Bottled Water Waste

It goes without saying that I avoid bottled water.

First of all, I am naturally -shall we say- “thrifty”, and buying a bottle of water when you can get it for free just doesn’t make sense to me. Secondly, I live in Vancouver, and our tap water is awesome.

But apparently many many people disagree with me.  And they disagree to the tune of half a billion bottles of water sold in the US each week (!) according to Annie Leonard.

What the heck is going on?

Well, for one thing, some tap water isn’t safe to drink.  As I speak, Grant is alternatively groaning in bed and getting to know the bathroom as he recovers from our vacation in Mexico last week.  So I think it’s fair to say that in some places, it’s best to buy a refillable 20 gallon jug of purified water.  It doesn’t have to be imported, just purified.

But what about in Canada and the US where the vast majority of our tap water is delicious?

I was at a community meeting a few months ago when a woman had a great comment.  We were talking about carrying reusable water bottles, and she wondered out loud why we even felt that we needed to carry water with us at all times.

It’s just a trend isn’t it?  When I was a kid, we only used water bottles during sports.  We didn’t need one with us whenever we left the house.  If you got thirsty, you either looked for a fountain or waited until you got home.  Now, for some reason, fountains are few and far between, and designer water bottles are everywhere.

Anyway, this is all a very long introduction to the fact that it’s world water week this week.  And I have three ideas to get you celebrating:

1) check out a showing of Tapped, a film about (what else) bottle water,

2) watch the Story of Bottled Water below, or

3) (if you’re a bottled junkie) challenge yourself to a week without bottled water

3 Comments

Filed under food waste, reusable containers

3 responses to “Bottled Water Waste

  1. rhy

    watch the documentary Flow.. . also very good look at how they get the water that fills those bottles. . . terrible! of course!

  2. Forgive the lateness of this comment! I recently discovered your blog and am going through the 2010 archives.

    Just a quick note about the “trendiness” of carrying bottles of water around. Yes, this has been hyped up, mainly to line the pockets of designer bottles. But the need to drink water consistently throughout the day is very real. Sure, you can tolerate being thirsty while you’re out and then chug a glass when you get home, but that sensation of thirst means you’re already down by 1L. Your body needs it! Once I started increasing my daily water intake in 2001, I’ve noticed fewer headaches (often caused by dehydration) and fewer colds (caused by poor immune response when body fluids run low). So take that reusable bottle with you and keep it filled with tap water – even if that means popping into a coffee shop to ask the staff to fill it in their sink! Stay healthy!

  3. Alex

    I currently live in China. Here, boiled water is all the rage—restaurants serve tea pots full of it; train stations have boiled water stations; and schools offer boiled water for students to pour into their reusable water bottles (usually thick, heat resistant plastic). It’s a little more environmentally friendly than plastic bottles, though drinking hot water takes some getting used to. Lots of people carry around tea or other add-ins to make the water more palatable.

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