FEB 08, 2017 9:10 AM PST

Say No to Bottled Water: Here's Why

Bottled water costs approximately 2000 times the water flowing free out of your tap. That's like buying a $10,000 sandwich. And usually that free tap water actually tastes better, which is probably because the US government has higher health standards for tap water than do the privately-owned bottled water companies. Yet despite this, people in the US buy more than half a billion bottles of water every week, or enough bottles to line up end to end and circle the globe more than five times!

So what's the deal? We know that all that plastic isn't good for the planet (each year the oil used to produce - not even transport - plastic bottles requires the same energy needed to fuel one million cars) and the water itself is no better than what's coming out of the faucet. Well in fact the bottled water industry has played us big time, and still is. In order to manufacture a demand for a product that wasn't necessary to begin with, companies scared us into thinking that tap water wasn't safe to drink, and then later seduced us into the idea of drinking from a bottle whose water came from fresh mountain springs in far away lands. Sexy right? WRONG. Actually, a third of all bottled water actually originates from the tap! Aquafina and Dasani are really just filtered tap water!

The post-drinking of the bottled water is just as bad as the process of getting that bottle to you. Eighty percent of the bottles will sit in landfills for thousands of years before the plastic actually decomposes. Either that or they will be burned in incinerators, which release toxic chemicals into the atmosphere. And the leftover 20% which you think you're doing a good thing by recycling? Most of those "recycled" bottled aren't recycled at all; instead they are shipped to some actual far away land and "down-cycled," meaning they are made into some cheap product that will be thrown away quickly anyway. Talk about a waste!

What can you do? TAKE BACK THE TAP! Think outside the bottle! Join a campaign to divest from big companies who are misleading you into poor environmental and health choices. Stop buying, and the demand stops too!
About the Author
Bachelor's (BA/BS/Other)
Kathryn is a curious world-traveller interested in the intersection between nature, culture, history, and people. She has worked for environmental education non-profits and is a Spanish/English interpreter.
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