This post will cover 4 reasons to stop using bottled water, including how to save lots of money, the environment, and your health in the process.
In some ways, I am encouraged that bottled water has become so popular in the United States. I know it was not available when I was a kid unless you wanted to buy it by the gallon at the food store, and no one ever bought it there except under extreme circumstances. The only options we had were carbonated drinks, and the water fountain (which our parents had warned us were full of germs).
Through whatever course of events, water bottles have now become the standard. Today you can go to almost any outdoor activity and find bottled water available, often for free. The local stores have been selling it by the case, and the price has been coming down more and more over the past 10 years. Now you can buy a case of 35 or 40 bottles for under $6 US in some places.
So what’s wrong with bottled water? Well…… four things. The big one is the cost. Next is the amount of plastic generated in the containers. Also some of the plastics used in these bottles actually leach chemicals into the water. Finally, this water goes through significantly less testing and quality assurance than standard municipal tap water. This is a case where what the public doesn’t know MAY actually harm or kill them. I will cover these in more detail below.
1) If your family uses one case of water a week, that’s $312 per year. If you use a Brita pitcher in your refrigerator, you can get the same amount of water for about $100 per year. If you put a water filter under your sink, you can get the same amount of water for about $40 per year. The math is fairly simple to figure out if you want to verify it on your own.
2) Every day we throw away 40 million plastic water bottles. It takes approximately 450 years for a water bottle to biodegrade. That is a LONG time. In the meantime, we are creating more and more every day! Use a refillable bottle, and save your wallet and the planet!
3) Toxic chemicals are leached into water bottles, and these chemical levels increase the longer the bottle sits.
4) Bottled water goes through less testing than municipal tap water. There is an illusion of “clean fresh spring water” in bottled water, but the reality is that most (if not all) bottled water is nothing but filtered tap or well water. Regulations on the bottled water industry continue to be almost nonexistent, meaning that you are relying on the bottling company to set its own standard on testing. Independent tests done on bottled water have found alarming levels of bacteria in some cases.
Save money by bottling your own water. If your refrigerator has a water dispenser, your water is already filtered for you. Just make sure you change the water filter in your refrigerator according to the manufacturers recommendations. This is usually every six months to a year. Most people forget this step. You can usually find a manual for your refrigerator online by typing in the model number followed by “manual”.
If you do not have a refrigerator water dispenser, the best solution is to put a filter under your sink. You can buy one at most home supply centers for $100 US or less, and the replacement filters run about $20 US each. Don’t get conned into buying a super expensive filtration system under your sink. It’s not necessary. A simple quality charcoal filter is fine in almost every situation.
You can also buy filters that mount directly to your faucet. These are less attractive, but are easier to install for the average home owner. They will not mount on some of the newer style faucets though, so if you plan to upgrade your faucet anytime soon, this is not a good option for you.
Another option is to buy a Brita water pitcher that sits in your refrigerator, and has a water filter built into it. All three of these methods will save the average family 100′s of dollars in the course of a year.
So today instead of buying a case of water, buy a reusable bottle, and a filter system to put in your house!