Why we should all cut back on using bottled water

There are a number of reasons why so many people are buying bottled water these days. It’s convenient, and a better, healthier alternative to drinking bottles of soda or other sugar-filled soft drinks. The US bottled water market is growing, with a record high of over 10 billion gallons sold in 2013. I’ll admit that I’m guilty of drinking between 1-2 water bottles each day, usually when I’m at work or out and about, due to convenience and availability. However, at home I mostly only drink tap water from using my pitcher water filter. Drinking your own filtered tap water is a cheaper, while still healthy, and less wasteful alternative to bottled water.

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Bottled water has been increasingly marketed to be purer and safer to drink than tap water, but in reality this isn’t always the case. Popular name brands such as Dasani and Aquafina come from municipal water supply sources, not natural spring water. Meaning that those bottles of water are no different than the tap water coming out of your faucet at home, which you can easily filter on your own. Why pay more money for a process you could easily do at home?

If you do the math, you can see exactly how much more expensive buying bottled water costs compared to filling the same sized bottle with filtered tap water at home. Depending on where you live and the size and quantity of bottled water you’re purchasing, bottled water can cost anywhere from 300 to 2,000 times the cost of tap water.

The increased consumption of bottled water has also led to a rise of plastic waste. While recycling rates have slowly gotten better over the past few years, the majority of used water bottles still aren’t recycled.In fact, only about 27% of plastic bottles are recycled, with the majority being thrown away and piling up in landfills. To help combat this problem, more people should start using reusable water bottles that they can refill throughout the day instead of purchasing massive cases of plastic bottled water each time they go to the store. Reusable bottles are convenient since you can take the same one with you wherever you ago. They’re also affordable, running at about $15 for a bottle, and you have a variety of neat designs to pick from to reflect your personality.

Some people attribute their water bottle buying habits to the fact that they don’t like the taste of their tap water, regardless of whether or not they think it is safe to drink. But unless you’re buying the expensive, fancy stuff like Fiji, I honestly don’t see how anyone can tell a difference. All that being said, if you’re the kind of person who goes through multiple plastic water bottles a day, consider the facts. Consider the amount of money you could save over the course of a year if you filtered your own tap water. You’d probably have fewer water bottles collecting around your house, and you also might be able to drive your car without twenty million water bottles rolling around under your seats at all times. Bet you didn’t think about that.