The Real Cost Of Bottled Water

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May 23, 2001 | 29,126 views

In light of a new independent study, theWorld Wildlife Fund (WWF),a conservation organization, isurging people to drink tap water, which is oftenas good as bottled water, for the benefit of the environmentand their wallets.

According to the study, BottledWater: Understanding a social phenomenon, commissionedby WWF, bottled watermay be no safer, or healthier than tap water in many countrieswhile selling for up to1000 times the price. Yet, it is the fastest growingdrinks industry in the world and is estimated to be worthUS $22 billion annually.

The study reveals that the bottled watermarket is partly fueled by concerns over the safety of municipalwater and by the marketing of many brands that portray themas being drawn from pristine sources and as being healthierthan tap water. However, some bottled waters only differ fromtap water in the fact that they are distributed in bottlesrather than through pipes.

In fact thereare more standards regulating tap water in Europe and theUS than those applied to the bottled water industry.

"Our attitudes towards tap waterare being shaped by the pollution which is choking the riversand streams which should be veins of life," argues RichardHolland, Director of WWF'sLiving Waters Campaign. "We must clean up and properlyprotect these waters at source, and not just at the treatmentworks, so that we can all rest easy in drinking from the tap."

The study also finds that everyyear 1.5 million tons of plastic are used to bottle water.

Toxic chemicals can be released into theenvironment during the manufacture and disposal of the bottles.Furthermore, a quarter of the 89 billion liters of water bottledworldwide annually are consumed outside their country of origin.Emissions of the green house gas carbon dioxide, caused bytransporting bottled water within and between countries, contributeto the global problem of climate change.

"Bottled water isn't a long termsustainable solution to securing access to healthy water,"said Richard Holland. "Clean water is a basic right.Protecting our rivers, streams and wetlands will help ensurethat tap water remains a service which delivers good qualitydrinking water for everyone at a fair price."

CLICKHERE for the full report (PDF file).

WorldWildlife Fund - Living Waters Campaign


 

This report caused me to changemy recommendations. Not because I am not a fan of bottledwater, but it just does not seem right to put an excessiveburden on the environment with all these plastic bottles,not to mention the energy drain of shipping them.

It seems the best solution is a reverseosmosis water filter which will also remove much of the fluoridethat is added to many municipal water supply systems.

The simple way to calculate amountof water most of us need is to drink one quart of water forevery 50 pounds of body weight. So the 64 ounces of waterwould only work for children and small women. The averageadult is 150 pounds which would be three quarts of water,and many individuals are over 200 pounds which would be onefull gallon of water.

Let me make it perfectly clear thatthis is one of the most important health habits you couldpossibly do. Water is essential and if you don't get enoughclean water you will suffer health problems. When one sweatsmore, the quart per 50 pounds of body weight should be exceeded.This is especially important as we approach summer.

Let me remind you of the water basics.Your exclusive beverage should be water. Try to have at leasteight glasses of water a day. It would be best to have thewater at room temperature.

Ice-cold water can be a trauma to thedelicate lining of your stomach, unless you are overheated.However, it is far better to drink the water then limit yourwater intake due to the timing of meals. Drinking the amountof water you need is the primary point.

Ideally you should sip it all day longand consume about one to two cups of water per hour. If youconsume one quart at a setting three times a day, your bodywill not use most of the water.

If you do use bottled water, avoidpurchasing the one-gallon cloudy plastic (PVC) containersfrom your grocery store as they transfer far too many chemicalsinto the water. The five-gallon containers and the ones inthe clear bottles (polyethylene) are a much better plasticand will not give the water that awful plastic taste. Youcan add lemon juice occasionally to your water to help flavorit and normalize your body's pH if it is to acidic.

Do not drink unfiltered tap water!Chlorine is a toxic chemical and should not be consumed inlarge quantities. Brita filtered water costs approximately24 cents per gallon. However, standard filters are a moreeffective solution that will bring the cost down to 1-2 centsper gallon. You can obtain them locally from Home Depot orCoast Filtration (800-542-6723).

If you can not afford or do not haveroom for a reverse osmosis filter, Consumer Reports has selectedthe Culligan Filter as better choices than Brita filters.They simply screw directly into your current faucet and onlytake a few minutes to install. They are about $25 at mostWalgreen's. Another recommendation of mine is the GE SmartWater, which was top rated in Consumer Reports December 2002.

If you have a water softener, you needto divert the softened water away from the kitchen tap toa reverse osmosis system.

Avoid distilled water as it has thewrong ionization, pH, polarization and oxidation potentials.It will also drain your body of minerals.

I would STRONGLY recommend purchasing"YourBody's Many Cries for Water". It is the best bookI know of that documents the usefulness of water. Dr. Batmanghelidjis a physician and does an excellent job. If you are a healthcare professional this book should be in your library.

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