Do you drink bottled water most of the time, or are you a tap water drinker? I drink bottled water almost all of the time. I like the clean taste, and it’s easy to grab and take with me as I head out the door. I’ve also heard that tap water is full of chemicals and other impurities which are harmful to our health, so I thought I was making a healthy choice by sticking with bottled water. Some information I read about bottled water this week got me thinking that I need to change this habit, though.

Tap Water is Just as Safe

All public water is regulated by the EPA, which holds a high standard of cleanliness for bottled water. Bottled water, which is regulated by the FDA, has regulations that it must meet that are very similar to the EPA’s expectations for tap water. In fact, bottled water distributors could actually fill their bottles right from the tap, package them up, and resell them as bottled water, and not be breaking any rules. There’s a safety issue with bottled water, as well, especially when you reuse the bottles. Those bottles are only meant for one-time use, and chemicals from the plastic begin seeping into the water when you reuse the bottles. The porous plastic also becomes a home for bacteria, which you take into your body with every swig.

Reducing Waste

Even though water bottles are recyclable, over 80% of them end up in landfills. They aren’t biodegradable, and when they finally do break down, they release harmful toxins into the environment. Plastic bottles are a huge source of waste in our country, and despite recycling efforts, these numbers are increasing every year.

The Perfect Solution

Even with all of the evidence in front of me, I can’t get around the fact that I like the taste of bottled water better. Call me a water snob, but I really can tell the difference between bottled and tap water. The solution is to filter my water at home, and pour it into a reusable water bottle to take it with me. Home filtration systems can be built into your tap, or can be as simple as a filtering pitcher. They’re inexpensive when compared to the cost of purchasing bottled water, and they keep all those bottles from hitting the landfill. Aluminum water bottles are the most popular, but I prefer using a glass bottle to keep me hydrated and eco-conscious.

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