I admit it; I used to buy bottled water. I did it because I thought it tasted better, because it was more pure, because it was healthier for me, all the typical reasons people buy water. But something began to dawn on me slowly. I’m paying more for water per gallon than I am paying for gas. Hmm, something didn’t sit right there. Also, I did a blind taste test and I couldn’t tell the damn difference. Even if you are one of the few who can tell the difference (you probably aren’t), go ahead and put tap water through a filter and I guarantee you can’t tell the difference either. Finally, I really started to think about it and I came to the following conclusion:

  • I am paying for something that is free
  • I am damaging the hell out of the environment for nothing

People don’t often stop to think about what the hell they are doing. Just think about all of those plastic bottles out there. What are they made from? Petroleum. Great so I am propping up the oil industry by drinking something free out of a bottle produced by something that we are running short on: oil. It gets worse. We are talking about an 8-12 billion dollar a year industry here, depending on the estimates you look at. That’s a lot of single serving bottles of water. That’s a lot of waste that is totally necessary. And guess what? It required oil to make the bottles, to purify the water, to pack it up, to ship it, to drive it and fly it around. Oh and after you are done with it, it costs energy to drive that trash around and treat it too. What a joke! For every bottle of water you drink, you might as well just drive your car around the block 100 times. In essence, every bottle you drink was an expense in terms of energy, people and waste created.

Oh and guess what? There is pretty much zero regulation around the industry. So that fresh spring you are drinking doesn’t exist. Most of the major companies just use tap, even if they use 20% from some magical untouched lake somewhere. They don’t have to reveal that either. Tests have repeatedly shown the pollutants in that water are no better than tap. My favorite line from the article I just linked to is the part where the author is walking around at Earth Day talking to people drinking bottled water. Doing that at Earth Day for God’s sake. Or how about this from the article:

“Big-selling Dasani and Aquafina are also just reprocessed tap water from cities around the country. One of Aquafina’s sources is the Detroit River! At least the popular French water, Evian, does come from France. ” The Detroit River. Seriously.

Here’s one I discovered on my own, that you’ love. Dasani has another ingredient: salt. That’s right, salt. Remember back in school when they told you that you shouldn’t drink salt water if you were stuck in the ocean? It will just make you more thirsty. Drink water that is too high in salt and your body can’t retain it and you die. Of course we need some salt to survive, but water is just fine as it is. It doesn’t need anything added. It’s already perfect. Hmm, I wonder why Dasani, aka the Coke Corporation, includes salt in the water? Could it be so that you are unsatisfied and need to drink more? Just make sure you keep paying 5 bucks a gallon for it, while you bitch about the high price of gas. Although that has probably gone up by now, since you need gas to truck that single serving water to you and since the cost of gas is up, all prices go up.

I’m certainly not the only one to write about this. This article has some of the most disturbing facts about bottled water. How about these gems from the article by blogger Anil Dash:

  • Fiji Water produces more than a million bottles a day, while more than half the people in Fiji do not have reliable drinking water.
  • If the water we use at home cost what even cheap bottled water costs, our monthly water bills would run $9,000.
  • Worldwide, 1 billion people have no reliable source of drinking water; 3,000 children a day die from diseases caught from tainted water.

There have even been a few documentaries about the story of bottled water. Check out the trailer for Tapped below.