Bottled water is evil


June 25, 2008 8:04 PM

empty-water-bottles

Bottled water is evil to the environment. Why?

The Plastic

  • The manufacture of plastic consumes oil and energy, AND water. Ironic, yes?
  • Transporting oil to the plastic factory consumes more oil in the form of petroleum, and produces pollution.
  • Transporting the finished plastic bottles to the bottling factory is the same

The Cardboard

  • The manufacture of cardboard, like paper consumes trees. The environmental impact on trees and forest areas is lessen these days from increased recycling and from using plantation trees.
  • Nonetheless, the manufacturing process consumes energy which today is still mostly generated from fossil fuels like coal and gas.
  • Transporting the finished cardboard to the bottling factory consumes fuel and produces pollution.

The Bottling and Distribution

  • The bottling and packaging process consumes energy – from filling the empty bottles, to capping and sealing them, to packaging them up in cardboard boxes, and to loading them onto trucks, trains and ships.
  • The distribution of the finished product from bottling factory to wholesalers, from wholesalers to retailers, and from retailers to the consumer – every part of that process involves transportation of some form. All of which consumes fossil fuels and pollutes.
  • Using Evian as an example: water that is bottled on the south shore of Lake Geneva and then trucked, flown or shipped to destinations all over the world. All while a free alternative is available to most of us, and which retails at a price more than the same amount of petroleum – ludicrous!

Yes, all of the above are typical of all manufactured goods. Being a modern day consumer means using the Earth’s resources and polluting the environment. I’m not naive.

But drinking bottled water is the one single behaviour that we can change easily, and by doing so reduces our carbon foot print greatly. Think about that the next time you are buying bottled water that will be consumed at home or at the office.

Unless the water coming out of your household tap is unsanitary or hard, or if you are out and about and drinking water is hard to come by, drinking bottled water is wasteful and unnecessary.

If it’s a matter of taste, a water dispenser may seem like a better alternative but that still involves trucks carting around big bottles of water to your home and office, water that is close to what you can get from the tap which by the way, requires the least amount of energy to get to you. Therefore, a much better solution is a permanent reusable filter on the kitchen tap.

Drinking clean water shouldn’t cost the earth, figuratively and literally.

8 thoughts on “Bottled water is evil

  1. blur ting

    When my kids ask me to buy bottled water on the way home, I tell them to wait until we reach home where they can drink cold fresh water kept in the fridge. I’m cheap like that but hey, I’m saving the environment!

    Reply
  2. Katie

    I re-use bottles … is that bad for your health though? I heard they melt or something and then you drink the water and it makes you sick.

    Hmm.

    I’ve been trying to make a more conscious effort to not buy bottled water, but it’s hard when you’re on-the-go and need to keep your fluids up and the only things you can find are water fountains that have no water pressure, have been peed on and who knows what else…

    Reply
  3. mooiness Post author

    Katie: plastic is porous, so over time bacteria and grime can collect in it. Better to use a stainless steel bottle.

    But yeah, sometimes bottled water is a necessary evil. Though if you can avoid it for the home and office, you should. 🙂

    Reply
  4. jl

    I’ve become anti bottled water of late. I grizzle when the waiter tries to suggestive sell it and i try to insist on tap water. Doesn’t always work, though, depending on the dinner companion(s). I can but try. Still, it seems stupid to drink water that has clocked more air miles than i have this year.

    Reply
  5. mooiness Post author

    steph: it’s hard when you are out and about but yeah every little bit helps. 🙂

    jl: yeah some people just wouldn’t touch tap water. And it’s kinda insane when you think about it – French restaurants serving French water, Italian restaurants serving Italian water etc.

    Reply
  6. Lina

    I dont like the taste of bottled water in MY,it taste so weird.For those important ones, it too darn expensive, like buying a can of favour drink, it so not worth it.
    Well we should save the mother earth and save $$, now the economy is tanking, thing are getting expensive.Spend wise 😉

    Reply

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