What is one thing you can do to maximize your health, protect our nearby ocean and curb greenhouse gases? The answer lies in the heart of Caruso’s Palisades Village, on the brick pathway near the concierge desk, in the form of a new water refill station installed this summer.

Instead of relying on plastic bottled water, drinking from refillable bottles (like the Caruso-branded ones on sale at the concierge desk or even a glass jar you reuse for this purpose) can make a big difference for your health and our planet.

The United Nations reported that more than half of all plastic products are designed for one use before being tossed, and a study in the journal Nature found that the weight of all plastics produced is now greater than all land and marine animals combined.

In the U.S. alone, Americans buy an estimated 50 billion water bottles per year, according to Clean Water Action. Only 9% of plastic made has ever been recycled (and that percentage is going down, not increasing).

The plastic that is recycled is typically “down-cycled” into a final use, like carpet, that will end up in landfill, not as another bottle. This has led to a plastic pollution crisis with vast amounts of plastic breaking down into toxic microplastics that enter our water resources, our seafood, our rain and even our blood, ScienceDirect reported.

In addition, the production of plastics from fossil fuels creates greenhouse gases that warm the planet. A study in Nature estimated that in 2015, plastics created more greenhouse gas emissions than all the world’s airplanes combined.

Finally, plastic bottled water contains excessive amounts of microplastics. A study of 11 bottled water brands, reported by Clean Water Action, showed 93% contained microplastics, and the amounts were 50% more than tap water.

Research, found in National Library of Medicine, has shown that the phthalates in PET, the type of plastic used in single-use water bottles, can seep into the water and alter our hormones.

Resilient Palisades Zero Waste Team welcomes the filtered water refill station as a practical solution to plastic pollution, and encourages all who visit our village to bring along a bottle and make use of this gift to the community.

“By providing a water refill station at Palisades Village, we are encouraging and empowering our guests to make the eco-friendly choice to reduce their single-use plastic waste,” Richard Lynch, vice president, operations – city region, said. “Together, we can build a more sustainable future for our community.”