Tuesday, May 3, 2011

Take Back the Tap

I drink a LOT of water. It all started back in elementary school when my mom started getting special permission from the teachers to send me with a mug (read: 90's speak for an insulated bottle with a straw) of water when I was sick. From a young age, I felt unable to go without a sip for more than a matter of minutes. Now, my sister and I don't take a 20 minute drive without filling up our water bottles first, and I'm pretty sure my co-workers think I have pre-diabetes because of the number of times I hit the water cooler daily. I'm like a succulent plant, the more I suck up, the more H2O I want.

But, I never buy bottled water. First, it's terrible for the environment. And, why pay for what I can get outta the tap for free? Contrary to popular belief tap water is actually more highly regulated than bottled water by the government for purity and cleanliness standards. I had a little scare after that whole nalgene's emitting PCB's thing, but now I've got an aluminum bottle and I'm good to go. Last, what's the real difference between the bottle and the  faucet?

Well here's the fancy water terms decoded. If your bottled water says purified on the label, well, guess what? It's filtered water. The same kind you could get out of your Brita pitcher, only treated to reduce the chlorine taste. Is that really worth $2.25 and some plastic in a landfill? Spring water (like Evian and Poland Spring) bubbles up to the surface from deep below the earth naturally. It is slightly less damaging to the environment because natural springs are self replenishing, and you get the bonus of mineral deposits like calcium infused in your water. Artesian water like Fiji brand? It's well water, just a giant man made well that pulls from a huge deposit, yet very similar to the one you may have at your house (if you live in the country). Get more info from the movement to take back the tap here.

Though they're all dressed up in fancy marketing campaigns designed to make one bottle seem more refreshing than the next, all that bottled water filling the coolers at your local drug store, and all those trucks idling outside your office are just that-plain old water. Save yourself a lot of money, and mother nature a lot of pain by filling a reusable and tossing it in your purse and treating the pre-packaged stuff as a luxury reserved for when you're parched and a long way from home.

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