Monday, March 29, 2010

Water in a Bottle

Last year, we gave up bottled water. I'm not going to lie to you - it was hard. I love the taste of Arrowhead Spring water. I was a total water snob. Not only did I stick to bottled water as my sole source of water, it HAD to say spring water on the label. I could not (and still can't) stand the taste of "lesser" waters like Aquafina and Dasani. They tasted like the bottles in which they were packages - just like chemicals. YUCK.

Then, as I traveled along my journey of information regarding what I was (and wasn't) putting into my body and the Earth, I started to learn more about bottled water, and how bad it was. My justification for drinking it was that A) tap water wasn't clean - it couldn't be because it tasted SO BAD and B) I was recycling my empty bottles, so that made it okay to use them. Well, I learned that tap water is plenty clean, so clean in fact that a lot of bottled water is actually just filtered tap water. I also learned that just because I was putting my empties in the recycling bin, it didn't necessarily mean that they were being recycled because the consumer demand for recycled products just isn't high enough at this time to use everything we toss in there.

I came across this video online, and it pretty much sums up the problems with bottled water in a tidy eight minute package.

To be completely honest, I don't know how tap water beat Fiji in taste tests. Maybe Cleveland has really good water, who knows. What I do know is that Fiji water is an environmental disaster and has nearly destroyed the place it comes from. The people who live there are poor and only have access to about 3 gallons of drinking water per week, per person, while the government is getting rich from this stuff. It's sad.

When my husband moved in with me, he brought one of those Brita pitchers with him. I HATED that thing. It always looked grubby, it took up too much room in the refrigerator, and sometimes it had black crap floating in it from the carbon filter. Yuck. I refused to drink from it and after about a year we tossed it.

Now we use a Pur filter right on the faucet. It takes up no room in my fridge, it gets cleaned every night when the dishes are done so it's not grubby, and we no longer have to tote home heavy bottles from the grocery store. Sure, I'm still throwing out the plastic from the filter every couple of months, but since I still can't abide by the flavor of tap water, I think it's a fair compromise instead of going through all those bottles.

Last week, I went a step further and ordered two of these:

Now, I will be able to take my tap water with me and so will my husband! Sure, the bottles were not cheap, but seeing as how I drink a LOT of water each day, when I think about how much money we've saved with just me giving up bottled water, well, this was downright cheap!

Besides, y'all. It's hot pink. :) (not to worry, my husband got a red one)

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Blogger AZAnjanette said...

we were going thru alot of bottles of water too so we finally broke down and got real water service from opremium which is now bought out by sparklets. I drink more water than soda now and I did have to break down and buy everyone their own bottle to take with them in the car or on outings. It has been nice to have my own purple bottle for home and I am dying when I forget to take it with me to the office.
Yuck I didn't know that about Fiji water so thanks for the excellent post.

8:33 PM  
Blogger Hooptee said...

Good for you! I didn't know that about Fiji. Very interesting. I wish I could get one of those filters for the faucet, but we have a removable nozzle. Gotta get the install... Till then I'm stuck with the Brita.

12:27 PM  
Blogger Samara Link said...

Here, here! Great post. I've been on a very similar journey. I was never huge into bottled water, but I certainly bought my share before understanding how bad plastic is for the earth. I, too, went through the learning curve of Brita pitcher to Pur filter. We now have a reverse osmosis installed right in the sink ... mostly because it was there when we moved in. I had someone come by to check it when we first came to make sure it was good to go, and I've never looked back. We love it! Point is though, that the filtered tap water is very nice to have. I bought an aluminum bottle two years ago or so, and I love it also. Take it with me every single day.

Yes, it's interesting to really learn where our food and drinks comes from. I was horrified last fall to read a feature article in The Economist about where bottled watered often comes from and how so many of the companies that are bottling them are huge social offenders. No surprise, Figi was a big highlight in the article. I haven't bought it since. It's also interesting that they pointed out Figi is "the bottled water" for a lot of celebrities and high class events. They're all marketing a product that is ruining a society. I wonder how many of them know it. I was outraged to learn about Figi's practices and those of other companies doing business like them.

I haven't bought much bottled water in the last five years, but it is hot here, and sometimes that one thing of water that you bring from home isn't enough when you're gone all day. So, sometimes, I break down and buy something. It's nice to be informed about what business practices some of these companies make. It's also good to be aware of where these things are bottled. Even if they are practicing socially responsible business, it's not necessary to buy water bottled in France that's shipped all the way here, if you can buy water that comes from somewhere much closer ... or better yet, from your tap, like you said.

Anyway, interesting stuff!

2:49 PM  

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