Today is Blog Action Day, an event held worldwide that unites bloggers on a single topic to raise awareness and this year’s topic is water. The subject of water hits close to home as I watch countless people waste their time and money on drinking bottled water, most recently I watched a friend’s passenger side car seat turn into a wasteland for these bottles (some half drunk). Unfortunately, all this bottled water takes 17 million barrels of oil to produce and 86% of them will never be recycled.
The three big bottled water giants – Nestle, PepsiCo, and Coca-Cola – are selling us water tapped from municipal water supplies. Question is: why are we BUYING tapped water when we could be drinking it for free? There is a myth that tap water is not safe to drink. This is false. In the US, tap water is regulated by the EPA whereas bottled water is regulated by the FDA. The FDA has no reporting requirements meanwhile the EPA requires your local utility to provide an Annual Water Quality Report, also called a Consumer Confidence Report, which must show any violations of drinking water quality standards. Yes, there are some cities that don’t have the best drinking water and you can research their water reports under the Environmental Working Group’s database however your solution should not be to turn to bottled water as an alternative, however suggest that the water conditions be improved and take a stand.
Another long standing myth is that bottled is convenient. I love that people confuse convenience with “disposability.” There is nothing convenient about throwing away a bottle that will end up in a landfill. An average of 4 billion bottles end up in U.S. streams costing $70 billion in cleanup and landfill costs. A plastic water bottle takes 1,000 years to degrade and if burned will release dioxins, some of the most harmful man-made chemicals that exist. Most so-called recycling is actually “downcycling” – producing low grade bottles out of virgin plastics and toxic chemicals.
Still think bottled water is a good idea? How about taking a stand and demanding clean water for all and safer drinking water straight from the tap? If you’re interested, check out this link and watch the video below for more info about bottled water awareness. I hope you’ll think twice the next time you buy bottled water.
Image Courtesy of shrff14