Monday, October 29, 2012

Why bottled water is bad

Carbonate your own tap water and
say good bye to bottled water, forever.

The other day in Costco I saw a couple pushing a cart that was filled to the brim with cases of bottled water. My first thought was “What a pain” to have to deal with all of that lugging. Then I thought “Why would you buy a pile of bottled water when you can drink the water out of your tap?” Then I thought, “May be they’re on a well and having water issues”.

There are loads of reasons why someone would choose to buy bottled water. There are many more reasons why tap water is a better choice.

The first is plain cost.

Remember that most of us pay our municipality for tap water and it’s provincially regulated under federal guidelines so is usually safe. Much bottled water is tap water too. The difference: bottled water is filtered, processed and packaged in convenient-sized bottles. It also costs hundreds of times more than a glass of water out of our tap.

The environmental cost is enormous too.

All tolled it takes about three litres of water to create one litre of bottled water and about 250 ml of oil (oil used to make the bottle, gas to ship the filled bottle.) Thanks to the bottled water phenomenon there has been an avalanche of plastic bottles going into our landfills. Only about 25% of water bottles are recycled.

If you drink bottled water because you don’t like the taste of your tap water there are some easy solutions.

A simple carbon filter (like Brita) will filter out bad tastes, chlorine and even some pesticides. You can choose the filter jug for your fridge or buy the attachment for your kitchen tap.

If you drink bottled water because it’s convenient, the solution is even simpler:

Buy a stainless steel water bottle, fill it from the tap and take it with you. It`s best not to reuse a disposable water bottle. They’re made with #1 plastic (PET), which is fine for a single use, but reuse can lead to bacterial growth and leaching of chemicals.

If you`re a fan of sparkling water (like me) remember that it can have an even larger environmental footprint than regular bottled water since much of it is imported from overseas and it’s bottled in glass (environmental cost to transport is high).
A friend introduced us to Sodastream, a simple home system for carbonating tap water. It's a countertop gadget with CO2 cartridges that are refillable (at Sears, among other places). Carbonate to your liking -- lots of bubbles or few -- and nix the cans and bottles of mineral water and club soda.
Visit the Sodastream website for more info on bottled water. Sure, it's in their best interest to trash bottled water, but they share important info we all need to know.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

What a lovely blog.Thanks for sharing.

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