Bottled Water 101- What You Need To Know

Water: we gotta have it! But do we need to be drinking from plastic water bottles?  We say no!

Not only is bottled water not necessary to buy, there are all of the eco-implications of the actual bottles!!

Think about this:

•    Bottled water is packaged in polyethylene terephthalate (PET) plastic, which emits harmful toxins such as nickel, ethyl benzene, ethylene oxide, and benzene into our air and water during production.

•    Eighty-six percent of plastic water bottles used in the US aren’t recycled.

•    Water bottles disposed of in landfills or tossed by the side of the road can take up to 1,000 years to biodegrade in the ground.

•    With the exception of a tiny amount of incinerated plastic, all 1 billion tons of plastic manufactured to date is still in the environment.

Bottled water is often tap water—or worse !

Not only are bottled water labels pretty, they can be pretty misleading. Approximately 25 percent of bottled water is merely tap water. Rules allow manufacturers to call their product “spring water” even if it has been chemically treated. In one case in the NRDC test, water from an industrial parking lot next to a hazardous waste site was marketed as “spring water” from a pristine source.

The source of bottled water must be listed on its label. Not all bottled water comes from a spring. Many bottles of water contain nothing more than tap water, yet still cost up to $3.00 per bottle. One way to know that bottled water is actually tap water is to read the label. Look for “municipal” sources or words like “public water source” for clues.

Great options to Bottled Water


Water filters are a more economically sound purchase. Filters come in several forms; the most popular choices are a filtered water pitcher to be stored in your fridge, or an attachment to your sink faucet. The filters block several elements of tap water, including zinc, chlorine, copper, lead, sediment and other materials, up to 99 percent of each item that comes through your sink. (These additives come from the pipes they flow through, so they are not in bottled spring water).

Filters can be purchased for anything from $20 to $60, and are great alternatives to buying bottled water all the time.

Water coolers

Thought these were only for the office? While they require a bit more maintenance than filters, water coolers are another alternative to bottled water. The cooling units are more expensive to buy up front, (the cheapest ones start at $100) but in the long run, will save you money. Five-gallon jugs can be purchased for less than $10 and they equate to 32 regular size bottles of water (20 ounces). Plus, companies will regularly bring you new jugs at your convenience.

Re-Usable Water Bottles

Instead of disposable water bottles, get refillable stainless steel, aluminum, or bio-plastic bottles for tap water and organic beverages. Breaking the disposable bottled water habit reduces the use of fossil fuels and toxic greenhouse gases that result from manufacturing plastic bottles, most of which end up as landfill waste.

When buying refillable water bottles, choosing bottles made from stainless steel is probably your best choice. If you choose bottles with plastic liners, go for ones that don’t contain bisphenol A (BPA).

The choice is yours, between bottled, refillable, filters or coolers; just make sure you’re drinking 8-12 cups per day, especially with the summer months just around the corner.

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