Bottled Water Blues
February 10, 2011, 2:46 PM
Filed under: Budget, Lifestyle | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , ,

Bottled water has become part of most people’s lives. It’s convenient and many think it’s healthier than tap water. But the effect the bottles have on the environment is huge.  There are environmental impacts from the oil that is drilled to make the bottles (plastic is made with petroleum), pollution from shipping the bottles, and pollution from the waste the empty bottles create (only about 12% of plastic water bottles are recycled and it takes 1,000 years for one to biodegrade) according to MSNBC.

You might be asking, “But what about the money you can get from recycling bottles?” California is one of only three states that includes water bottles in its redemption laws (and only 11 states have any form of redemption laws) according to MSNBC.  And isn’t bottled water healthier than tap water?

Well, first off, many bottled water companies are simply bottling tap water, not mountain spring water that their labels want you to think you’re drinking. And secondly, bottled water has not been found to be any healthier than tap. In some cases, tested bottled water was dirtier than tap, according to ABCnews. says that 20% of bottled water has more chlorine than the state of California allows in its tap water. Tap water is also tested hundreds of times a month by the EPA, whereas bottled water is only tested about once a month by the FDA-ample time for something to go wrong undetected..

Why pay for a bottled water that is not any healthier, and up to 500 times more expensive than tap, when a reusable water bottle is an easy, affordable solution? Reusable bottled can be purchased for about $10 at most stores (I got mine for $5).  For the budget conscious, $10 may seem like a lot, but when compared to the monthly cost of disposable bottled water it’s not. If someone bought one bottle of water every work-day for a month (20 days a month) for $1.50 a bottle, they would spend $30 a month for something that they could  get almost free out of the tap.

Worried about bad tasting tap water? In a taste test ABCnews found that tap water ranked third out of all waters tested, while the most expensive bottled water, Evian, ranked last.  A Brita, or similar, filter can help remove minerals form tap water than might effect taste. Happy drinking!

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