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The US is a country in which, almost anywhere, we can turn the tap for clean and safe water that is virtually free. Yet we seem drawn to bottled water - an incredibly expensive way to deliver the stuff, both economically and environmentally. Some thoughts from a current Time magazine article and High Country News:

  • Americans drank more than 8.25 billion gallons of bottled water in 2006
  • it takes oil to make the bottles and ship them thousands of miles
  • the bottles and shrink wrap and cardboard promptly kick back into our garbage and recycle stream, adding to the expense and madness
  • the growing habit creates the perception that tap water is unsafe, and ""An entire generation is growing up thinking they have to get their water out of a bottle.".
  • the plants and processes required to collect and deliver water to us in this way come with all kinds of baggage.
In the "Time" article, Allen Hershkowitz, an industrial ecologist with the Natural Resources Defense Council (NRDC) marvels, "It's like marketing air".

Marketing genius - consumer madness - and incredibly wasteful.

"Time" wraps up their article with:

"But if we're really going to cut the environmental cost of bottled water, the responsibility lies with consumers. It may be hard to do without the car--a much bigger source of CO2 than bottled water--and uncomfortable to forgo air-conditioning, but giving up the bottle is easy. Just turn on the tap."

Friends don't let friends drink bottled water. It's bad for all of us.

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Comment by aggie71 on August 30, 2009 at 8:58am
OK .... ya caught me. I got 2 cases of bottled water in my garage at home. It'll be like trying to quit smoking...but I'll start using the tap in the future. It's closer than the garage anyhow.
Comment by akscootr on August 21, 2009 at 6:50pm
I've got some bottled air for sale. Pure Alaska air... anybody want to buy some? It is about the same as bottled water....
Comment by Jason Kemple on August 20, 2009 at 10:09am
Its amazing how true this all really is. I plan on making it my goal to get my family members off of buying bottled water and onto getting a bpa free water bottle and a water filter for their tap.
Comment by Robin Young on August 20, 2009 at 1:32am
I know plenty of people that buy cases of bottled water because it is "filtered" and they buy cases at a time. I always tell them that if you are really concerned about the minerals and chemicals that are added to the water after it is "filtered" than you should buy a damn pitcher filter or a tap filter and to stop putting all of those bottles in our landfills. Plus some of the plastics have effects that aren't even known about but they think it is safe to drink out of them because there haven't been any researched effects of the plastics to date.
Comment by Drew on August 19, 2009 at 12:27pm
Its surpising what people will spend money on.
Comment by Eric Lund on August 15, 2007 at 11:27am
We just got back from our big Seattle road trip and we had picked up a case of bottled water for in the car. It was great to not have to think about stopping for a drink at every gas station we passed, and water's good, even when it's been sitting in the hot car. But when we were done, it almost surprised me how many empty bottles we had to deal with....

My name is Eric, and I drink (drank?) bottled water (but not at home!)...

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