Why Reduce Plastic Water Bottles – Is this Even a Question?
In the U.S., we purchase 50 billion disposable water bottles every year, and around the world, we are talking about one million per minute. That adds up to about 33 pounds of plastic waste per person just in disposable water bottles every year. We clearly have quite an addiction to those pesky plastic bottles! Even worse for our planet, only 23% of them end up being recycled. It’s time we finally kicked that habit though and cut our plastic bottle use down to zero!
Today, we will briefly discuss how to reduce water bottles and how to never buy plastic water bottles again!
Drinking Tap Water: Friend or Foe?
The truth is a large proportion of the plastic water bottles that people purchase are for consumption at home. If you compare purchasing disposable bottles to drinking tap water though, the benefits of tap water are huge.
- The average gallon of bottled water costs just $1.21.
- But it only costs $2 for two thousand gallons of tap water.
- That means you spend 600 times more money to drink bottled water than you would spend drinking tap water. Your tap water also doesn’t come with any plastic packaging.
When it comes to drinking tap water, however, we seem to stop in front of our kitchen sinks and wonder what exactly are we going to ingest (besides the water) with that glass – and for all the good reasons.
We covered the tap water contaminants topic before, but we strongly believe it is important to remind ourselves that sometimes, tap water does contain pollutants we do not want to ingest. According to the Water Quality Association, there are four main categories of contaminants in our water:
Those who just finished watching the internationally acclaimed TV series Chernobyl are probably getting chills down their spine at the very sight of the word “radiological.” Well, tap water does not cause radiations, but just as the WQA says, it does present contaminants to some extent.
On the other hand, we witness a massive movement meant to reduce water bottles across the United States (and the world for that matter). For instance, the Food & Water Watch organization works closely with students at campuses in colleges and universities all over the U.S. to promote tap water instead of plastic water bottles. The “Take Back the Tap” movement across American campuses spreads like wildfire and gains supporters from other nations as well.
Nevertheless, we still have to find clarifications to our dilemma: how do we reduce water bottles and still enjoy clean, safe water to drink, cook with, and use every day? The answer clearly does not lie with plastic water bottles, but with other solutions.
How to Reduce Water Bottles and Never Buy Plastic Bottles Again
Let’s face it, plastic pollution is a severe problem and we do not move fast enough to solve it. There is a silver lining, nevertheless, and that is the increased awareness of people towards water conservation. Many choose and zero-plastic and a water-conserving lifestyle for their own benefit and the greater good of humankind.
If you want to reduce water bottles at home and find ways to never buy plastic water bottles again, let’s discuss some easy means to do it!
1. Water Filters
When we discussed how water filters work, we presented you with plenty of options in the water filtration department.
- For those of you buying bottled water because your tap water has a funky taste, look into purchasing a faucet water filter for your kitchen sink.
The Hard Water Connundrum
Keep in mind that hard water – and not contaminated water per se – is a more prevalent problem in our homes. The solution for hard water consists of the installation of water softeners for the kitchen in case you want to remove those funky odors and aftertastes from your drinking water.
If hard water gives you troubles when you take a bath or a shower when you groom the children and even the pets, you can always look for the best shower filter for hard water on the market! Many of them come with up to 15 stages of filtration, added vitamins, and an overall health safety you simply cannot ignore
Tap Water with Added Benefits
For cooking, washing produce, drinking, etc., we also recommend under sink water filters or, even better, reverse osmosis water filters, as they can add healthy minerals into your drinking water for a boost of health and wellbeing. In fact, reverse osmosis water is so clean and safe, it ends up containing… well, nothing.
For this reason, professional RO systems for the home circulate the water through aditional processes so it can gain the proper and healthy levels of alkalization and mineralization. In other words, mineral water on tap whenever you want. How can anyone say no to that?
What about Highly-Contaminated Well Water?
Private wells may also need to have water filtration systems placed directly inside the pumps in order to get pure, clean water. In this case, whole house water filters may be the answer to your contaminated water problem, as they are capable of purifying the water in your house from point of entry until the moment you quench your thirst.
Coolers and their Filters
Charcoal filters are amazing plastic-free filters as well! Simply place them in a water cooler with your water and dispense it straight from there! Of course, you can directly buy water coolers with incorporated filters for the best experience!
It is important to recognize that in some communities (think Flint, Michigan) the water may literally not be safe to drink from the tap.
- In the short term, individuals will probably have to buy bottled water in order to stay healthy and avoid toxic chemicals.
- In cases like this, try to avoid the tiny disposable water bottles and simply purchase a 5-gallon water jug for your water cooler.
- Most water cooler jugs are also returnable, made of highly durable plastic, and therefore will not end up in your trash bin.
Safe and Stylish: Filtered Water Pitchers
Water pitchers are also a great, cheap, and portable solution to reduce water bottles in your life. Put a filter water pitcher on the countertop or your office desk and enjoy fresh, clean tap water whenever you desire!
