If you were to compile all the health advice from all the websites across the world, we’d be willing to be that “drink more water” was the most common tip. We all know how important it is for our health, but sometimes it’s easier said than done.
Not to throw another complication into your health plan, but the way you drink water matters too. Bottled water has a huge following in the US. That’s why every convenience store you see has a full fridge of it ready to go.
The harsh reality is that buying water isn’t helping anyone, including yourself. People everywhere are trading in their bottled water for home water filters. Here’s why you should too.
Why You Should Stop Buying Water and Give Bottles the Boot
There are plenty of reasons people cite for buying bottled water. As it turns out, none of them are real. Here’s why you should quit buying bottled water.
1. Keeping Bottles Out of The Environment
Plastic bottles are among the worst culprits for pollution and environmental damage. So many of them end up in our waterways, harming oceanic life, or bulking up landfills.
Some people decide to fix that by recycling their bottles. It might be a step in the right direction, but it doesn’t help the planet as much as you might think.
For one, you don’t know whether that recycling bin goes where you expect it to go. A significant percentage of recycling bins are tossed into landfills rather than actually being recycled.
Part of that is due to accidents while recycling companies try to sort recyclable from non-recyclable plastics. A large part of the problem, though, is that some waste disposal companies are deliberately dumping recycling bins into landfills. Whether it’s due to efficiency issues or financial concerns, the result on the environment is the same.
Another concern is the recycling process itself. It might have the goal of keeping materials out of landfills, but it doesn’t do any favors for air pollution. In a way, you’re trading in one type of pollution for another.
Other Problems with Plastic Bottles
As many issues as there are with plastic bottles after you use them, they do even more damage before you lay eyes on them. In fact, the largest problem with plastic bottles is the environmental damage of making the bottles.
The production process, as well as transportation, use extreme amounts of unclean fossil fuels. That’s more pollution in the atmosphere and in your lungs as well.
By contrast, a single water filtration system will last you years and you only need to replace the filter every month or two. While the exact maintenance depends on your system, the environment benefits regardless.
2. Your Wallet Will Thank You
Bottled water is one of those small but frequent expenses that adds up more than people think it does. If you want to get depressed about your money management skills, add up what you spend on bottled water and think about what else you could’ve done with that money.
One comparison found that a typical household who got all or most of their drinking water from bottles would spend $3,115 per year. That’s assuming they’re buying water by the case, which is more cost-effective than individual bottles.
How does a water filter compare, you ask? Try $236 per year. We’re willing to bet you could find a better use for $2,879. That’s nearing a full month of post-tax income for a family with the country’s median income in 2017.
3. It’s Not As Contamination-Proof As You Think
Safety is one of the most common reasons people choose to drink bottled water. They assume it’s been purified and tested well while they have no idea what’s coming out of their tap.
As it turns out, that’s not necessarily the case. There have been countless instances of bottled water recalls and customers finding unwanted discoveries in their water.
There’s a common misconception that bottled water is more regulated than municipal water. While the FDA has some regulations in place for bottling plants, they can only regulate water that travels between states.
Municipal water also has more regulations in place and goes through more testing and treatment than most people realize. In fact, in some cases, city water is more regulated than bottled water.
4. Steering Clear of Toxic Plastic
Most people are afraid of natural contamination like bacteria and fungi in their water. What they forget about, though, are the man-made contaminants.
Many types of plastic contain chemicals that are harmful when we ingest them. As the plastic breaks down little by little, it releases these chemicals into the water you drink. Those chemicals can lead to serious health problems, especially if most or all of your drinking water is bottled.
The most well-known of these dangerous toxins is bisphenol A or BPA. Studies show that in some people, BPA can impact brain health as well as behavior and prostate health. This is a far greater risk for kids and infants, as well as fetuses if a pregnant mother takes in BPA.
Thanks to a growing public awareness, many bottled water distributors are using BPA-free plastic. Don’t celebrate yet, though, because some research suggests that the chemicals that are replacing BPA are just as dangerous.
Phthalates are another frequent problem. They can wreak havoc on your hormones. Some studies show that they can damage your kidneys, lungs, liver, and, in boys, the testes. As with BPA, this is most dangerous for babies and young children.
Keep in mind that these chemicals seep into the water faster when the bottle gets warm, sits around for a while, or comes into contact with sunlight. All of these are likely to happen during transportation.
5. You Don’t Know What You’re Getting
As humans, we value our dignity and we don’t like to be duped. Chances are that your favorite bottled water isn’t what you would expect, though.
According to the National Resources Defense Council, 25% of bottled water is plain old tap water. Even among the water that isn’t straight from a tap, chances are that it isn’t from a tranquil mountain stream like the bottle leads you to believe.
The scary part is that you have little way of knowing where your water comes from or how it’s treated. Finding out that information takes some serious research if it’s even possible.
With filtered tap water, on the other hand, you know exactly where it’s filtered: in your home.
6. You Can Replicate the Convenience
Another popular reason people choose tap water is the convenience. They like being able to grab a bottle from the fridge and go.
That’s what the bottled water industry banks on, but this is easy to replicate with filtered tap water. Buy a stash of a few glass water bottles and keep them filled and in the refrigerator. Voila, grab-and-go water without all the downsides of bottled water.
As an added bonus, you get rid of a major inconvenience: hauling cases of bottled water home from the store. We could all enjoy having fewer back-breaking chores.
If you have a dishwasher, make sure you buy bottles that are dishwasher-safe. If you end up with more dishes to hand-wash in your attempt to add convenience to your life, you could end up going back to bottled water.
7. Supporting Smaller Businesses
As the saying goes, small businesses are the backbones of America’s economy. Consumers are pushing to support small business over large corporations across the nation.
When you buy bottled water, that’s next to impossible. It might look like there are dozens of bottled water brands to choose from. In reality, a select few massive companies like Nestle and Coca-Cola own the vast majority of them.
The water filter industry, on the other hand, is far more diverse and consumer-friendly. There are plenty of small companies who make water filtration systems that are easy to access. The same goes for water filter distributors.
You can use your dollars to support hard-working entrepreneurs and small business owners.
8. Combatting the Idea of Water As a Commodity
Clean water is among the most essential resources for human life. Across the world, though, it’s also one of the scarcest resources as well.
In the US, we’ve seen a small sample of that problem in Flint, Michigan. However, the lack of healthy water is happening on a much larger scale in many other areas of the world.
Refusing to pay for a basic necessity like water helps you fight back against companies who try to make money off what should be a public resource.
Reaping the Benefits of Filtered Tap Water
There are plenty of reasons people cite when they choose bottled water. They say it’s safer, it’s more convenient, and it’s well-regulated. As you can see above, all of these are either untrue or they’re benefits you can still get from filtered tap water.
If you’re ready to stop buying water and to give bottles the boot, shop for a water filter online.