Ryan


March 15th, 2013 by Ryan
Posted in Being Green

Of water, I mean. You may have already heard (and felt in your wallet) that bottled water is marked up more than 1,000% compared to tap water. This often makes bottled water more expensive than gas, even at today’s $3.50 per gallon pricing. While I understand that some municipal supplies taste bad, and people in rural areas depend upon vulnerable wells, the vast majority of bottled water drinkers are losing money hand over fist. Is bottled water cleaner than average tap water? At least 50% of bottled water comes from a municipal source, which is then filtered in a process that is much less regulated than tap water.

If you want purified water, buy your own filtration system for your home. Top end reverse osmosis and distillation systems can be expensive, but cheaper carbon filtration cartridges and carafes do a great job also. Once you have water you like the taste of, get a reusable container for it. Stainless steel water bottles (such as the Klean Kanteen) are becoming inexpensive and easy to find, so the trick is finding one with a good seal. Aluminum bottles need to have an enamel liner to keep the aluminum from leaching into the liquid (like those produced by Sigg). Reusable plastic containers, like Nalgene, are made from Lexan, a polycarbonate plastic, which shouldn’t be used for hot liquids. Polycarbonate can release bisphenol A (also called BPA), a synthetic chemical ingredient that interferes with the body’s hormones.

In addition, it’s not wise to reuse the one-time bottle you purchased. While the PET (polyethylene terephthalate, labeled as a #1) plastic is safe initially, as it crinkles and ages from exposure to heat and UV light, it can leak a chemical called DEHP, which has been revealed as a probable human carcinogen.

However, if you do find yourself stuck with bottled water, be sure to recycle the empties! Millions make their way to landfills or are incinerated every year. This is another product that has a high environmental cost and no reusability, so recycling is crucial. So let’s spread the word. What’s your favorite reusable container?

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