Over the last decade or so, many people have gotten into the habit of purchasing bottled water to drink, whether due to health concerns, ease of use, or simply because “everybody’s doing it.”
If you are one of them, you should seriously consider installing a water filtration system in your home, and using refillable, recyclable, BPA-free water bottles. (We buy a two-pack of Rubbermaid 20 oz. water bottles, with openings large enough to add ice cubes, for about $6 at our local grocery or discount store.)
According to Business Insider, U.S. residents drank 9 billion gallons of bottled water in 2008, at an average of 30 gallons per person, more than either milk or beer.
Unfortunately, this is a very bad habit for us, as a culture, to have developed, for a number of solid, virtually inarguable reasons.
First of all, unless a water bottle is clearly labeled as “Mineral Water” or “Spring Water,” most bottled water is simply filtered tap water, just like you get when you turn on your faucet.
According to the Daily Green, a consumer guide from Good Housekeeping, in 2009, 47.8% of all bottled water was plain tap water. In fact, big name brands, like Pepsi’s Aquafina and Nestle Pure Life were forced to change their labels a few years ago to accurately describe where their water came from: public water sources.
Next, let’s look at the cost. This may come as a shock, but bottled water can be more expensive than gasoline!
- A 16 ounce bottle of water can cost as much as $1.00, or more, at your local convenience store.
- At that rate, a gallon of water would cost $8.00, twice the cost of a gallon of gas, even at $4.00 a gallon.
And contrary to popular belief, bottled water is not safer or healthier to drink.
- First, about 70% of all bottled water never crosses state lines for sale, making it exempt from FDA oversight, so we really don’t know if it’s any safer than tap water.On the other hand, municipal water is regularly inspected for bacteria and toxic chemicals, as it falls under the purview of the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA)
- Second, 22% of bottled water brands tested contained chemical contaminants at levels that were higher than strict state limits
Last, but certainly not least, think about all those plastic water bottles that are going into our trash. A staggering statistic from Daily Green reveals that:
- The production of water bottles uses 17 million barrels of oil a year
- It takes three times the water to make the bottle as it does to fill it.
- Only 15% of the more than 30 billion plastic water bottles produced each year get recycled; the rest end up in the trash, landfilled, littered, or incinerated.
Add the fact that recycled bottle plastic can only be re-used in non-food products, and we can clearly begin to see that, essentially, there is no way for bottled water to be as environmentally, or economically, responsible as tap water.
So, while a new water filter for your home may cost you a bit up front, it will end up saving you money, as it helps save the planet.
In our next post, we will discuss the different types of water filters that are available for home use.
To discuss adding a household water filter to your home, give us a call at (317) 850-5114.