Bottled Water Make Your Own:

Shattering Bottled Water Myths

Make Your Own "Bottled Water" and Save Big While Helping the Environment

by Josh Day

"Fu-ti-can... It's Japanese. You wouldn't know it. It's in the Japanese character to do this sort of thing. They build these special ships... and sail them to the farthest navigable extremes... and look for the bluest iceberg they can find... and they tow it back. And one is able to drink something... that was last in liquid form about 30,000 years ago. Expensively clean."

"What does it taste like?"

"Like water."

- Dialogue between Morgan Freeman and William Converse-Roberts in Kiss the Girls

The image of bottled water is often depicted alongside such smug, yuppie individuals as the character who just made the above speech. Starting at a dollar for a 12 or 20 oz bottle from a vending machine, the price of bottled water can go as high as $60 for a single bottle of the pretentious Bling H20, a product that's more about the glitzy bottle and flaunting one's ridiculous level of wealth than the average water within (Bling H2O is manufactured in Tennessee!). (most-expensive.net)

Let's check out what Wikipedia has to say about bottled water:

Today, bottled water companies are facing criticism as consumer's concerns about the environment increase. Believers of global warming say packaging and shipping water consumes energy and contributes to global warming. Empty bottles add to litter and solid waste. As a rule, bottled water is no safer or healthier than the water that flows from municipal water systems. The Natural Resources Defense Council, Sierra Club and World Wildlife Fund have all urged their supporters to consume less bottled water and various campaigns against bottled water are starting to appear. Many believe that bottled water is no better than tap water and that home water filtration may also be a viable option. [...]

In developed countries, demand is driven by a variety of factors including convenience, the perception that bottled water may be safer than local municipal water, and taste preferences. Packaging and advertising work to foster these perceptions and brand bottled water in ways similar to branded soft drinks. [...]

In 2006, the US bottled water sales surpassed 8 billion gallons of water exceeding sales of all other beverages except carbonated soft drinks. (Wikipedia)

Let's give a round of applause to the advertising firms who have yet again convinced the gullible American public a need exists for a product that's essentially worthless.

What's that, you say? A plastic bottle of water in a vending machine is healthier than a bottle of Coke? Forget the fact they both cost the exact same amount, and forget that sodium is often used as an additive in many vendible bottled waters.

After all, filling up a canteen or sports bottle from a free water fountain just doesn't quite deliver quite the same image these marketing agencies have cultivated in the public's eye.

Want to see what this bottled water craze is doing to the environment?

In 2004 the total global consumption of bottled water was 41 billion gallons, a 57 percent increase from the 98 billion litres consumed in 1999. Americans buy about 28 billion water bottles a year. 80% end up in landfills.

The arguments made for this include that, unlike tap water, bottled water uses up oil and other fossil fuels to be produced and shipped, fills up landfills, represents wasted money, and does not go through nearly as rigorous filtering and cleansing processes. Because of this, some have advocated people to stop buying and consuming bottled water so much and instead consume tap water. In 2007, a water wholesaler in the Santa Clara County of Northern California launched a campaign promoting drinking tap water over bottled water.

The Pacific Institute estimates that producing the bottles for American consumption in 2006 required the equivalent of more than 17 million barrels of oil. The manufacture of every ton of PET produces around 3 tons of carbon dioxide (CO2). Bottling water thus created more than 2.5 million tons of CO2 in 2006.

Once the bottle is created and filled with water, large amounts of fossil fuel are expended delivering the water from its source to end user by means of ground transportation. Some bottled water is transported long distances by ship in addition to the distances it travels by truck or rail. It takes a fair amount of energy to move a plastic bottle from where it is made, to where it is filled, then to the store, and finally into the consumer's hand. 250g of CO2 are released for each bottle of FIJI Water imported to the United States. This includes 93g for manufacturing a bottle in China, 4g for transporting an empty bottle to Fiji, and 153g for shipping a full bottle to the United States.

Overall, the average energy cost to make the plastic, fill the bottle, transport it to market and then deal with the waste would be "like filling up a quarter of every bottle with oil." (Peter Gleick, an expert on water policy and director at the Pacific Institute in Oakland, California.)

