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Windfall Ecology Centre
Day Five: Do Away With Bottled Water
Most North American cities have clean, accessible drinking water right at home in their taps, yet in 2008 plastic water bottle sales cost Canadians $1,600,000,000. What is interesting about this figure is that most bottled water companies take water from municipal or underground sources that is also used as the local drinking water.
Food and Water Watch conducted a recent report on bottled water and found that beverage companies often use misleading labels, including marketing bottled tap water as spring water. While in fact, as much as 40 percent of bottled water is bottled tap water. Additionally, bottled water is generally no cleaner, or safer, or healthier than tap water, and the federal government requires far more rigorous and frequent safety testing and monitoring of municipal drinking water. (Food and Water Watch, 2007)
A recent article in the Huffington Post argues that tap water has 1/100 of the impact that bottled water has on our environment, and there are several explanations as to why this is. The 1.5 million tons of plastic that is used to bottle water every year requires mass amounts of energy and produces high volumes of toxic chemical emissions. Additionally, transportation of bottled water from the manufacturing plant to your home emits high levels of CO2 emissions into the atmosphere. Once inside the household bottled water uses a significant amount of energy to be refrigerated, that increases considerably if you have to use a secondary fridge to store these products. Lastly, and possibly the most significant on the environment is that, of all the bottled water that is consumed in North America, 90% of the plastic waterbottles end up in landfills.
If you simply can't stand the tap, you can purchase a point-of-use water filtration system such as faucet mounts, or pitchers, and use reusable glasses or reusable water bottles.
If you are on a well and are unsure if your tap water is drinkable you can find a local organization to come do a well visit. Windfall Centre's Well Aware program encourages Ontario's residential well owners to protect their wells and our common groundwater supplies. Windfall Centre sends a trained well advisor to your house and do a free well assessment to inform you about your system. If you are unable to drink the tap water from your well, you can invest in a water cooler and reusable glasses or water bottles for daily use.
For more information about Well Aware, or booking your Free Well Assessment click here.