Tuesday, October 09, 2007

Stop buying, stop drinking bottled water.

There is a growing movement against bottled water. All kinds of folks from newspaper columnists to religious groups to city governments are eschewing bottled water.

Here's why:
* 86% of plastic water bottles used in the United States become garbage or litter. That means less than 15% are recycled.
* Transporting heavy bottled water uses lots of oil for shipping. More oil is used to make the plastic for the bottles. That means more air and water pollution, and increased dependence on petroleum products.
* 40% of the bottled water is just over priced, high-falutin tap water. Read the label.

What a waste of money and resources! Not to mention the increased pollution. "So what can I do?"

* Stop using bottled water. Pick up a glass and turn on the tap. Ahh! Good water!
* Order "still water from the tap" at restaurants. Environmental stewardship is nothing to be ashamed of.
* Provide cold quenching tap water at your parties, events and home.
* Promote the passage of a bottle bill in your community. These provide an incentive to recycle and increase recycling rates.

Okay, okay. I know bottled water is convenient. So if you must carry around the plastic, do the following:

* Purchase a heavy duty plastic bottle that will last for years.
* Refill it so you can use it multiple times.
* Recycle it so someone else can use it multiple times.

We need not succumb to the advertising and marketing that would have us believe that there is no good alternative to bottled water. We know that tap water is the better choice for us and in the environment in which we live.

"The night whose sable breast relieves the stark,
White stars, is no less lovely being dark."
— Countee Cullen (1903–1946)


mel said...

Agreed! Even better, though, how about a stainless steel water bottle, like those made by Sigg and Klean Kanteen, that will never need replacement and won't leach harmful chemicals into your water?

P.S. Thanks for an awesome blog.

Karama said...

Excellent suggestion, Mel! Thanks so much. For those who are interested, here are the links to Sigg ( and Klean Kanteen (

Glad you like the blog. Please come back again soon, and spread the word!

Beo said...

I am always amazed at how low the recycle rates are for plastic...

The arrogance of our society that we are able to have preferences between Aquafina v. Evian when more than half the world is short on any potable water at all.

Karama said...

That really puts things in perspective, doesn't it, Beo?Tap water in the US is generally very good. There's no reason not to choose it.

And it's getting easier and easier to recycle. Bins are common, so hopefully more people will take advantage of them.

Thanks for reading, Beo, and please come back again soon.

Julianne said...

Hard core tap water drinker here and proud of it.

Another tip: throw a lemon or lime wedge in your glass of tap water. It makes it taste d-elicious!

Love this blog!

Karama said...

Thanks Julianne! I'm glad you enjoyed your visit. Please come back again soon, and spread the word.

Dee said...

The Solution to Bottled Water Polution: Bottled water or tap? NEITHER! Easily Convert your tap water to ultra purified, alkaline, anti-oxidant, ionized LIFE GIVING water. Get an Athena Water Machine. It is affordable and is a thousand times than filtered or tap water. It is also portable. Ordinary filters filter out healthy minerals and deplete the water. This technology is new to the US, Japan and Korea have been using these machines for 36 years! Amazing life giving water right out of your own kitchen, fill your own bottles for an ENDLESS SUPPLY! This water balances the bodies PH and helps you to loose weight naturally. It also helps the body eliminate athsma, allergies, athritis etc. A miriad of health benefits have been reported.The Machines last 15 years...It makes the best tasting cleanest healthiest water on earth. The kids crave it and the keeps the pets healthy too. Save your health and the environment!!! Get yours today WWW.LIFECHANGEWATER.COM

Karama said...

Thanks for the tip, Dee! Please come back again soon, and spread the word.

Karama said...

Please check out this NPR "Fresh Air" interview with Peter Gleick on water use. For examples he mentions that it take three liters of water to make a plastic liter water bottle. And don't forget to add in petroleum for plastic and transport, emissions from transport, pollution from nonrecycled bottles, etc.

It's time to give up the bottled water, folks.

Karama said...

Please vote for So What Can I Do for the 2009 Black Web Award for Most Original Blog. Visit and vote as often as you like before October 5, 2008. Anyone can vote and there's no need to register to do so. Thanks!

Anonymous said...

I agree completely!! I hope this is sent to a lot of people and they will follow the examples given. I myself reuse a heavy duty water bottle and it is no trouble to refil it and put it in the fridge to get cold for an hour.

Jessica said...

Tap water is terrible for your health if you live in America.<

Fluoridation's role in the decline of tooth decay is in serious doubt. The largest survey ever conducted in the US (over 39,000 children from 84 communities) by the National Institute of Dental Research showed little difference in tooth decay among children in fluoridated and non-fluoridated communities (Hileman 1989). According to NIDR researchers, the study found an average difference of only 0.6 DMFS (Decayed Missing and Filled Surfaces) in the permanent teeth of children aged 5-17 residing in either fluoridated or unfluoridated areas (Brunelle and Carlos, 1990). This difference is less than one tooth surface! There are 128 tooth surfaces in a child's mouth.
- Show quoted text -

nyscof said...

The real harm to your health and the environment is fluoridation. Fluoride chemicals added to water supplies are impure waste products of the phosphate fertilizer industry which are allowed to contain trace amounts of lead, arsenic, mercury and other toxins.

Studies link fluoridation to many health problems. The cost to transport unnecessary fluoride chemicals to every nook and cranny of the US is enormous along with the costs for the chemicals, manpower, equipment, repairs, paper work, etc - it's a total waste of money.

Fluoride is added to water supplies, not to purify it, but is added in a failed attempt to reduce tooth decay in tap water drinkers and bathers.

Take action to end fluoridation here

When fluoridation ends, your tap water may be safe to drink.

Even if your water is not fluoridation, you are consuming other cities fluoridated water from food and beverages made in those cities.

MichaelBBerg said...

I had no problems getting out of the bottled water habit but I still had a problem. I’m an athlete and you NEED to replace your electrolytes and sports drinks only come in plastic. So I found a solution and became a distributor of this alternative way of adding electrolytes to your body.

It really works and it's cheaper than Gatorade.