It also takes water to make a bottle. If a container holds 1 litre it requires 3 to 5 litres of water in its manufacturing process (the higher estimate includes power plant cooling water).

The amount of water used to manufacture and fill water bottles is only a small fraction of the amount of global water withdrawals, since by far most water used by humans goes to irrigated agriculture and other large scale uses. But the local effects of bottled water are of growing concern in communities with large bottled water plants tapping into local aquifers. For example, large commercial bottlers are trying to meet growing demand for their product and are projecting large increases in coming years. Companies like Perrier's Zephyrhills facility are requesting to increase their pumping from a spring on a private ranch in central Florida by 600 percent in the next 10 years. The request was denied by a judge ruling that the pumping could dry up Tampa Bay kitchen sinks, some 37 miles downstream.

On a local level, water bottlers may adversely affect ground water levels if they bottle more water than is naturally replenished. Rivers are delicate ecosystems. Tapping springs and aquifers even on a small scale can alter the movement of sediment in nearby streams, which can in turn disrupt the food supply for fish and other wildlife. "It's a very complicated system, and we don't have a very good predictive understanding of how the properties of the river channel will be affected [by large-scale pumping]," warns Kurt Cuffey, assistant professor of geology at the University of California at Berkeley.

Saltwater intrusion is another problem with tapping aquifers in coastal areas. In healthy ecosystems along coastal areas there is a natural flow of groundwater that pushes freshwater out against the saltwater, creating a kind of sea wall. When the groundwater is being over used and the flow falters as a result the saltwater will begin to creep underground, ruining drinking water, wetlands, and crops. Saltwater intrusion is already a problem in parts of coastal California, Florida, and New York as a result of the demands–including water for bottling–being made on local water supplies.

Though the materials used for water bottles are generally recyclable, around 80% of bottled water bottles sold in the U.S. end up in landfills; only 20% are recycled. Worldwide, recycling rates are even lower: up to 90% of bottles are not recycled.

Have you lost your thirst for bottled water yet?

If not, Dr. Ben Kim has something to say about the plastic out of which you're drinking:

Polyvinyl chloride, also known as PVC or vinyl, is arguably one of the most toxic types of plastic in our lives.

One reason why PVC is so toxic is that it is often mixed with softening chemicals called plasticizers, the most well known variety being phalates.

Exposure to PVC and the plasticizers that often come with it have been strongly associated with an increased risk of developing the following conditions:

  • Hormonal imbalances
  • Reproductive and developmental problems
  • Allergies in children
  • Brain cancer
  • Hardening of connective tissue throughout the body, also called scleroderma
  • A malignant tumor arising from tubules that are near the gall bladder and liver, also called a cholangiocarcinoma
  • A malignant tumor arising from a blood vessel, also called an angiosarcoma

Ever wonder what that 3 symbol surrounded by three arrows in a triangle is? No, it's not a recycling mark... it's the resin identification code of products made with PVC.

Stop wasting your money, potentially harming your health, and certainly hurting the environment. Don't let the advertising execs insult your intelligence while nickel and diming you to death any longer. Stop buying bottled water in disposable, one-time containers.

The good news is 3 and 5-gallon bottles in ceramic, glass, and even non-PVC plastic are available in many stores. Some stores even have reverse osmosis vending machines where you can buy water for as low as 26 cents a gallon.

You can save and help the environment further by becoming your own exclusive water bottler. Equipped with a quality, California-certified water filter, you'll be drinking water tastier and more likely better for you than anything in a disposable bottle.

As Wilford Brimley used to say, "It's the right thing to do, and the tasty way to do it."

Editor's Note: Click here to visit the site where we purchased our water purifying unit that produces crystal clear healthy water for less than 10 cents a gallon. We like our Multi-Pure filter that we bought from this company so much we became a distributor.





Disclaimer: Throughout this website, statements are made pertaining to the properties and/or functions of food and/or nutritional products. These statements have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration and these materials and products are not intended to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any disease.