What is Your Latte Factor and Why Does it Matter?

Your Latte Factor Equates Your Litter Factor


Have you heard of the Latte Factor?  It’s a phrase that was created as a metaphor for all the little things we spend money on during the course of a typical day.  These purchases are usually done with little thought given to them.

The phrase applies to buying not only our fancy coffee, but also fast food, cigarettes, bottled water and so many other things that we buy every day.  Without even giving them a second thought.  I encourage you to think about this.  What is your Latte Factor every day?  Put a dollar figure on it.  It may surprise you.

Cut Down Your Latte Factor


Eliminating or cutting down your daily Latte Factor is the first step toward reducing your spending.  But it also serves a second purpose, and this is related to sustainability.  Think about the Litter Factor which accompanies all of these daily purchases.

Small changes can make a difference, and they are actually good for our environment.  It’s the way that the small purchases add up to drain your wallet, small changes to your litter behavior add up and will make a big difference for our planet.

Think about this.  Every year Americans alone drink over 200 billion cups of coffee.  Of these 55 billion are served in disposable cups.  That’s a lot of paper, plastic, and styrofoam cups.  It’s enough to stretch around the earth hundreds of times.  

And that’s not counting all the other types of drinks or food consumed in disposable containers every day.  On top of the materials, those paper cups have a plastic lining made from petrochemicals that would produce enough energy to heat over 60,000 homes for a year.


Bottled Water is an Environmental Disaster


As of 2013, bottled water sales worldwide topped $117 billion, with experts predicting annual revenues to increase to $195 billion by 2018.  Transporting this water requires moving several billion bottles of water every week just in the United States.

These are incredible numbers, but you could run 250,000 cars for a year on the oil required to make the plastic used for water bottles.  90% of those plastic water bottles are simply thrown away, with as little as 10% actually recycled.  

These bottles fill our landfills, and many end up in our waterways.  Ultimately many end up floating in our oceans.  96% of water is sold in single serving bottles which are the least recycled of any type of plastic packaging.


What is Your Designer Water Factor


This is how your Latte Factor, in this case your Designer Water Factor, becomes your Litter Factor.  This is a perfect example how wasting money and harming the environment are intertwined.

This is the really crazy part, people drink designer water because they think it’s healthier than the “free” water coming out of our kitchen faucets.  Actually over 30% of the bottled water we drink is tap water repackaged by Coke and Pepsi.  

We pay big bucks to drink Pepsi’s Aquafina or Coke’s Dasani brands of designer tap water.  Paying 2500 times what the same water costs coming out of our faucets.

Even if your buying bottled spring water like Evian, Poland Springs or Fiji, chances are it’s not as pure as the water out of your faucet.  Federal standards are higher for tap water than they are for bottled water.


The Backlash Grows Against Bottled Water


There is a growing backlash against designer water as a result of it’s negative environmental impact.  Bottle water manufacturers are responding to the negative press about their products, however the best solution is to carry your own tap water in a reusable container.  That’s actually the only sustainable choice that can be made.


Bottled Water Companies Are Responding


Bottled water companies are feeling the heat and are responding to the criticism.  They are moving toward more environmentally friendly packaging and practices.  Poland Springs bottled by Nestle introduced their new EcoShape bottle.  This bottle is 15% lighter and requires 15% less energy to manufacture.

These are improvements, however the best solution is to carry your own tap water in a reusable container.  Doing this would reduce your water bottle litter factor to ZERO.  That’s the best environmental outcome that you can achieve.


If You Want to be Part of the Solution


Purchase a reusable water bottle and fill it with tap water.  One of the newest reusable water bottles, like those from SIGG, are made of aluminum.  Or one from Klean Kanteen which are made from stainless steel.  Another option comes from EnviroProducts which makes a water bottle from 100% corn grown in the USA.  You can refill this bottle up to 90 times, when you’re done it biodegrades into compost.

If you have concerns about your tap water, easily and cheaply filter and purify your water.  Visit Water Filter Comparisons to compare leading brands and find one that’s right for you.


Calculate Your Carbon Footprint


If you would like to calculate your Carbon Footprint, follow the link to the free carbon footprint calculator of the United States Environmental Protection Agency.  


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