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The Safety of Water

There has been a tremendous amount of confusion, rumor, and speculation about the safest way to do something quite simple: drink water. Because many different government agencies and companies are affected by this research (and because many businesses fund research for their own products), it can be difficult to find research that is unbiased and reliable. We’re offering some guideposts to help navigate this tricky trail.

You Know That Stuff That Comes Out of Your Tap?

That stuff that looks, smells, and tastes like water? That’s water. And it is safe to drink, not to mention cheaper! The average cost of a bottle of water out of a vending machine values water at $1/bottle, which breaks down to about $.05 per ounce. Know how much your tap water costs you? One cent per gallon. Even by adding a filter (which can be as low as an additional $45/year), you’ll still be paying less money for drinking tap water than drinking regularly from “brand name water”.

Here’s a mind-blowing statistical comparison from MotherNatureNetwork.com: bottled water works out to $.05 per ounce… and gasoline works out to $.02 per ounce. Makes you rethink your grocery budget, eh?

Okay, So I’ve Got My Water– How Do I Take It With Me?

This is another topic that generates heated discussion– water bottles. This is also where research can get a little diluted. (Ha.)

The facts are that there are certain types of plastic that, when used to contain water (bottle or not), will leach harmful chemicals. These chemicals have been linked to a variety of diseases, including some cancers. However, there have been many new claims made that commercial plastic water bottles (to avoid brand names, let’s refer to some as Schmasani, Schmevian, and Schmart Water) can be more harmful, especially when put through temperature extremes like freezing and quick heating. (Even the FDA admits that when microwaving foods or liquids, it’s better to use containers that are NOT plastic.)

The National Resources Defense Council provides the most helpful breakdown of the 7 different types of plastic and which of those can be used for water bottles. On this website, they’ll explain which plastics have the chemicals that should never approach your foods or liquids. While there hasn’t been any conclusive study (that isn’t favored towards the plastics industry) about the safety of reusing your $1 Schmart Water bottles, it still isn’t a good idea. It is far safer to use bottles made of stainless steel. This guy explains why.

So… Why Does Bottled Water Exist Anyway? Is It EVER a Good Idea?

This question has the most politics associated with it. Again, MotherNatureNetwork.com has a pretty respectable stance on how the plastic industry is taking us consumers to the cleaners, but quite simply, bottled water is better for countries or cities that have contaminated water sources. Severe contamination. We’re talking contaminated water tables that have radiation poisoning, battery sludge, and various viruses in wild sources of water. Obviously, whatever exists in water will exist in you once you’ve swallowed it, so it’s best to avoid junk like that.

Here’s one more tasty morsel to mentally chew for a while: the more money that’s spent on bottled water, the less money, time, and effort is devoted to public systems. Think about it– if you’re financially able to afford nothing but bottled water, will you care as much about leaky pipes and contaminated water? Probably not! (Then again, if you’re financially able to afford nothing but bottled water, you’re probably also financially able to spend your money on frivolous things like filling your in-ground swimming pool with lime Jell-o… and that would certainly distract you too…) Consider what’s best for everybody in a situation like this. It’s to your benefit that others aren’t wasting their money on bottled water because they have to.

What’s the Point?

It’s better for the environment, your wallet, and your health to use filtered tap water in a reusable stainless steel bottle. (Not to mention that you could buy your own personal water bottle and have it be really pretty… or rugged… whatever your preference.)

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