I’ve recently had several, dear friends move out of the water-loving state of Oregon
into the incredibly dry, populated climate of Phoenix, Arizona.
While my newest pen-pals are soaking up a surplus of vitamin D,
I’ve learned that many are relying on bottled water to hydrate themselves
in lieu of drinking the flat-tasting city water.
Understandable, certainly. Alarming, to be sure.
Let’s explore the facts of bottled water*:
- The bottled water industry is a multi-billion dollar industry, owned primarily by Coke, Pepsi and Nestle.
- 40 percent of bottled water is simply tap water from municipal (public) sources.
- Bottled water costs roughly 1,900 times as much as tap water. The cost per gallon far surpasses gasoline.
- Municipal water sources (tap water) is highly regulated; the water quality is tested 300-400 times each month depending on city size.
- Bottled water is not regulated by the FDA (federal government) for safety, because it’s usually bottled and sold in the same state and therefore does not qualify as ‘interstate commerce’.
- The plastic bottles (PET, PETE) are manufactured by refining crude oil. There are countless carcinogens which are released from the plastic into the water consumed, and the environment surrounding these refineries.
Furthermore, the companies (Nestle) which use municipal water sources,
do not compensate nor inform the communities from which they are mining water.
The term water ‘mining’ is used to describe wells which extract ground water
at a faster rate than the water can be replenished through natural hydrological processes.
Scary? It certainly is for me.
So, what can my Pheonix friends (and others) do in the case that their tap water doesn’t meet their taste expectations?
What is the alternative to purchasing bottled water (or other sugary soft drinks)?
1. Invest in a household water filter.
If your problem with drinking tap water is simply taste, purchasing a water filtration system can be an easy alternative to constantly buying individual bottles of water.
(You can also feel good about reducing your plastic consumption.)
Online, check out these water filtration system retailers and buying guides:
Don’t hesitate to find a nearby business and buy local!
2. Purchase reusable water bottles.
If your bottled water consumption is primarily habitual,
a reusable water bottle is a fantastic idea which will pay for itself in just a few weeks.
The individuality, and mobility of a water bottle with a built in filter allows you
to take great tasting, free water with you wherever you go.
More individual filter-bottles, here.
Other adorable bottle designs, here.
Every time you eat, or drink, you are casting a vote.
Will that vote be for oligopoly companies which ignore the needs of the environment and local communities?
I hope not.
“Live simply, so that others might simply live.”
*’The Facts of Bottled Water’ were extracted from the documentary TAPPED and from information provided in an Oregon State University Water Science course I took this year.