Last year or so I saw a study that looked at how many people buy bottled water for drinking at home, and what it costs them. The results were insane. There are folks paying up to $8 per gallon for water!
The problems of bottled water
Are you guilty of spending far too much on bottle water? If you’re only buying bottled water, you just might be, even if you’re getting your H2O on sale. Not to mention all those plastic bottles made with non-renewable oil. Beyond the petroleum and energy needed to make plastic, consider the gas it takes to transport water to stores from the factories. Now you’re looking at scads of gasoline waste; it’s crazy. Also consider how much BPA you’re getting when you use plastic water bottles – more than you might think.
On top of the oil issue, research shows that most people toss their bottles into the landfill vs. recycling their plastic bottles. Only about 27% of people recycle their plastic water bottles. Even if you do recycle, it takes lots of energy to make plastic water bottles and more energy to recycle them. All in all plastic disposable water bottles are a huge drain on the earth.
Your most eco-friendly beverage choice
Tap water served up in a BPA-free reusable water bottle.
Tap water is by far the greenest beverage you can drink – obviously it’s natural and free from things like weird colors and chemical flavors. It’s not 100% cheap, but it is less expensive than bottled water.
Most tap water is safe
We’ve been taught to think that water is not safe unless it’s filtered but this is simply not true. In fact, you can check your town’s water for safeness. Visit the EPA’s Safewater to find out if your drinking water is safe straight from the tap.
A slight chlorine taste in tap water is normal but not dangerous and can be eliminated by filling a pitcher and leaving your water to sit for a day or two. If plain water is boring to you, so you’ve been buying bottled flavored water, you can add a slice of lime, lemon, or other citrus to a pitcher of water to liven it up.
What if your tap water is not safe?
Some tap water is questionable – as in really not safe or maybe you’re just paranoid (even if your water report says your water is safe) in either of these cases you need to go to a second best option.
Option 2 – water delivery. This may be your greenest option after tap water. It costs a lot and of course delivery water uses gasoline resources, but the bottles are used again and again vs. most water filters which are used and tossed.
Option 3 – water filters. Most water filters aren’t that green. Few can be recycled and they’re all packed up in major excess packaging. That said, filters are still a better, greener choice than bottled. Consider an under the sink water filtration system over a tap filter (the filters last longer and can cost less in the long run). After a dedicated home filter consider Brita. Brita Water Pitchers can be recycled.
One downside is that Water Pitcher Replacement Filter can be expensive. A second downside is that Brita is part of the Clorox family (I’m not a Clorox fan – I hate wanna-be green companies who still produce toxic chemicals) but still, helps you recycle while other filter companies don’t so I’d likely buy a Brita water pitcher with filter over some other company’s filter. Check out Brita’s Filter for Good program for more details.
Option 4 continue to buy bottled water. NOT a good green choice. If you really feel the need to buy bottled water you need to recycle the bottles and you need to recycle the caps separately – plastic water bottles and plastic water bottle caps are different breeds of plastic.
Just stuck on the bottle?
If you’re simply addicted to the bottle, not the bottled water itself, try a reusable, BPA-free water bottle. Fill it up with tap water. Heck, you can even pretend the bottle is plastic if you like – but now you won’t have any real green guilt!
Now, you tell me. Is you family drinking tap water this summer?