Top 5 Reasons To Ditch Your Water Bottle
Updated: Jul 20, 2020
Bottled water is clean and healthy
– or so their producers would have you believe. After all, marketers tirelessly bombard us with picturesque images of flowing alpine springs, pristine, ice-capped mountaintops and thin, attractive models downing a pint right before biking to the pilates studio.
Make no mistake about it. Bottled water is big business, with worldwide sales projected to be between $50 and $100 US billion a year. But is bottled H2O really any purer than ordinary tap water filtered in your home? Well, considering that many top brands are actually just filtered tap water, it's safe to say that bottled water is often times more pure hype than pure water.
The truth is, bottle waters are usually overpriced, sometimes unsanitary, and always damaging to the environment.
Most small 16-20 oz bottled waters are made from polyethylene terephthalate (PET), which can leach harmful plastic chemicals and hormone disruptors into the water. Larger bottled waters don't fare any better. In 2000, Consumer Reports found that 8 out of 10 large 5-gallon jugs they tested left the dangerous endocrine disruptor bisphenol A (BPA) in the water. BPA has been linked to breast cancer, prostate cancer and diabetes as well as reproductive development disorders.
Worse yet, plastic leaching increases with age and heat so storing bottled water in your garage is a big No-No!
How would you like to drink a nice colony of bacteria after your morning workout? When the NRDC (National Resources Defense Council) tested more than 1,000 water bottles, including 103 bottled water brands, the organization found that 1/3 of the brands contained arsenic, bacteria and synthetic organics exceeding allowable limits.
And the NRDC isn't alone. Canada's C-crest Laboratories, a pharmaceutical testing company in Montreal, found that 70% of the dozen bottled water brands it tested had high levels of heterotrophic bacteria, which can be pathogenic and cause infectious diseases like E. coli. The United States Pharmacopoeia says the heterotrophic bacteria in drinking water should not exceed 500 colony-forming units (CFUs) per milliliter, yet the highest recorded level from the sample was 80,000 CFUs per milliliter.
Our addiction to drinking bottled water contributes greatly to global pollution. Despite well-intentioned recycling campaigns, 85% of PET bottles are either thrown away, tumbling around as litter, or ebbing in the ocean, posing a threat to marine life that sometimes mistakes the garbage for food. In 2006 the production of bottled water used the equivalent of more than 17 million barrels of oil, releasing more than 2.5 million tons of carbon dioxide.
What can you do? Switch your plastic water bottle for a BPA-free stainless steel or aluminum water bottle. And fill it up with filtered water, which has a more consistent, fresh and pleasant taste when compared with stale bottled water with a hint of plastic.
Bottled water can cost 500 to 3,000 times more than tap water. So, if you buy a 20 ounce name brand for $10 then that works out to 10 cents an ounce, whereas municipal water costs about 1 cent per gallon. Since most bottled water is simply just filtered tap water, it makes much more sense to just purchase a water filter and purify your water at home. Adding a quality water filtration system will only increase that costs up to about 2-3 cents per gallon and it will give you clean water that tastes just as good but at a much lower cost.
Do you really want to pay that much for something that literally falls from the sky?