Water is the source of all life. It covers 70 percent of the planet and yet only 2.5 percent of it is fresh water. Everyone depends on it. Wars have been fought over it. It is an uncontrollable force of nature. It is the safe topic of conversation when you need to fill an awkward silence. It is one of the few things that everyone has prayed about – prayed that it would rain; prayed that it wouldn’t rain; prayed that it would stop raining. We are a planet that is completely dependent on water and we are completely obsessed with it.
But here is the irony; water which falls from the sky is one of the few remaining things that is actually free, if you have the means to collect and store it, and yet we insist on paying outrageous prices for it to be dispensed to us in fancy plastic containers so that we can carry it around with us.
The prettier the bottle the more we are willing to pay for the privilege of holding it; never thinking for a moment about the amount of pollution that was pumped into the environment by the plastics factory that manufactured it; never considering the amount of trash we are adding to landfills with our pretty little empties which can take up to 200 years to disintegrate.
“That’s not fair!” you protest; “bottled water is safer and purer than tap water!”
Well that is what we have all been led to believe. But is it really that much better than boiled water from your tap? Not really unless you happen to live in a dwelling with lead pipes; and even then you can flush the lead particles from the line by running the water for 30 seconds before drinking.
Did you know that bottled water that is labeled ‘demineralized’ or ‘distilled’ is usually filtered tap water and the average bottled water costs 1000 times more than tap water? “The average price of a glass of tap water in Canada is $0.001! The average price of bottled water is $1.06”
Think about it this way. The average cost of a single serving 500 ml bottle of water in North America is about $1.20. If you drink one bottle a day you will spend $438 a year for the privilege of carrying your status symbol about with you. If there are two of you in the house and you each drink just two bottles per day the cost would jump to $1752 per year (don’t start me on what happens when the grandchildren come over).
Conversely, the average cost of boiling a 1.5 litre kettle of water in the UK is 77p ($1.10 USD ; making the cost of a 500 ml bottle that you filled yourself about 33 cents. That means in a year you could save somewhere between $300 to $1200 per year AND actually do something to benefit the environment. Now that’s my idea of a successful savings strategy!
For further reading:
Ottawa Riverkeeper: http://ottawariverkeeper.ca/get_involved/10_reasons_to_say_no_to_bottled_water/
Money Saving Expert: http://forums.moneysavingexpert.com/showthread.php?t=4229159&page=1