The New Taboo: Bottled Water

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You may have heard the buzz surrounding the use of bottled water, and it seems like what was once quite an ordinary artifact at most barbecues, conventions, parties, and any other get-togethers (not to mention regular, everyday usage) has become a veritable symbol of wastefulness – and for good reason.

Here are 10 interesting (and somewhat scary) facts about bottled water:

1. “An estimated 25 percent or more of bottled water is really just tap water in a bottle—sometimes further treated, sometimes not treated at all.” – Allaboutwater.org

2. Drinking bottled water is 1000 (one thousand!) times more expensive than drinking tap water.

3. “In an interesting study conducted by Showtime television, the hosts found that 75% of tested New York City residents actually preferred tap water over bottled water in a blind taste test.” – Allaboutwater.org

4. “Bottling and shipping water is the least efficient method of water delivery ever invented. The energy we waste using bottled water would be enough to power 190,000 homes. But refilling your water bottle from the tap requires no expenditure of energy, and zero waste of resources.” – PBS.org

5. “The Earth Policy Institute estimated that to make the plastic for the [water] bottles [consumed annually] burns up something like 1.5 million barrels of oil, enough to power 100,000 cars for a year.” – SeattlePI.com

6. “Nearly 90 percent of [water] bottles are not recycled.” SeattlePI.com

7. “Bottled water is actually much less regulated than tap water. There are a number of studies in which we find arsenic, disinfection byproducts and bacteria in bottled water.” – SeattlePI.com, quoting Gina Solomon

8. 30 million water bottles are thrown away every day, and each one of them takes 1000 years to biodegrade. – emagazine.com.

9. “In one case, bottled water labeled as “Alaska Premium Glacier Drinking Water: Pure Glacier Water from the Last Unpolluted Frontier” was actually drawn from Public Water System #111241 in Juneau.” – emagazine.com.

10. Buying one gallon’s worth of bottled water is three times more expensive than buying one gallon of gasoline. – emagazine.com

If all that wasn’t enough to convince you not to buy bottled water, consider this: “Instead of relying on a mostly preexisting infrastructure of underground pipes and plumbing, delivering bottled water—often from places as far-flung as France, Iceland or Maine—burns fossil fuels and results in the release of thousands of tons of harmful emissions. Since some bottled water is also shipped or stored cold, electricity is expended for refrigeration. Energy is likewise used in bottled water processing. In filtration, an estimated two gallons of water is wasted for every gallon purified.” – emagazine.com

 

Now, here are tips for alternatives to buying bottled water:

 

-Get a filter for your tap (unless your tap water is quite good in the first place). There are many ways to go about doing this, from getting a Brita-filter to go over your faucet spout to installing one right into the sink system.

- Nalgene bottles are great.

-Brita pitchers are also really great for those who can’t get the faucet filters (e.g. college students).

-For barbecues, parties, and other events, use pitchers or water dispensers that you can use over and over again. In conjunction with these, try to also provide reusable cups instead of disposable cups, and if you must use disposables, try to get recyclable disposables.

 

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