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Bottled Water Is An Environmental Disaster

Jul 31, 2008
Do you desire to live in a way that protects our childrens future? Do you choose to live in the greenest world possible with a conscience, respect and appreciation for the environment?

Many Americans have a strong sense of environmental and social responsibility. We try to make environmentally well advised choices in many aspects of our daily living, yet we ignore one of the major contributors to the endangered state of the planet.

Worldwide in excess of one billion people do not have an uncontaminated source of clean drinking water, this is in excess of 1/6 of the world population, however, as Americans, spend billions of dollars yearly for the convenience of drinking from a plastic bottle instead of a water tap. We should be ashamed.

1.5 million tons of plastic are used to manufacture bottled water every year. It also takes in excess of 25 times the amount of water to make each plastic bottle than the bottle contains. 300 million gallons of bottled water are imported to the United States yearly.

Often, in America bottled water is simply an indulgence. Despite our rationalizations, it is not a harmless indulgence. Bottled water is an environmental disaster. Thirty years ago bottled water hardly survived as a business in the United States. We Americans now spend more on "designer" bottled water than we spend on iPods or movie tickets - $15 billion in 2007. The expected United States expenditure for bottled water will be $16 billion a year before the end of the decade.

As a country we consume in excess of 30 billion single-serving bottles of water per year. Bottled water is the fastest growing beverage industry in the world, worth up to $22 billion a year. Less than 15 per cent of plastic water bottles are recycled, the remainder end up in the garabage system and cost America's cities in excess of 70 million per year to handle clean up and landfill expenditures. America yearly produces in excess of 800,000 tons of plastic bottle pollution that substantially magnifies global warming.

in 2007, Americans trashed more than 38 billion plastic water bottles, approximately $1 billion worth of plastic that could have been recycled. That's an unforgivable waste, especially considering 1.5 million barrels of oil - enough to power 100,000 cars for a year - were consumed to manufacture these bottles. And that's not even including the oil and gas required for shipping and delivering this huge volume of liquid.

If you are spending money on bottled water, you are basically purchasing plastic, which is manufactured from petroleum. When we purchase a bottle of water, what we're often purchasing is the bottle its self. One of the essential problems with bottled water production is the reliance on fossil fuels. From packaging to transportation, bottled water relies on oil, using 17 million barrels of oil and producing massive amounts of carbon dioxide every year.

In the United States alone, we are hauling 1 billion liters of water around a week in trains, trucks, railcars and ships. That adds up to a weekly giant convoy equivalent to 37,800 18-wheelers. Water weighs over 8 pounds a gallon. Water is so very heavy you cannot fill an 18 wheeler with bottled water, you have to allow empty space.

There is an simple eco friendly solution. Tap water is considerably less expensive. As an investigative reporter for the NY Times points out, almost all municipal water in America is so good that nobody needs to import a single bottle from Italy or France or the Fiji Islands.

Pure and safe drinking water should be public, accessible and affordable. The more the wealthy opt out of drinking tap water, the less active political support there will be for investing in developing and maintaining America's public water supply. That would be a grievous loss.

Availability of inexpensive, pure water is basic to a countrys health. In Fiji, a state-of-the-art factory spins out more than a million bottles a day of the hippest bottled water on the American market, yet more than half the people in Fiji do not have a pure or dependable source of drinking water. This means it is easier for an American in Dallas or Boston to quench their thirst with refreshing Fiji water than it is for the majority of people in Fiji.

If you decide to get your recommended eight to ten glasses a day from bottled water, you could spend up to $1,500 or more every year. The same amount of tap water would cost pennies a day. Recent studies show that many brands of bottled water fail to meet industry guidelines and the cost of even inferior quality bottled water can grow quite high.

A lot of bottled water is really just plain tap water. Several bottled water companies package tap water into plastic bottles, then sell them to you at prices higher than gas and increasing just as rapidly. Aquafina, as an example, has sucessfully been pressured into correcting its labels to advise consumers that Aquafina water comes from tap water. Why do we not just drink tap water? In fact, more than a quarter of bottled water is just processed tap water.

Plastic containers poisonous toxic chemicals. Have you considered why your plastic bottle of water has added a label warning telling you not to reuse it? The longer you continue to use that bottle, the more likely it is to leach toxic chemicals into your drinking water.

There is a solution. If you are not confident in your local water supply or wish to safely filter tap water when on the go, carbon-filtered tap water os safer and costs much less than bottled water. According to the Environmental Working Group, carbon filtration of tap water will dramatically lower levels of toxic by products; it is also 10 to 20 times less expensive than bottled water, and does not produce the waste and pollution associated with the packaging and transport of bottled water.

Portable water filters are a perfect solution for water filtration on the go. A portable water filter allows anyone to filter their own water, no matter where they travel; across town or around the world. A portable water filter allows you to free yourself from any harsh taste, additives or contaminates while protecting the environment and your pocketbook. Attempt to get the whole family involved. A five member family could save well over $7,500.00 a year.

Let us stop being unwitting victims of manipulative advertising. When a entire industry is built up by overwhelming us with a product we do not need, when an entire industry is founded on packaging and presentation, not the product, it is worth questioning how that happened and what the long term impact is upon our precious planet.
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