Lately, all around us more and more cities, universities, companies, and the like are banning bottled water. Time even named ‘the war on bottled water’ #4 on its Top 10 Food Trends. “Once hip, bottled water is now unforgivably ‘90s,” John Cloud writes in the article.
But why you might ask? Well, cost. Bottled water is at least 300 times more expensive than tap water. Not to mention, about 90% of the bottle is for things like bottling, packaging, shipping, and transportation. There’s also the health risks. Bisphenol-A, or BPA as it’s more commonly known, is a chemical found in most plastic water bottles. Since it was discovered in 1998, the list of its harmful side effects seems to be continuously growing. Recently it has been strongly linked to diabetes, heart disease, cancer, miscarriage, and childhood asthma, to name a few. Of course, the environment is also a factor. Just less than 1.3 million tons of plastic PET water bottles were produced in 2006. 76.5% of those water bottles ended up in landfills. This does not even include the energy that is wasted in the production and transportation of bottled water.
These are just some of the reasons why you should turn away from bottled water. But you might be asking, how can I do this? Saying no to bottled water is more practical than you might think.
- First, understand that bottled water is not any “cleaner” or “more pure” than bottled water. In fact, the Aspen Tap challenge 90% chose the municipal brand over the bottled water brand. This chart even details the testing required for tap water in contrast to bottled water.
- Get a reusable water bottle. Stainless steel water bottles are reliable and safe. But, if you are afraid of a ‘tin-y’ taste, look for a BPA-free, plastic bottle. Many options are available from your favorite color, shape, college or even sports team. There are even portable water filters available.
- Where can you use your new bottle? Look for hydration stations. If you have a Smartphone may apps are available to now help you hydrate at your convenience, like The Drinking Water and WeTap apps on the Android phone. Even Virgin Atlantic airlines are getting on board as they offering water bottle refill stations at airports.
- Look for restaurants that support the cause. Many restaurants now will only offer bottled water by request. Others, like, Mario Batali restaurants in New York and Las Vegas, have banned bottled water in its entirety.
- In your office, replace bottled water coolers with a bottleless water cooler. Bottleless water coolers use point of use, or POU, to eliminate the need for heavy, expensive 5-gallon bottles. Using sophisticated filtration systems, bottleless water coolers purify the tap water already available in your office.
Take a minute to think about if you think you can make these simple changes for your wallet, your health, your coworkers, and your environment.