Shifting Our Thoughts About Water
In a world of fast, disposable and convenient drinks, bottled water is number one. As we have learned that sugary drinks aren’t good for our bodies, we have shifted our purchasing power to bottled water. Globally, over a million bottles are purchased every minute. Can you picture in your mind what one million bottles even looks like?
Is water really that important?
Water is one of our most important resources on Earth. The human body needs it to survive. We need it to grow food, cook food, make clothes, bathe, move our waste stream, and keep both us and the environment healthy.
Let’s look at water from a bigger picture and then break it down. Seventy percent of the Earth is covered by water, but 97% of that water is ocean. Only 3% of that water is freshwater. And 2% of that freshwater is frozen in glacier form. That leaves us with about 1% of water for a planet that currently has a population of over 7 billion people. This requires humans to use our water consciously.
Today, we are talking about unconsciously consuming bottled water and why we need to become conscious of what is actually happening to this resource.
You probably see environmentalists focused on the plastic aspect of bottled water. It creates a very large waste stream and only a small amount of bottles actually get recycled. This is only half of the problem that bottled water creates.
The other part of this issue is where the water is actually coming from. We have mega corporations buying up water sources around the globe, packaging it up and then reselling it to consumers for at least a 1000% markup.
As of this writing in 2019, Nestle waters is looking to get a new permit to pump over one million gallons of water per day from Ginnie Springs in Northern Florida. And, they want it for free. This is where I want to jump up and down and grab people’s attention.
Why would local leaders continue to allow corporations to deplete our natural springs? These springs are where we get our drinking water from. What sense does it make to give it away to a corporation for free who will put it into millions of individual plastic bottles and then resell it to us?
What happened to drinking from the tap?
Think about this for a moment. We only have 1% of earth’s water available to drink and use for everything else. Over a third of the world does not have access to clean, drinkable water. This makes water a precious commodity and big business knows this.
Here in the U.S., our tap water is regulated and tested for safety, bottled water is not. Only recently have some tests been conducted to see what is actually in bottled water. Microplastics have been found in some sample brands of bottled water.
Eighty-five percent of the U.S. has access to safe drinking water, yet most people don’t believe it is safe and buy bottled water instead. Some bottled water is actually taken straight from tap water sources and not from the sparkling sources the marketing labels show us.
What can you as a consumer do?
Here are some tips that can help guide you to both avoid all the plastic bottles and make sure you have safe water to drink:
- If you are concerned about the safety of your water, you can visit the Environmental Working Group Water Database and plug in your zip code. This will give you information about what may be in your local water.
- Purchase a water filter to place on your sink or a filtration system for your home.
- Get a refillable 5 gallon jug that you can refill at your local grocer to use at home.
- Instead of using plastic water bottles, use your own water bottles and refill. There are lots of options out there to choose from. From glass to stainless steel, find your new favorite accessory.
- You can purchase reusable water bottles or pitchers with filters inside of them.