Imagine there was a time when bottled water didn’t exist in our catalog of popular commodities. Perhaps the trend started in 1976 when the chic French sparkling water, Perrier made its introduction. There it was seductively bottled in its emerald green glass amongst the era of disco and the spectacle of excesses . . . who could resist right?!
What could be more decadent than to package, sell and consume what most consider (in the Western world) a common human right easily supplied through a home faucet! It wasn’t until the 1990s when bottled H2O became an everyday common sight and a symbol of our cultural desire towards fitness and “health-consciousness.” Even today health enthusiasts claim drinking water often helps to “detox and boost the metabolism!”
There have been controversies about chemicals leeching into the water from the soft plastic material of bottles, but the FDA determined the containers “do not pose a health risk to consumers.” Today IBISWorld reports that the “U.S. is the largest consumer for bottled water in the world, followed by Mexico, China, and Brazil.”
1. Plastic bottles are not sustainable, no matter what we’ve been told.
Using vast quantities of fossil fuels and water, these bottles are manufactured, filled, and shipped around the globe. (Not a good carbon footprint!) Neither are bottles biodegradable in any meaningful way: what you drink in a few minutes can stick around for a thousand years.
2. Some bottled water is glorified tap water at 10,000 times the cost.
The label on your bottled water may depict a peaceful mountain stream, but that doesn’t mean the water inside is pure and pristine.
Only some bottled water comes from springs or groundwater sources. It turns out that approximately 25% of bottled water is sourced from … the tap. Sure, some companies filter or radiate the tap water with ultraviolet light before selling it to you at several thousand times the cost of municipal tap water.
3. Many bottled waters contain toxins, even if they’ve nixed BPA.
Plastic isn’t just bad for the planet . It’s not good for you, either.
4.Fashion, foodies, and sustainable cities are taking back the tap.
New York City’s Fashion Week, Chez Panisse, the city of San Francisco and Grand Canyon National Park have all reduced or eliminated bottled water! AVEDA teamed up with New York’s Department of Environmental Protection during Fashion Week 2010 to provide free drinking fountains on the streets of New York.
5. Local water is the new complement to local, organic food.
Local food is everywhere these days: CSAs, farmers markets, farm-to-table dining. That local food is grown and cooked with … local water! It’s the invisible part of the sustainable, healthy food you eat.
6. There ARE gorgeous alternatives for on-the-go hydrophiles!
Choose a durable, re-useable water bottle (BPA-free or, even better, stainless steel) in whatever size or shape and design you like. I think of it as an accessory: at my most recent job interview, a team member commented on my green, reusable water bottle.
7. Change is simple—and makes a real difference!
When you ditch disposable bottled water, you save money, live healthier, and join a movement for global sustainability. Plus, it’s easy. And you’ll save money.