Thursday, August 11, 2011

Tap vs Bottled

Where do you get most of your water - tap or bottled?
Do you remember a time when water was actually....well....FREE??
Nowadays, bottled water is everywhere - schools, offices, airports, restaurants, home. It's convenient, portable and most definitely healthier than sport drinks as seen in this commercial.
Healthier than sports drinks, yes, but healthier than tap water?

Bottled Water Source:
Most brands of bottled water will portray their water coming from a clean stream of water or a waterfall situated in a pristine, green mountain landscape, making us think that the water is the purest form of drinking water.
Did you know, many of those come directly from a municipal supply that has been treated, purified and sold to us at an astronomical increase in price? The same water that you can get - virtually free - from your tap!
Aquafina, Nestle Pure Life and Dasani are a few that have all acknowledged -whether on the bottle or on their website - that their water comes from a public water source (yep....same source that comes out of your tap).
Commercials, labels and other marketing tools can be misleading at best and downright deceptive at worst. For example, in one notorious case, water came from a well in an industrial facility's parking lot, which was near a hazardous waste dump repeatedly contaminated with industrial chemicals. This water was sold to many well known bottlers. At least one of these companies labeled its product "spring water." In another case, H2O sold as "pure glacier water" came from a public water system in Alaska. Unfortunately, bottlers are not required - yet - to reveal the water source on their label. Essentially, most people are paying for glorified tap water.
Read this for a quick look at cost.

The Problem with Plastic:
By now, we all know at least a little bit about BPA's in our plastics and the dangers that lie therein. If not, read a little here.
Another little unknown tidbit is the storage issue when it comes to plastics. When storing your bottled water in a warm or even hot environment, chemicals can leach into the water. A plastic water bottle sitting in your warm car will change the chemical balance allowing the materials used in the plastic to be absorbed into the water.
Getting your water from an office water cooler? Be wary - if it's made of polycarbonate, it is potentially leaching BPA's.
Can any consumption of chemicals be good for our health? We all know the answer to that.
As if temperature control isn't enough of a concern when storing your bottled water,
exposure to other things you keep in the storage area are of concern as well. Storing your bottled water in the garage, near gas fumes, pesticides and other chemicals can - at the very least - affect the taste and smell of your water!

What Can You Do?
Get to know your tap again. More than likely, if you are drinking bottled water, it's coming from the same source. If you want to have portability and convenience, purchase and use a stainless steel water bottle. If you like to throw money away (I know of some charities that may be more worthwhile) and absolutely refuse to drink anything other than bottled water, do some research on the specific brand and bottling company in order to be informed about what you are actually drinking.

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