3 Tips for Quitting the Bottled Water Habit
So you've become eco-aware and decided to stop drinking bottled water.
Good start! Bottled water can produce up to 1.5 million tons of plastic waste per
year. But giving up your bottled water addiction can be just as difficult as quitting
smoking or losing weight. Here are a few ways to wean yourself off the bottle for good.
1. Tap that Tap
Many people consider bottled water to be a healthier alternative to tap water but that's actually a myth. Drinking tap water is completely safe. In fact, several popular brands are actually just purified tap water. To get the bottled water taste without the bottled water waste, invest in a cheap water filter. You can get a filtered water pitcher or one that fits on your tap for under $30. Bonus - you won't be paying extra for something you had all along.
2. Get It to Go
Yes, bottled water is very convenient and lets face it, you don't want to haul a
water filter pitcher around while driving in downtown traffic or riding your
bicycle. But there is a eco-friendly option to plastic bottles - purchase a reusuable metal container. Today's metal bottles are light, inexpensive and, unlike some reusable plastic bottles, they do not affect the smell or taste of the water. Plus some plastic bottles can leak harmful contaminates, which makes metal the safer choice.
3. Think of the Money, Honey
Today, more than half of all Americans drink bottled water and it's quite an
expensive habit. Americans spend $12 billion a year on bottled water. Yes, you
read that correctly. Americans spend billions on something that should cost
pennies a day. Before you plunk down that money for something you're already paying for, consider other things you could do with that money. Been planning to update that wardrobe or re-do the house? How about just contributing to a rainy day fund? Even if you drink only one bottled water a day, you could be saving hundreds of dollars a year by quitting.
Other Things to Consider
- If you are completely addicted, consider buying a larger container of the brand. Some water is sold in 2-liter bottles, which means there will be less waste than the smaller sizes.
- 80% of all plastic water bottles never get recycled. When you factor in the amount of energy used in manufacturing the bottles, and transporting them to stores, the environmental cost can be staggering.
- Never ever re-use water bottles. Water bottles were not designed for long term use and light, time, and heat can cause chemicals to leak into your water. If you must drink bottled water, throw out the container when you are finished.
Like anything that seems convenient, there's a trade-off. If you feel you can't go cold turkey, try to drink less of the bottled stuff and cut down your weekly bottled water intake little by little. Also save the bottles you do use and see how much you're contributing the plastic waste problem. Finally, don't forget to recycle! These small steps will help you kick that bottled water habit once and for all.