Time to Call it Quits on Bottled Water
Would you spend extra money buying something that was damaging to the environment, could be harmful to your health, and that is readily available in your own home? No, so why do Americans today continue to buy bottled water? Excuses include that it’s more convenient, that it tastes better, that tap water is “dirty”. The truth is that bottled water usually has no benefits over tap water and its time for more people to realize this.
Bottled water is damaging to the environment in more ways than people may think. Most of us know that plastic bottles fill up our landfills each year instead of being recycled, releasing toxic chemicals when they finally do decompose, causing harmful environmental effects. However, even producing these water bottles is destructive. The transportation of the water burns fossil fuels releasing greenhouse gasses and the groundwater pumping takes a toll on watersheds and underground aquifers.
In addition to contributing to excessive waste and costing an incredible amount of money, bottled water can have negative effects on our health. The plastic contains chemicals like DEHA, a possible human carcinogen, and BBP, which is a potential hormone disrupter that can reside in the water.
Some great efforts have been taken by activists and policymakers that have definitely paid off. In 2009 Bundanoon in Australia became the first city in the world to ban bottled water from all the stores, instead installing water fountains around the city for the public to use. San Francisco, Seattle, and Chicago are among other cities that have either added taxes to bottled water or stopped buying it for the city to use. These efforts are definitely encouraging and hopefully other cities will soon catch on.