Nationally, bottled water sales have soared over the past several decades. In Colorado, the statistics are about in line with the national average. It has me curious as to why. Certainly, one can point to the desire for adequate hydration, an image of purity and good health, and the ultimate convenience of a bottle of water handy whenever and wherever we are. Reality is far from perception.
Giving up on the plastic water bottle is an easy, money-saving, environmentally smart and healthy move to make.
Purity and good health? Plastics containers and bottle caps often contain a variety of health-harming chemicals that can leach out and contaminate the water. Leave a water bottle in a hot car or reuse it – I used to do this all the time – exposure is magnified because heat and stress increase the amount of chemicals that leach out of the plastic.
Studies suggest that at least 40% of a bottled water is just tap water. If a bottle states, “bottled at the source,” it essentially means filled from the sink. But there is no way to know from what sink and who is doing the filling.
Convenience or energy drain? The energy used to make plastic water bottles is significant. According to The Water Project, a nonprofit organization, 47 million gallons of oil are used each year to make plastic bottles – enough to fuel 1 million cars – and 85% of used plastic water bottles end up in landfills (only 15% get recycled). Wow.
Some people believe bottled water tastes better, but studies show that consumers consistently choose the taste of tap water.
Is it time to kick the bottled water habit? I have.