You are probably already aware that drinking water is essential to good health because it helps to maintain the balance of fluids in the body and replaces vital nutrients. Water can also control calories, energize muscles, balance kidney function, and keep your skin looking vibrant.
It is for these reasons, and many others, that the medical community suggests drinking eight glasses of water per day. But, many people prefer ditching the glass and swapping it for bottled water, citing it is much healthier than tap water.
Bottled water is not only convenient, it simply looks healthier and more appealing, but is it just a fancy marketing ploy? Many people believe that the water streaming from your kitchen sink might be just as clean and safe as what you are drinking from the bottle. So, do you really need to drink bottled water? Here are a few shocking facts you should know before deciding.
Plastic Bottles are Not Environmentally-Friendly
It is no secret that we are living in a sensitive time, where everything that we use and consume could potentially be hazardous to our environment. More and more companies are making great strides to incorporate “green” products, which are designed to eliminate the amount of waste that is left on the environment.
In turn, as individuals, we are also expected to do our part to reduce our carbon footprint, which includes purchasing these environmentally friendly products, practicing composting, recycling, and other green habits. When you drink water out of a convenient plastic bottle, you may feel that it is safe and that you are doing your part because it is recyclable, but that is not entirely accurate.
Although you can take your water bottles to the local recycling center and trade them in, plastic bottles are not biodegradable, which means they are harmful to the environment. Most people do not take into consideration that, producing just one water bottle requires a lot of fossil fuels, not to mention what is required to ship them.
Bottled Water Does Not Taste Better
Have you ever tasted bottled water and just thought that there was something about it that tasted better? Well, it turns out, that could be all in your head. According to several blind taste tests conducting for a “think outside the bottle,” campaign 75% of people were unable to tell the difference between tap water and bottled water. Many times, we are fooled by the labels, which usually feature mountains, streams, and rivers.
Bottled Water Contains Toxins
If you look at your plastic water bottle, the label will most likely say, “BPA-free,” which is letting you know that they no longer use a dangerous chemical compound that is usually found in plastics. If your water bottle is BPA-free, that is great news, but those are not the only harmful chemicals used in plastics.
Studies have shown that the chemicals that are used in plastics can be fatal in large doses and have been known to reach the water over time. In smaller doses, chemicals like antimony, which is often used in plastic bottles, can cause headaches, depression, and nausea.
Bottled Water is Expensive
If you are in a rush and need a quick drink, then grabbing a quick bottled water can be a practical solution. As a substitute for tap water, however, bottled water is expensive and not worth the value. For example, if you purchase a 20-ounce bottled water, it is usually $1.00, which equates to five cents per ounce of water.
What you are purchasing is basically filtered tap water, so, if you compare that with the cost of water, which is around one cent per gallon, you will find it is largely overpriced.
Bottled Water is Not Healthier
The two biggest reasons why most people switch from tap water to bottled water is taste and health. Many people are convinced that bottled water is much healthier than tap water, but really, they only differ in regulatory agencies.
Bottled water is regulated by the Food and Drug Administration and municipal, or tap water is regulated by the Environmental Protection Agency. The EPA will regularly inspect all municipal water for bacteria, toxins, and chemicals to ensure that water meets public safety standards.
When it comes to monitoring bottled water, the FDA does not follow the same strict standards, and they do not monitor for the same contaminants as the EPA. Additionally, the FDA regulations do not apply to water packaged and sold within the state, which means that up to 70% of bottled water is completely free of regulation.
While the FDA requires bottlers to test for contaminants regularly, the agency does not have the resources to oversee bottled water, and it is considered a low-risk product. The EPA, however, takes the regulation and safety of municipal water very seriously.
Wild Animals Ingest Parts of Water Bottles
Unfortunately, bottled water means more trash for the earth and that trash is not always recycled. Water bottles create up to 1.5 million tons of plastic trash annually, and over 80 percent of those plastic bottles are just discarded.
Many of these bottles do not make it to the trashcan, and instead, high volumes of plastic end up in the Earth’s oceans posing a huge risk to marine life, who end up injured or killed.
Some Bottled Water is Tap Water
Yes, you read that correctly, some bottled water companies take tap water and mask it behind a fancy label. Regardless of what your label might say, only a few bottled water sources actually come from the springs, or ground sources depicted on the label.
As it turns out, nearly 25 percent of bottled water is sourced from tap water, and then sold back to you at a much higher cost. These companies just take your water and filter them with ultraviolet rays, then repackage and employ some tricky marketing techniques.
What Can You Do?
After reading these arguments, you may have decided it is time to ditch the plastic bottle, but if you are used to bottled water, it can be may be difficult to know where to start. Fortunately, there are a few things you can do, to make the switch from bottled to tap water a little easier.
First, consider purchasing an at-home water filter that you can keep in your refrigerator. This way, you can fill a container of tap water and have cold, filtered available in your fridge whenever you want. You can also purchase a sink extension that will filter your water for you.
Next, you should slowly eliminate your plastic water bottles and replace them with reusable bottles. These are not only sustainable, but they are dishwasher friendly and convenient. If you prefer, you can also purchase a glass carafe for your water.
Keep in mind when getting rid of your plastic bottles, that you should always recycle what is left or ensure that you are disposing of them responsibly.
If you would still like to take a water bottle while you go to the gym, a kid’s baseball game, or a family vacation, there is certainly nothing wrong with that. However, you should keep these tips in mind and consider selecting alternative water sources like tap, or filtered water for everyday use.