Here are some things to remember when you want to buy the best water filter pitcher or dispenser:
- Almost all of them have tremendous environmental value – some filtered water pitchers can save you tens if not hundreds of plastic water bottles during the lifecycle of one filter.
- Many of them come with NSF standards 42 and 53 and ANSI certifications, using 100% FDA-approved food-grade materials and being 100% recyclable and 100% vegan.
- Many filtered water pitchers manufacturers collaborate with charities around the world dedicated to providing clean and safe water to vulnerable communities or run their own branded charities to safeguard human water rights in endangered areas.
- Some water filter pitchers use multi-stage filtration to balance your water’s pH and clean it of impurities.
- Most of them look amazing and make excellent portable kitchen accessories, no matter where you go.
- The price is more than affordable, even in the “expensive” department.
- Make sure you find replacement filters for the brands you want to try.
- Make sure you know when and how to change the filters, although many pro water filter pitchers come with notification systems.
- The filtration time/cup of water is very important, so you should factor in this feature in your purchase decision as well.
What Type of Water Filter do You Need?
If you do not know what water filter system to choose for your particular needs – at home, at the office, or for your business – take a look again at the table below to understand better how water filters work and how you can reduce plastic water bottles with no effort!
|Contaminated city/well water (big house/family)||Whole house water filters with absorption/reverse osmosis|
|Contaminated city/well water (medium/small house or family)||Under sink water filter with reverse osmosis|
|Hard water/stains on dishes/dry skin/funny water smell||A water softener|
|Really bad taste and odor on tap water||Faucet water filters or RO water filters|
|Medium bad taste and odor on tap water||Water filter pitchers|
|Bacteria/viruses/microorganisms in the water||RO whole house water filters/under sink water filters & mandatory additional UV filter|
|RV travel and living||On the go whole house water filters for RVs|
|Moving around, renting, changing destinations often||Faucet water filters or water filter pitchers|
|Contaminated water outdoors||Water filter bottles|
Nobody can blame you for wanting to drink water that actually tastes good, but instead of buying disposable water bottles, use that money to invest in a filtration system. It’s that simple!
2. Reusable Water Bottles
To avoid purchasing a disposable water bottle or suffering from the consequences of not drinking enough water daily, make sure to always pack your reusable water bottle with you! Dubbed “green water bottles”, reusable ones changed the game for many people aware of the plastic water bottles’ environmental impact.
The Eco-Friendliness of the Reusable Filtered Water Bottle
Back in the day, most reusable plastic bottles came in BPA-free plastic, but now you can find them in even eco-friendlier materials and designs. Some water bottles act as insulators, keeping your beverages cold in summer and hot in winter, but it was the filtered water bottles that rose the bar very high in the portable water filtration department.
We have talked about water bottles before, presenting you with our ultimate selection of filtered water bottles to keep your tap water / natural outdoor water clean and safe.
- It is easy to reduce water bottles when you have an insulated water bottle or a filtered one at hand at all times! It is a breeze to give them up altogether!
- Keep a filtered water bottle in your car, one on your desk at work, and one in your backpack!
- If you plan to travel, make sure to take an empty one with you on the plane to refill after going through security.
- Have one within reach, if you love to take the unbeaten path and drink water from rivers or streams as well.
It might take you a little while to remember to bring your bottle consistently, but the benefits of reusable water bottles are endless! Reusable water bottles also come in durable plastic, glass, bamboo, and metal versions. You can buy them online, take some extra filters for good measure, and never buy plastic bottles again!
3. Apps for Finding Water
If you live in the U.S. or Canada (or are just stopping for a visit) make sure to download the Tap app on your phone. The app automatically finds your location and lets you know where the nearest place is to fill up your water bottle. Own a restaurant? Register your business as a refill station too! For those of you in the U.K., there is also a similar app called Refill.
As you probably know, we have apps for pretty much everything. So if you have an app telling you to drink more water every day – as you should – why not installing one showing you where to find clean, safe water when traveling?
Do Your Best to Reduce Water Bottles! Life in Plastic is Nowhere Close to Fantastic!
You may still end up in a situation where you really need water and a disposable plastic water bottle is all you have. That happens. It will still happen for a while.
However, if the rest of the time you are drinking tap water – filtered through one or more of the many water filtration systems available for residential use – and carrying a reusable water bottle around, the planet will thank you, together with all the people in the world who fight for their human water rights!
Moreover, your budget will also thank you, your children, pets, and humankind as well! We cannot dismiss the dangers of plastic water bottles anymore. All we can do now is to become the change we want to see in the world!
When was the last time you bought a disposable plastic water bottle? What could you have done to avoid it? And what are your own methods to reduce water bottles in your home or your life in its entirety? If you have more tips on how to never buy plastic water bottles again, leave your thoughts in the comment section below!