HJ-ED-DHJHerald Journal Columns
July 16, 2007, Herald Journal

The bottled water frenzy

By KRISTEN MILLER

When did people stop drinking tap water and begin relying on bottled water to quench their thirst?

Within the last 10 years, bottled water has become a popular commodity, even fashionable, in some cases.

I’m sure it had something to do with the onset of the “Drink eight glasses of water a day,” theory.

No doubt, water is better for the body, more so than any other beverage out there I’m sure, but water can be just as good for the body coming from the tap. Drinking water from the tap would be better for the earth, as well.

After hearing an ABC News broadcast, I’m convinced the convenience of bottled water is doing more harm than good.

According to the report, people are drinking 30 billion throwaway bottles of water each year, with four out of five of them, ending up in our landfills. Scientists estimate it could take as much, if not more, than 1,000 years for the bottles to biodegrade.

Bottled water takes a considerable amount of fuel to produce and transport, but tap water uses none.

A spokesperson for the International Bottled Water Association said that all food and beverage packaging uses fuel to produce and transport, not just bottled water. Whatever helps a person get to sleep at night, right?

Well, I can’t get pop from the tap now, can I? Nor can I get a hand-full of chips out of the faucet.

The spokesperson also said that the bottled water industry has done a good job promoting recycling.

That’s fine and dandy, but how many recycling bins are out on the street as you walk by, or how many gas stations offer recycling when I clean out my car while I’m filling up?

The report also said that some restaurants are actively taking a step to eliminate bottled water at their tables.

Around here, that’s not much of an issue, but in upscale New York, bottled water is in high demand.

A San Francisco mayor has also signed an executive order prohibiting city departments from buying bottled water.

Mayor Gavin Newsom explained that by doing this, it saves not only taxpayer dollars but also the planet.

I like good water. I need to actually drink more of it. But I have a hard time going to the gas station and buying bottled water when I can go home and get it for free.

Dassel water is pretty good. I fill up my Brita, stick it in the ‘fridge for awhile, and I have ice, cold drinking water right from the tap.

Winsted water is even better, according to my mother, who grew up drinking Winsted water.

Unfortunately, at her home, the well water is not so good. So, when she goes to visit my grandmother, she brings along with her empty milk jugs to fill up with grandma’s tap water.

A person can also bring reusable containers to a grocery store and fill up on good drinking water if their home is lacking.

I’m not saying people should stop drinking water, but they should be a little more conscious of what they do with the bottle when they are done. Better yet, put that faucet to good use. Buy a sports water bottle and carry it with you. You’ll make Mother Nature much happier, and your wallet larger as well.