Do you drink bottled water? Developed countries like Canada and the US have some of the safest drinking water on the planet running straight out of our taps. And yet, we’re also some of the largest consumers of bottled water. What gives? Is bottled water really better than tap?
True, there are small pockets of North America that tragically don’t have access to safe drinking water. However, most bottled water consumers do have safe water access. Some claim the taste of bottled is better, while for others, it’s the convenience. And still, more believe that bottled water is safer than tap.
The sad fact is, tap water in most parts of the developed world is perfectly safe to drink, while bottled water is severely damaging our planet and directly contributing to climate change. And, with safe water flowing freely (or at least, very cheaply) through our taps, it seems pretty crazy to spend hard-earned money on bottled!
Are you ready to kick the bottled water habit?
Many of the top bottled water producers are actually taking their water from some of the most drought-ridden regions of the US. Places like California that experienced record level droughts for years just happen to be home to bottled water plants.
In the US alone, producing plastic bottles for bottled water requires about 17 million barrels of oil every year.
Add in the amount of fuel required to store and transport those bottles of water and that figure goes up to 50 million barrels of oil each year.
It takes about 3 litres of water to make a plastic bottle that holds just 1 litre of water.
Heat can cause chemicals in a plastic bottle to leach into the water you’re about to drink. You may store your bottled water in a cool, dark place at home, but how was it stored at the factory? Did it spend time packed inside a hot transport truck? Was it unloaded into direct sunlight at some point? The fact is, you have no way of knowing. And while the occasional bottle of water may not pose a risk, if you drink bottled water several times a day, those small amounts of chemicals can start to add up.
Bottled water can cost THOUSANDS of times more than tap water! Business Insider once estimated the cost to be about 2,000 times more than tap, while the NRDC estimated that some pay 10,000 times more. Although the exact markup will depend on where you live, as well as the different brands of bottled water, the cost of bottled far outweighs the cost of tap water.
Plastic bottle caps kill animals.
About 79% of all plastic produced ends up in landfills or littered around the planet. Much of that is plastic bottles.
Approximately 1 million plastic bottles are bought globally every minute.
The production of just one pound of PET - the type of plastic used for making single-use water bottles - produces about 3 pounds of carbon dioxide.
At home, get your water straight from the tap. If you prefer it cold, keep a water jug in the fridge. If taste is a concern for you, most consumer water filters do a good job of that and are available in a range of capabilities, depending on the type of water you have. Many people will find that a simple filter like a Brita pitcher will get the job done.
Then there are higher-end systems like Kinetico that hooks up to your home’s water supply or a countertop model like Santevia. These can be expensive initially, but often do a great job with issues like hard water where your tap water may be safe to drink, but tastes terrible. Given the markup on bottled water, if the initial setup costs of a water filtration system are feasible to you, it will likely end up saving you money over time. Just be sure to invest in one with a good warranty and plenty of strong customer reviews.
When you’re on the go, opt for reusable water bottles made of glass, metal or more durable plastics. Use public drinking fountains - they’re actually pretty safe. Save bottled water for true emergencies and you will not only save a LOT of money, but you’ll also help save the planet.
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