Monday, November 28, 2016

Is Bottled Water Really Better?

Every day, you waste money.  We all do.  Even if we try our best to save every penny, we inadvertently end up accidentally wasting something, costing us both in the short and long-term.  Oddly enough, one of the greatest things people waste and not even realize it is water.  Every year, Americans purchase 8.45 billion gallons of bottled water.  That’s right, 8 followed by 9 zeros.  But bottled water is safer right?  Well, as a growing amount of research is showing, bottled water is probably not safer then tap water.

What Does All Water Provide?

Bottled water has to be safer, right?  Lets take a moment to consider the benefits of water in general.  When you drink the recommended amount of water, you promote healthy skin, making you breath smell better, help regulate your body temperature, help your body in flushing out toxins, help you lose weight, help with hangovers, help with headaches, and help you feel less fatigued.  All these benefits come from any water you drink, and bottled water does not provide any additional benefits.  In addition, neither does tap water.  Knowing that tap water and bottled water are not better or worse then each other can save you a lot of money.  Any claims made by bottled water companies that are not included above may either be speculative or down right wrong.

What Really Happens With Bottled Water

Municipal water sources are carefully regulated and have to adhere to very strict standards.  The standards for bottled water companies are far less stringent.  Generally speaking, the claims you see on a bottle, including the idealized picture showing where the water is coming from, can probably not be trusted.  In truth, nearly half of the bottled water (including 48.7%) comes from municipal water sources.  For half the people who purchase water, the water they are getting is no different then tap. 

Using municipal water sources, bottling companies that produce bottled water can do a great deal of harm to the surrounding community, including helping to create droughts and raising water prices.  In short, these companies are profiting from water that would otherwise be available to you, local farmers, and other local businesses that provide real and tangible resources to local people. 

There is also the sheer amount of fossil fuels used by the bottling industry.  Consider for a moment to the amount of plastic created with water bottles.  Even when the majority of this plastic is properly recycled (which it is not) the end result is a significant amount of trash that ends up finding its ways into nature and the oceans.  In addition, what people most enjoy about bottled water is that it is typically cold and portable.  Both of these qualities can be easily created at home with a minor amount of planning and a fridge.  Instead of purchasing something that ultimately adds more trash to the planet, why not just drink your own water instead?

The Nail In The Coffin

Sometimes, the bottled water you are drinking is even worse then the tap water you otherwise have.  A recent study covering more then 10 bottling companies found 38 contaminants not allowed in tap water.  Simply put, there is no guarantee that bottled water is better, or even as good as tap water.

Where Does That Leave Us?

The best water on the planet is typically found in atmospheric water generators because it is made from water sucked out of the air around you and then filtered to ensure no contaminants remain. They aren't cheap though, they typically run about $4,000.

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