Bottled water - the cost to you and the environment

LeeJoy Ellis
Personal Wellness

Water is essential to all life on earth and that includes your body.  You can survive up to several weeks without food, but only a few days without water. Every system in your body, from your cells and tissues, to vital organs requires water to function properly.  In fact, water makes up on average 70% of an adult’s body weight, from 25% in bones to 85% in the brain.

With the critical role water plays in our wellbeing, it is important to focus not only on the quantity, but also on the quality of the water we consume.

Contaminated tap water concerns have become more widespread over the last few years in the United states.  A University of California study found that in any given year, in the 33-year period studied, between 9 million and 45 million Americans receive drinking water from a source that was in violation of the federal Safe Drinking Water Act.  Contaminants in tap water have been shown to cause a wide range of health problems from mild stomach flu, to cancer and neurological disorders.  With these health concerns, bottled water sales have been pushed to an all time high of around $19 billion in the US, with sales projected to grow to $22 billion by 2024.

The increasing demand for bottled water comes at a high cost - a cost to both our personal health and the environment. Unfortunately, we tend to overlook these costs for the sake of convenience and perceived safety.  So before you buy your next bottle of water consider the following; The United States is the worlds largest consumer of bottled water and our landfills are overflowing with 2 million tons of discarded plastic water bottles. For every six bottles of water you buy, only one is recycled. The plastic bottles that end up in our landfills take up to a 1000 years to decompose, leaching harmful chemicals into our precious soil and water. Not only are our landfills overflowing, but plastic waste is making it’s way to our oceans too. Each year, plastic waste kills 1.1 million marine creatures!  It is estimated that by 2050 the ocean will contain more plastic than fish.

The environmental impact and cost of plastic water bottles is extensive. In addition to polluting our land and oceans, the production of bottled water has a gigantic carbon foot print. Fossil fuels are used to produce plastic bottles.  In fact, 17 million barrels of oil a year are used to make a one year supply of bottled water.  That could fuel 1.3 million cars or power 190,000 homes for a year.  This industry emits 2.5 million tons of CO2 into the atmosphere each year.  Each week it takes 40,000, 18 wheeler trucks on our roads to deliver bottled water.  It is also worth noting that bottled water companies are draining precious water sources of local communities.  In fact, Nestle’s water bottling operations created a water shortage in Pakistan. It takes three liters of water to make 1 liter of bottled water.

Bottled water is generally no cleaner, safer or healthier than tap water.  In fact, the federal governments requires more rigorous and frequent safety testing and monitoring of municipal drinking water than bottled water.  In most cases, bottled water is tested for microbes and other pollutants four times less than tap water.

In addition, there are other health concerns related to bottled water due to harmful chemicals released from the plastic bottle, such as bisphenol A (BPA). BPA has been linked to breast cancer, reproductive issues, asthma and more. Studies have also found that many brands of bottled water were deficient in essential minerals such as magnesium, potassium and calcium.

Our health is precious and so is our planet.  We must reduce our bottled water consumption and recycle.  By making small changes, replacing convenience with mindful living, we can have a big impact on our health, our communities and our planet.  Use your own durable stainless steel or glass bottle and invest in a high quality water filter for home and office.

The Nikken waterfall is our top pick.  Made from recycled, biodegradable materials, it takes tap water and transforms it into clean, pure, mineral rich, alkaline, structured water.  The system does not require electricity or an expensive plumbing system and costs under $400

Reduce your consumption of bottled water, Recycle your plastics and Renew our environment.



You might also like