Earth Month: Eco-tip #15 Stop buying bottled water

Plastic bottles can be wasteful and expensive, not to mention inefficient.

It’s widely thought that bottled water is worth the cost because it’s cleaner, safer and tastes better than local tap water. Sometimes that may be true, but think of what you’re buying: wasteful, nonreusable plastic bottles filled with water you could easily filter yourself at home for a huge markup. In 2005, The New York Times debunked the “bottled water is cleaner” theory:

In 2000, for example, a study in The Archives of Family Medicine compared 57 samples of bottled water to the tap water in Cleveland and found that while 39 samples of the bottled water were cleaner than tap, more than a dozen had at least 10 times the bacterial levels found in the city’s water.

According to The Daily Green, it takes 26 bottles of water to produce the plastic container for a one-liter plastic bottle. Now, where’s the logic in that?

Reusable water bottles made from stainless steel, aluminum or bio-plastics help us reduce our dependence on fossil fuels and decrease the emission of toxic greenhouse gases that result from manufacturing plastic bottles.

According to Earth911, recycling one plastic bottle conserves enough energy to light a 60-watt lightbulb for up to six hours. Recycling one ton of plastic saves 7.4 cubic yards of landfill space.

Earth911 acknowledges how even plastic manufacturers are starting to change their ways:

Some bottled water producers are trying to reduce plastic in their production, also known as light-weighing, to make an impact. Between 2000 and 2008, the weight of PET plastic water bottle containers decreased by nearly 33 percent.

When searching for a new reusable bottle, avoid those containing BPA. If searching for a reusable plastic bottle, look for plastics numbered 1, 2, 4 or 5. Avoid 3, 6 and 7.

Stay tuned for more tips from USAgain!

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