brita filters themselves. But most people won't, and I personally don't want all their plastic waste polluting my planet!

Thanks for listening.


Michael said...

If it is a successful petition then bravo!

It just that there are many studies that show the ineffectiveness of petitions, in particular online petitions.

Great article here at Snopes.

It is just that I love to see people change our world for the better and online petitions are the latest form of slacktivism, Snopes word not mine. Typing your name seldom results in real change. Action is where its at, we can make a difference even if on an individual level.

I call one less filter bought and one filter refilled a good start. I hope the “most people won’t” mentality can change. We need to do our part before we can have the moral authority to tell corporations to change.

Anonymous said...

I think one thing that the Snopes article misses is the education component. Every signature on our petition represents a person who now understands something about Brita/Clorox that they probably didn't know before. Have you noticed that Brita water filters don't have Clorox's name on them? There's a reason for that. The same reason they're not putting their name on the Burt's Bees branded products that they just bought. Clorox has a certain reputation, and some people might be less likely to purchase a filter made by a company that makes chlorine bleach. Add to that the fact that Brita in Europe does recycle the filters while Clorox does not.

This is information that most people don't have, and the fact that we are out here letting people know that is freaking Clorox out. I just got off the phone with the guy. He seemed a little worried.

Also, the petition software that we are using has all kinds of safeguards to prevent multiple entries from the same IP address as well as spam entries.

Yes, it is easy for people to sign a petition. That's why we have created a whole web site with addresses to send letters, a mailbox to send your used cartridges, and ways to spread the word. We are serious, and the petition is just one tool we are using.

Yep, I get what you are saying about most online petitions. I rarely sign them anymore myself. But this one is specific, targeted, and serves the purpose of giving people information they didn't have before. And I think it's doing it's job!

Oh, and I don't personally use any water filter anymore. Straight-up Oakland tap water. :-)