Photograph of my “plastic is oil” sticker in action at a local store. Designed to alert people to the fact that oil is burned (releases CO2, by the way) to make, decorate, fill, transport, chill, and recycle plastic bottles. In other words, even though the plastic is clear and recyclable, the label is green and soothing, and the water itself is zero calories and refreshing, a bottle of water is still an unnecessary, wasteful product that should not be regularly purchased by anyone remotely concerned about sustainability. (Energy details here, if you’re interested.)
Below are instructions on how to make your own. The idea is to discreetly put them up at schools, workplaces, and stores, with the hope of slowly nudging people into ending their addictions to disposable plastic water bottles.
1. Download one of these two files:
2. Print (I know, pretty obvious). I recommend Post-It printer paper (or equivalent) because it allows stickers to be easily removed by coworkers, bosses, police, etc. Similarly, using magnetic inkjet paper results in “stickers” that are perfect for refrigerators and beverage dispensers.
3. Attach onto water bottles at stores, or on shelving. Attach on counters at coffee shops. Etc…anywhere near where plastic water bottles are sold or handed out for free. And don’t get caught…bottled water is an $8 billion dollar a year business, so people who make money on this are rather fond of the scam.
4. If you have situated a sticker in a place that you think is just great, take a photograph and Tweet with the #plasticisoil tag. Or post a photograph and link back here. Or post a comment below with URL to photograph.
The above is probably futile, and potentially just a waste of sticker paper, ink, and associated printer and computer, but it seems that disposable water bottles are becoming more and more a ritual in peoples lives, and a little sticker shock might help alert everyone to how monumentally idiotic and wasteful they are. If you’d like to be better informed on the issue, please check out Inside the Bottle and Ban the Bottle.
The ultimate goal is not to just reduce people’s use of disposable plastic water bottles, but to get plastic water bottles eliminated from stores, schools, etc. Some colleges and universities have stopped selling/serving water bottles (article), and some stores have done the same (e.g., Mom’s). But institutions and stores won’t just volunteer to do this…they need to be nudged, and agitation via stickers or other ploy will be needed to get people’s attention (I think).
UPDATE: Found a similar campaign for paper products at http://thesecomefromtrees.blogspot.com/.