Bottled water is becoming obsolete

Bottled water is getting banned.  San Francisco’s mayor, Gavin Newsom has stopped the city government from using money to supply municipal workers with bottled water.  New York City launched a champagne ad to encourage residents and tourists to stop using bottled water and drink the tap water.  New York has been considered one of the best water in the country.  Boston and San Francisco have also taken bottled water off many of their menus and replaced it with filtered tap water instead.

The reason for all of this change is the fact that 11 billion dollars is spent each year on bottled water, resulting in 22 million empty plastic water bottles in the trash.  Bottled water doesn’t only take up a huge amount of space in the local landfill but it also costs a thousand times more than faucet water.  It also is no safer or cleaner than tap water and in some cases may even be more harmful!

Tap water goes through extensive testing more often than bottled water which is usually only tested annually.  Besides the water itself it is the pretty packaging that may be the most harmful to your health.  Many people want a bang for their buck and might refill their plastic bottle with the filtered water from their home or office.  This could be problematic.

The plastic is safe if used once, using it multiple times can leach chemicals such as DEHA, a potential hormone disrupter.  The plastic is also porous and you most likely will get harmful bacteria with each sip if you reuse #1 plastic bottle.

There are so many alternatives that are available now instead of the more common plastic bottle.  I myself carry one designed by Nathan, many sporting goods stores carry an array of different colors and sizes, catering to male and female as well as children and adults.  It is a wise decision to make for yourself as well as the environment.  It will save you money and room in your trash can!

Posted By: Kate Kiselka, follow me on Twitter

Clear2Go Water Bottles

clear2go-11We all know that plastic water bottles are detrimental to our environment. We’ve all seen the Brita commercials (“30 minutes in a meeting, forever in a landfill”). Over the past few years, we have seen a major move towards reusable water bottles among eco-conscious water lovers.

If you are like me and live in an area where the tap water isn’t hazardous but comes equipped with an awful taste, a water filtration system is a must. In my household, we use Brita. The filters last us several months, and the water tastes great.

But when we’re on the go, it isn’t exactly feasible to bring a whole pitcher of water with us. That’s why I was intrigued when the kind folks over at Clear2GoTM recently sent me one of their revolutionary water bottles.

Upon first glance, it looks just like a typical sport bottle, but when you open it up, it is anything but.

Clear2Go’s built-in water filter can filter up to 100 gallons of water (equivalent to 757 bottles of water), inexpensive replacement filters are available too. Its NanoCeram NASA-derived filter technology reduces harmful tap water contaminants like aesthetic chlorine, cryptosporidium, giardia and many more.

clear2go-21After reading up on the product, I decided to put it to the test. My home’s tap water isn’t great. It isn’t harmful (according to the city), but it has a strong taste that isn’t yummy to me at all. I performed three different taste tests:

1) Regular tap water
2) Water filtered through a Brita filter
3) Water filtered through the Clear2Go water bottle

I have been an avid Brita water drinker ever since I moved to Rhode Island six years ago, and have become quite keen to the taste of its water, so I was interested to see how Clear2Go would compare. I stomached through the tap water, then “cleansed my palate” with the Brita water, and then it was on to the Clear2Go water. I was pleasantly surprised at how refreshing and clean the Clear2Go water tasted. It was just as good, if not better than my Brita water.

I always keep a bottle of water in my car (I reuse the same bottle) but now, the Clear2Go will always be by my side. I no longer have to find filtered water or spend money on plastic bottles again. Woohoo!

The Clear2Go water bottle costs between $14.99 to $17.99, while the average cost of drinking my recommended daily amount of water using bottled water costs $1,400 a year. That is an incredible savings!

Suggested Retail Price:
Reusable Water Bottle – $14.99-$17.99
One Two-Pack Replacement Filter – $9.99-$10.99

Clear2Go can be purchased at grocery stores, mass merchants, sporting good chains, bike shops, convenience stores, drug store chains and online.

Posted by: Lauren

The Problem With Convenience

Before bottled water, there was…..well, what was there?  Before we began harvesting huge amounts of toxic producing plastics to store our beverages, how did we survive?   The truth is, bottled beverages are a matter of convenience more than anything else.  And in some instances, they are simply unavoidable.  Take the airport.  As a frequent traveler, I am constantly faced with the no liquids through security dilemma which, while I understand the security precautions, can be very irritating.  I own a variety of travel mugs and eco-friendly reusable water bottles but I am not allowed to take them into the airport.  So what is my solution?  Buy a bottle of (exceptionally overpriced) water from the Hudson News stand.

I would be more at ease with this solution if I was able to recycle the bottle easily, but I’m not.  Not all airports provide proper recycling containers and (she cringes) many, many glass and plastic bottles, as well as paper goods, are thrown in the trash and sent to the landfill.  Last Wednesday, while preparing to land on an early morning flight from Baltimore to Providence, I took deep breaths as I watched every single item of waste on the plane go into the same trash bag (evidently Southwest doesn’t care about our planet as much as they claim to) and promptly deposited into a trash receptacle.  Newspapers!  Water bottles!  All going to the dump.  Sigh.

Our local coffee haunt is just as guilty.  Handing out countless paper cups a day, there isn’t a single recycling option in site.  (Kim hassles them about this on a regular basis.  I just bring my travel mug.)

So while it is best to avoid bottled beverages altogether, sometimes, the convenience factor ranks higher than the green one and unless all businesses join us 2009 and learn that there is only a finite number of places we have to store trash on this planet (and even smaller amounts of air space left for all that methane to absorb into…), plastics, paper, glass will all sadly head straight for the landfill. 

Posted by: Ashley  / ashleyatcaster on Twitter

Ditch the Bottle

Bottled water is a marketing phenomenon.  In a society where much of the tap water supply is safe and completely regulated by the EPA (Environmental Protection Agency), we struggle to rid ourselves of the belief that bottled water is healthier and filled with less chemicals.  Nothing could be further from the truth.

The bottled water industry, regularly enjoying profits of $10 billion a year, is self-regulated and in many cases has been found to be brilliantly deceiving consumers.  Last month, the Environmental Working Group conducted a study on 10 brands of bottled water and found that 5 out of the 10 brands contained contaminated bacteria and one brand in particular – Sam’s Choice from corporate giant Wal-Mart – contained a level of toxicity that exceeded California state law. 

In fact, as much as 40% of bottled water begins as tap water, not in untouched springs, as the water companies would have you believe.  So aside from the simple fact that tap water may actually be better for you than bottled water (and can I just point out – SO MUCH CHEAPER), what happens to $10 billion worth of plastic bottles once we have quenched our uninformed thirsts? 

The World Wildlife Fund estimates that about 1.5 million tons of plastic are used globally in making water bottles every year, leaving a significant manufacturing footprint.  Most water bottles are made of the oil-derived polyethylene terephthalate known as PET – less toxic than most plastics but has been found to generate more than 100 times the toxic emissions in the form of nickel, ethylbenzene, ethylene oxide and benzene compared to glass manufacturing.

Sure Poland Spring began manufacturing a new eco-friendly bottle design, which they claim saves 30% of plastic and is 100% recyclable.  Ok, but bottled water has the convenience factor and when people are on-the-go, the ability to recycle diminishes greatly.  And what about the other 70% of plastic still cluttering up the Earth? 

Bottled water is not green nor is it safer than tap water.  The myth perpetrated by the bottled water company machine continues to influence consumers in grocery stories, gyms, restaurants and sporting events across the country.  If we’re going to have a greener society, we need to ditch the bottle and turn on the faucet.

Posted by: Ashley / ashleyatcaster on Twitter