The New Year always seems to bring about resolutions, many surrounding health. Hydration is an important aspect and bottled water seems like and easy solution. But before you buy that bottle consider:
- Bottled water is 3,000% more expensive per gallon than tap water.
- The federal government requires far more rigorous and frequent safety testing of municipal drinking water. Bottled water generally is no cleaner, safer, or healthier than tap water.
- Up to 50% of all bottled water comes straight from the tap—no extra filtering.
- Bottled water samples have been shown to contain phthalates, mold, microbes, benzene, trihalomethanes, arsenic, and even pieces of plastic.
- It’s worse if that plastic bottle is heated (left in hot car, etc.). Heat helps to leach synthetic chemicals (see above) which have been linked to cancer and promotes bacterial growth that can be passed on to you and negatively affect your health.
- Bottles are not shipped in refrigerated trucks, so there’s no way to avoid the risks.
- It takes 17 million barrels of oil to make the bottles to meet America’s annual bottled water consumption. That’s enough to fuel more than 1 million cars for a year!
- That same process also emits 2.5 million tons of CO2.
- Only 14% of plastic water bottles get recycled. That mean 86% go to the landfill or become litter.
And none of these stats pertain to other plastic bottle beverages—when you consider pop, juice, sports drinks, etc., the effect is staggering.
Sadly, there’s more.
The world spends more than $100 billion on bottled water a year which gives some corporations incredible power. They work through governments to privatize water sources. This is so prevalent it’s contributing to worldwide water scarcity. Occupants of third-world countries may be forced to walk for a day to get water clean enough to drink and/or are left without a basic human necessity. We are affected too. Companies are taking water from streams and springs, even in drought stricken areas, draining crucial resources and leading to increased pollution.
So, what can you do?
- Don’t buy anything in plastic bottles.
- Instead, buy a reusable bottle (stainless steel or glass is the healthiest choice) and fill it with tap water. Buy a filter if you need to.
- Order carafes of water with reusable glasses at your next event.
- Refuse plastic-bottled beverages at events and parties.
- Educate yourself and others, starting with this video.