Weaning Yourself From the Bottle
The thing about bottled water is, it’s very convenient. On a personal basis, I’ve always thought it was a waste, but when you are entertaining, its’ now a ‘must have’ for your guests. At my last event, I sent out an e-mail informing my guests, that I wouldn’t be serving bottled water so please bring their own. No backlash! So I was the Perfect Green Hostess!
After my friend Sally informed via email that she is addicted to her Fuji Water, and my friend Beth who has never bought bottled water in her life, I thought I would investigate if bottled water is actually better than tap water. So this blog is dedicated to my friend Sally!
This are the Facts:
1.) Bottled water is virtually unregulated. There are many government agencies (State Department of Health, EPA) regulating city water and only 1 agency regulates bottled water (FDA). Bottled water comes under the FDA, while tap water comes under the EPA which has stricter standards.
- What that Means: Nobody knows what is in the bottled water.
2.) 60-70% of all bottled water is exempt from FDA’s bottled water standards because it is bottled and sold within the same state. (A loophole, that you pay for with bottled water pricing.)
- What that means: Most bottled water does not have to go through rigid standards to come to market. The FDA has stated on their website, inspecting Water bottling facilities has a low priority.
3.) 40% of all bottled water comes from a city water systems.
- What that means: You are paying from $1- $5.00 for the same thing you can get out of your tap.
4.) City Tap Water must be filtered and disinfected, while bottled water does not.
- What that means: Municipal water systems must test for harmful microbiological content in water serveral times a day. Plus other government testing weekly. Many government agencies are involved. Bottler’s have to test only 1x per week. Plus the FDA’s testing policies do not require the same higher standards as the EPA’s. Ultimately that means your bottled water is much more likely to contain harmful toxins. Studies have shown levels of chemicals in 33 out of 100 bottles of water.
5.) Cities must publish a ‘Right to Know’ while bottlers do not.
- What that Means: The Government (EPA) is accountable for the purity of the water. You can go on your water district website or the EPA to find out about water quality. Bottler’s do not have to account to anyone except their stockholders. In other words, you don’t know what’s in the water, and their is no standards to check.
6.) Over 95% of cost is bottle, label, lid and transportation.
- What that means: That $3.00 bottle you just bought cost $.15 to produce. What did you pay for? You paid for the marketing and the lobbying to keep Bottlers under the FDA where they are not strictly regulated.
7.) Any time water is stored for a prolonged period of time in a plastic bottle, it will take on traces of the chemicals used in the plastic such as Pthylate.
- What that means: Water is fresher from the tap than from the bottle which may take on harmful chemicals from the plastic
8.) Bottled water is an $11 billion dollar industry (US) and is one of the most profitable segment of the beverage industry.
- What that means: Companies will continue to hype bottled water as better, because the only thing they are concerned about is profits, not the environment, not your health and certainly not your pocketbook.
9.) To Make the Bottles in the US in 2006 required about 17 Million barrels of oil
- What that means: Once again, we are dependent on other oil sources, off shore drilling and the like, just so you can have a bottle of hyped water that is worse for you than tap water.
10.) Bottled water is bad for the environment, Millions of plastic bottles pollute our landfills daily.
- 90% of Plastic Bottles are not recycled. Most wind up in Landfills.
- 1000 Years it takes for a bottle to decompose
- Withdrawal of large quantities of water from springs and wetlands has depleted water supplier.
- It takes 3 liters of water to produce 1 liter of bottled water.
- Leads to Global Warming; In 2006 bottles released over 2.5 Million tons of carbon dioxide into the air .
- 1 Bottle= 1 quart of oil used
11.) Reality Check: Plastic is Bad for you anyway. Use Tin- Go to Siggs:
12.) Get out of the habit now, bottled water will eventually become banned.
13.) It really isn’t cool anymore.
What You Can Do
- Stop buying bottled water
- Purchase a reusable Water container and fill up with that.
- Consider putting in Water filtration system
- Buy a Brita Filter
Water Treatment Alternatives
- Reverse Osmosis
- Brita Filter
EPA: FAQ’s About your Water
Natural Resource Defense Council: Bottled Water Pure Drink or Hype
Is Tap Water Better: Very Funny!