Like the human body, the earth itself is composed of 75% water. Water is essential for all life on this planet and for the healthy function of all cells and organ systems. In the past decade, water has become big business. Bottled water companies are selling public water back to the consumer; but big profits for companies come at high costs for people and the planet.
Bottled Water, Bad for Your Wallet
The bottled water industry promotes bottled water as a healthy, trendy drink, ignoring the fact that it can cost 500 to 4,000 times more than tap water. According to company officials, popular brands of water sold in Michigan actually contain Detroit city water and reprocessed tap water from the Detroit River.
Bottled water sold in 20 ounce sizes can be purchased from vending machines for the same price as a soft drink. Water sold for $1 per bottle breaks down to a cost 5 cents per ounce. In contrast, at $3 per gallon, gasoline costs consumers just a fraction over 2 cents per ounce. This price breakdown is especially stunning due to the fact that most municipal water obtained from the tap costs less than 1 cent per gallon.
Bottled Water, Bad for The Planet
Bottled water is also costly for the environment. According to The National Geographic, only 17% of all plastic water bottles are recycled today. There are 60 million bottles thrown away daily in the USA, totaling 29 billion a year. Most bottled water is consumed away from home, usually at a park, in an office or even while driving — areas where there usually is no recycling.
Plastic bottles are much more than just a landfill nightmare. It takes 17 million barrels of crude oil to make these plastic bottles, not including the oil used for transportation. That’s enough oil to keep a million cars going for twelve months. Besides fuel waste, there is also water waste; it takes 3 liters of water to make 1 liter of bottled drinking water.
The production of plastic water bottles releases over 2.5 million tons of carbon dioxide, a major global warming gas. The Pacific Institute, an organization that works to research and promote sustainable solutions to ecological issues, reports that the amount of energy used to bottle, transport, distribute and dispose of or recycle plastic water bottles is equivalent to filling each plastic water bottle one quarter full of oil. The Institute estimates this figure to be about 18 million barrels.
Bottled Water, Bad for Your Health
Most bottled water is acidic with a pH less than 7, and the average bottle of water sits for 3-6 months, and often up to 2 years, before being purchased. During this time heat and age cause a degradation of the plastic chemicals. The water then absorbs the plastic resins, further adding to the toxicity levels.
When the National Resources Defense Council tested more than 1,000 bottled waters, including103 bottled water brands, they found contamination exceeding allowable limits. At least one-third of the brands tested had bacteria, arsenic and synthetic organics including plastic residue. The Environmental Working Group (EWG) tested water from municipal water utilities in 2004 and found 315 pollutants in the tap water most Americans drink.
In theory, bottled water sold in the United States falls under the regulatory authority of the Food and Drug Administration, but in practice about 70 percent of bottled water never crosses state lines for sale, which renders it exempt from FDA regulations. Additionally, EWG reports indicate that the government has not set new drinking water standards since 2001.
Healthy Alternatives To Bottled Water
The best solution to the problems posed by bottled water is to drink tap water that has been filtered at home. Quality home filtration systems remove the majority of the 315 contaminants found in the tap water tested by EWG in 2004. This includes chemicals, drugs, metals, pesticides, bacteria and viruses; essential minerals are not filtered out and remain in the water.
The newest water technology available today places an emphasis on environmentally friendly home water processors. “Green” home filtration systems can change ordinary tap water into different types of water for drinking, cooking, cleaning, disinfecting and beautifying the skin and hair.
Keeping the water on planet earth healthy ensures healthy living for all life. Avoiding bottled water and choosing water that has been filtered at home is a simple way to protect the environment, reduce wasteful spending and improves health and wellness.
Dr. Carol Ann Fischer, B.S., D.C., N.D. owns TLC Holistic Wellness located at 31580 Schoolcraft Rd in Livonia, MI 48150. She is a practicing chiropractor, wellness consultant, and cellular hydration specialist who also provides holistic and nutritional recommendations for people who want to improve their health. Visit TLCHolisticWellness.com for more health information and for a listing of free public workshops, or call (734) 664-0339.
Tips for Tap
TappedTheMovie.com provides insight into the deceptive marketing practices of the bottled water industry, and visit EWG.org to learn facts, recommendations and best practices as promoted by the Environmental Working Group.
Install a filtration system on the home faucet. The money saved by not purchasing bottled water will quickly pay off the cost of the filter.
Source: Natural Awakenings Magazine of Wayne County