By Rehan Iqbal
Lots of people drink bottled water because they have been convinced that all tap water is contaminated and bottled water is the only safe solution. This is simply untrue. The fact is, tap water is (for the most part) highly regulated and bottled water is not. Most bottled water is no better than tap water, and often it is not as high quality, yet it usually costs more per gallon than gasoline.
In addition to these problems that directly affect the health and finances of the consumer, the bottled water industry creates myriad problems for communities around the world and the environment, itself. In this article, we will outline some of the problems caused by the use of bottled water. We will also offer sound suggestions you can follow to improve your health, fatten your wallet and save the planet. Read on to learn more.
Is Tap Water Really Safe?
In a report from the Natural Resources Defense Council, Dr. Gina Solomon (a senior scientist) said that bottled water is no safer than tap water. She explained that in the United States, the Environmental Protection Agency regulates tap water and requires multiple tests for bacteria daily. The results of this testing are public information. She further explained that bottled water is regulated by the Food & Drug Administration (FDA) which just requires weekly testing . The results of these tests are not available to the public or to the EPA.
Bottled Water Wastes Fuel And Energy
Every year, it takes over seventeen-million barrels of oil to produce the bottles for the bottled water consumed in the United States alone. That is enough oil to fuel more than a million cars for an entire year. In addition to the oil used to make the bottles, huge amounts of fuel are used to transport bottled water from one place to another. The amount of energy used to manufacture bottles, fill them and cart them around could heat and cool nearly 200,000 homes for a year.
Bottled Water Wastes Money and Makes a Mess
Americans purchase about fifty-billion plastic bottles of water a year. That breaks down to about 200 bottles per person. Only about a quarter of those bottles are recycled, so the rest end up on the roadsides, in the landfills, in waterways and in the ocean. Not only is this waste unsightly, but it is also dangerous for wildlife around the world. Not only that, but it is also a waste of about billion dollars' worth of plastic annually by the US alone.
Use of bottled water also represents a waste of money for each and every consumer who purchases the product. If you drink eight glasses of plain tap water a day, it will cost you a little under $50. If you drink eight glasses of bottled water a day, it will cost you about $1400. Think of what you could do with that money!
Bottled Water is Bad For Your Health
Plastic bottles leach chemicals and carcinogens into the liquids they contain. This is especially true if they are stored at very high or very low temperatures. While you might be very careful to keep your bottled drinks at moderate temps while they are in your possession, you have no control over conditions prior to your purchase of that bottle of water.
One of the worst chemicals leached from PET plastic bottles into water is antimony. Even in very small doses, this contaminant can cause nausea, vomiting, dizziness, depression and even death. If you are drinking 8 plastic bottles of water (or any beverage) a day, your chances of ingesting a pretty hefty dose of antimony are high.
What’s The Solution?
The two top bottled water brands in the United States (Aquafina and Dasani) are both nothing more than filtered tap water that has been put into plastic bottles. This is true of most brands of bottled water. Why not filter your own tap water? This would remove any chemicals used to kill bacteria in your tap water and sidestep the problem of leached carcinogens and contaminants from plastic bottles into the water.
Filtering your own tap water is safe, easy, effective and thrifty. It’s easy to get started by simply taking a trip to your local grocery, hardware, big-box, department or drug store and picking up a filtration pitcher and a few filters for between $20-$30. Most pitchers will filter about 240 gallons of water in a year for a cost of about 20 cents a day. That’s about $73 a year. That’s a bit more than plain tap water, but it’s a far sight less than bottled water, and it doesn’t waste petroleum, generate pollution and poison you in the bargain! Or if you are in the mood to splurge, you can pickup a more effective Reverse Osmosis filtration system.
Make A Smart Choice For Your Health, Your Finances & Our World!
When you use a filtration pitcher and a reusable stainless steel water bottle, canteen or thermos you can save a fortune, reduce fossil fuel dependency and prevent mountains of plastic from contaminating the environment. There are also many nice choices in carry-along filtration bottles so that you can simply refill your bottle as needed throughout the day and enjoy fresh, filtered water all day long.