We all know that keeping hydrated and drinking at least 8 glasses of water a day is good for our health. But the botted water industry has manufactured demand by scaring and seducing us into thinking we cannot live without bottled water. We see advertisements with pristine streams and glorious mountain ranges and think that expensive bottled water is better for our health.
This all started in the 1970’s when soda companies saw their projected sales declining. They had to get into another business. The water business! One bottled water executive was quoted as saying, “When we’re done with our campaign, tap water will be relegated to showers and washing dishes!”
Needless to say, they were successful in getting society addicted to bottled water, and it has become a costly, but popular exercise. Did you know that Americans buy over half a billion bottles of water every single week! That is just staggering, when installing water filtration systems in our homes and carrying reusable glass, ceramic or stainless steel water bottles to drink tap water is easy, convenient, and a LOT cheaper. The only people losing in that scenario are the corporations who are trying to privatize water!
Making the switch to drinking filtered water and using reusable water bottles is one of the quickest and easiest changes we can make to go green in our every day lifestyle. Best of all, it is a win- win situation. Not only are we reducing the pollution to our waterways and the waste in our landfill, we are also controlling the quality of our water, saving money, and looking cuter! Have you seen how stylish those stainless steel and glass bottles are?! Make a fashion statement and take a stand for the environment, and go pick out a gorgeous reusable water bottle that says something about your green personality and your right to fresh water!
Here are some of the top reasons why we should SAY NO to bottled water!
1. Bottled Water Uses Resources and Creates Huge Amounts of Waste.
The production and extraction process used to create the “plastic water bottle beast” gobbles up a staggering amount of resources.
It is estimated that it takes over 25 million gallons of petroleum to produce 1 billion plastic water bottles. To put that into perspective, Americans consume about 50 billion plastic water bottles every year, and that is not counting soda bottles!
Did you know that bottled water produces about 1.5 million tonnes of plastic waste every year?
Yes, the quality of the plastic is in high demand by recycling companies. However, it is estimated that less than a quarter of these bottles get recycled.
Plastic water bottles are one of the top causes of landfill in the United States. At least 80% ends up in landfills or is burnt in incinerators that release toxic chemicals into the air. In addition to this, a lot of plastic bottles get tossed in our waterways posing a devastating threat to marine life and birds, who mistake the bottles for food and ingest them.
Did you also know that it can take up to 700 years for a plastic water bottle to decompose? It is just tragic.
2. Bottled Water is Expensive!
Did you know that if you purchased 3 plastic water bottles a day that would be about $140 a month. That is almost $1700 a year that you could be saving! Estimated bottled water sales are anywhere between 50 and 100 billion each year!
To give you another perspective, let’s break that down even further. If you purchase a 20 oz water bottle at the cost of $1.00, that breaks down to about 5 cents per ounce. Compare that to drinking filtered tap water at home, where you would be paying about 1 cent a gallon!
Bottled water is estimated to cost up to 2000 times what tap water costs!
3. Municipal Water Is More Strictly Regulated Than Bottled Water
Yes, it is true that bottled water falls under the regulatory jurisdiction of the Food And Drug Administration (FDA). However, did you know that because the vast majority of bottled water in the United States never crosses state lines for sale, it is exempt from FDA oversight?
Conversely, public water systems in the United States are extremely well regulated. Municipal water systems are tested regularly by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) for bacteria and toxic chemicals. You can look at your local water supplier’s scores on the National Tap Water Database.
Granted, the quality of water varies from region to region. However, in most cases, the quality of regular tap water after being filtered is very good, and there is no conclusive evidence to suggest that bottled water is any better. In fact, the famous Fiji Water vs Cleveland Water advertising screw up proved this point.
Did you know that over 1/3 of the bottled water (Dasana and Aquafina to name a couple) is just tap water that has been purified at the source!
4. Bottled Water can contain BPA’s that have been linked to diseases
Did you know that plastic water bottles often contain Bisphenol-A? More commonly referred to as BPA, this toxic substance can leach into the liquid contained in bottles. Even in very low doses, exposure to this can be life threatening. BPA has been shown to mimic the female hormone estrogen, and has been linked to breast cancer in women, prostate cancer in men, and the development of Alzheimer’s disease in both sexes. It has also been shown to cause resistance to insulin, which can complicate health issues for diabetics.
5. Bottled Water Companies Want to Privatize Our Right To Water
There have been scary developments in recent years, where private companies have been purchasing public water supplies and distribution rights in third world and developed countries. Private companies are positioning themselves to control access to the world’s water supply.
Water is being labelled the “Blue Gold” of the 21st century. It is possible that the future wars of the world will be fought over water. Check out the amazing documentary, Thirst, which chronicles this devastating impact the privatization of water is having on local economies.
To learn more about current water issues The Sierra Club has some fantastic statistical information and Corporate Accountable International has a “Think Outside The Bottle” campaign that has an impressive list of reasons to choose tap over bottled water.
A must watch is “The Story Of Bottled Water” with Annie Leonard. This animated short is a fantastic 8 minute lesson about the bottled water myth!
So what can you do today?
1. Make a personal commitment every day and So SAY NO to bottled water. Purchase a reusable glass or stainless steel water bottle and get a filter for your home water supply and a carbon filter for your water bottle.
Reusable stainless steel and glass water bottles are lightweight, inexpensive, and can be placed in the dishwasher, making them more hygienic. Furthermore, they do not hold odours like plastic water bottles and there is no danger of leaching chemicals into your beverages. You can also carry hot and cold drinks in a stainless steel container making it extremely versatile.
These reusable water bottles have become a fashion accessory and come in many different shapes, colours and designs. There are endless choices to fit your personality and activity. My favourite brand is stainless steel water bottle is Klean Kanteen, and for glass, I use the Life Factory bottles with the silicon sleeves.
2. Support local and international water initiatives. Municipal water is grossly underfunded and supported in the United States largely because we have been led to believe that it is not important and that drinking water is purchased in a bottle. Overseas, there are over 1 billion people that do not have access to clean drinking water.
3. Share your knowledge with friends, family, and colleagues so that they can take a stand against bottled water.
4. Lobby your workplace or school to boycott bottled water.
5. Write to your local member to install more drinking fountains in your local area.
Say NO to bottled water!
It is better for our health, better for our wallets, and better for the environment.
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About the Author (Author Profile)
Tess Masters, a.k.a The Blender Girl is an actor, presenter, voice over artist, cook and writer. She writes a quirky food blog, Healthy Blender Recipes, sharing quick easy allergy free gluten free vegetarian recipes with whole foods. Tess writes the eco food blog for Go Green America TV and is a regular contributor to The Balanced Platter. She and her recipes have been featured on Chow.com, Epicurious.com, Glamour.com, and the LA Times, as well as countless websites and blogs around the world. Tess resides in Los Angeles, California with her partner and their dog, Cookie.