Thursday, April 1, 2010

Bottled Water: Blue but Never Green

By Ashleigh Schuddekopf

Tap water has a bad reputation for no reason. People make assumptions claiming how horrible it is, containing lead, mercury, germs, etc. But--this is not true. Tap water will not harm us. In fact, it is very good (especially NYC's). But, over the past decade the popularity of bottled water has risen by 33 billion liters (30 gallons a person) in America [alone]. It even outsells milk and beer.

Producing bottled water is more harmful in the long run. This is why:
Two environmental scientists from the Pacific Institute ( a non-profit), Peter Gleick and Heather Cooley tested out exactly how much energy it takes to bring bottled water into your home. They took into consideration the following: making the plastic bottle, processing the water, making the label, filling and sealing the bottle, transporting the bottle to stores, and cooling it. This procedure requires 32 to 54 million barrels of oil, and that's just America. Outside the states it is three times the amount. That's an absurd amount of oil. One barrel is 158.987295 liters. That’s 80 2-liter sodas in one barrels. Starting to change your mind yet?

Producing and importing bottled water costs 1,100 to 2,000 times more energy than delivering the same amount of tap water. So, before you think about picking up a $1 bottle of Poland springs, just remember all the oil in that pretty creek in the picture on the label. Or, think about if that bottle's contents were water and oil what it would look like.

Do yourself a favor and pick up a thermos that works for hot and cold liquids and reuse it. You'll be saving your own money and being environmental friendly :)

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