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Wednesday, June 19, 2013

Do the Math: Ban the Bottles 2

Last week I proposed the idea that we should ban plastic bottles from our Dojo's. I argued that this small gesture could help students become more aware of their health, encourage them to be more responsible and finally, may even put a few extra dollars in your pocket.

I know some of you have probably already forgotten all about last weeks post. Some of you are simply a little unsure or skeptical of whether or not banning plastic bottles is really a good idea. That is why today I am offering a thought experiment that I hope will help illustrate how serious this issue really is.

Thought Experiment
Step 1 Answer the following questions. 

Q: How many people are enrolled in your Dojo? If you don't train at a Dojo feel free to substitute Dojo with gym, office, class room etc.

Q: How many other Dojos or recreational organizations, of a similar size, are there in your city?

Q: How many bottles of water do you think the average person should consume to stay properly hydrated before and after every class, game etc?

Q: How many times a year does your group train?

Q: On average what percent of recyclable bottles are actually recycled in your area? (Japan: 77%, Euro: 44% USA: 24%, These figures are approximate and may be a little generous.)

Step 2 Do the math

Example: Imagine you have a Dojo of 20 people. There are 4 - 5 Dojos of equal size in your city and each Dojo trains twice a week. If each student from each Dojo drinks one bottle of water per class and we live in Europe then 4,760 of those bottles are ending up in landfills and, sadly more common then most would like to admit, in our waterways each year.  Now this is just one small niche community. Apply this equation to your work place or the public school system and then explain to me why we are not placing bottle bans in more places.

I did this same experiment with a high-school students in Matsuyama, Japan. A rather small city of only 500,000 people and we estimated that the high school students in our area use approximately 5,475,000 bottles a year. 1,258,250 of which never make it to be recycled. A rather shocking number to most.

  Bottles Used
  Bottles Recycled
  Bottles Thrown Away
  85 (classes a year)
  x 1
  x 0.44

Fun Fact:s:
  • If you are in Germany that is 1,190 € worth of bottles.
  • It takes plastic bottles 500 plus years to biodegrade.

Do it Yourself: Go ahead do the math, and let us know in the comments below how many bottles your Dojo could save if you were to implant a ban on plastic bottles.

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