Bottled water uses resources and impacts the environment during production, transportation, storage, refrigeration, disposal, and even recycling. We need to think about our personal choices for drinking water and then take action.
Reusable Water Bottle
Several years ago when I started thinking about the environment and things I could stop doing, buying bottled water at all seemed to be a good one (I didn’t buy much to start with). I went on a search for a reusable water bottle. I wanted one that would fit in my purse and had a removable top that was attached somehow. It took a few tries but I finally found one that met my criteria and it was purple, my favorite color. Now I take it everywhere.
Alternatives to Bottled Water
There are many different types of devices and systems for filtering and storing tap water, in a wide variety of price ranges, that will fulfill different lifestyles and personal preferences. A few are listed below:
Water Faucet (the anti-filter)
- The easiest and most cost-effective solution is to just fill a reusable glass or bottle directly from the faucet (don’t blow it by using a throwaway paper or plastic cup).
Filtering Pitchers / Dispensers
- Pour tap water into the top, the water is filtered as it moves through into the body of the pitcher or dispenser.
- Fill reusable water bottles before leaving the house or office.
Reusable Bottle Water Filtering unit
- Similar to a filtering pitcher, tap water is poured in the top, filtered, and fills several reusable water bottles at the same time.
- Easy to grab and go.
Point of Use Water Filtering
- Faucet Water Filter: a device attached to a water tap that provides filtered water from the faucet.
- Reverse Osmosis System: equipment is installed under the sink and filtered water is accessed via an additional spigot next to the kitchen faucet.
- Want your water cold, then put your filtering pitcher or dispenser in the refrigerator, or store filtered water in reusable containers or bottles. Refrigerators with small access doors on the outside use less energy because you do not need to open the whole door to take out the items stored in the door (like a pitcher of water).
- Many refrigerator manufacturers offer filtered water and ice via external door dispensers.
- If you’re in the market for a new refrigerator consider the above options.
What about storing water in bulk for emergency purposes? Pallets of water bottles or large jugs may seem to be just the thing, but there are alternatives.
- For instance, a soda/beer keg makes a great water storage container. The 5-gallon size is easy to handle and store.
- These kegs were originally made by the IMI Cornelius Company for dispensing soft drinks under pressure. Nowadays soda is mixed and dispensed at the machine, but the kegs are popular with home beer brewers.
- Since they were designed to hold liquids under pressure they are very strong and durable. Kegs can be purchased new or used on the Internet.
Think About It and then Take Action
We have a reverse osmosis water filtering system, a refrigerator with a door water dispenser, and a collection of drinking glasses and reusable water bottles. I have to admit that I have purchased a bottle of water on rare occasions, but I really, really, really try to avoid it.
I realize that my choices won’t work for everyone but everyone can take a positive step towards reducing bottled water use and waste. This is something we can all do for the benefit of ourselves and future generations.
Author’s Soap Box (opinion)
Water is essential to life and is a precious natural resource. There seems to be something wrong with bottling it for some people who can afford to pay for it. Using our planet’s limited resources for bottled water and damaging the environment in the process doesn’t make sense to me. Shouldn’t we focus our efforts, resources, and money on ensuring everyone has access to a consistent and safe water supply?
Just say NO to bottled water!
- Bottled Water – Cost and Sustainability
- Bottled Water – Social Implications
- How Much Does Bottled Water Cost?
- Introduction to Single-Serving Bottled Water
- What is the Environmental Impact of Bottled Water?
- Why Do People Drink Bottled Water and How Much?