Would you guess that worldwide, the bottled water industry is worth tens of billions? In the US alone, people gulp down ten billion gallons of different bottled water brands each year. And this is when bottled water isn’t considered beyond reproach – there is quite a debate out there about how bottled water could actually be worse than simple tap water in some cases. Our addiction to bottled water can do some of the worst damage to the environment of anything we do in our modern lifestyles. Look it up on YouTube, you can find any number of videos on the environmental disaster around the world caused by drinking water bottles. In fact, it’s major news that in Australia, a little-known town called Bundanoon has just voted to make bottled water illegal. They just voted to be the world’s first town to be completely free of bottled water. Why does the rest of the world not see the point? Why would people spend so much money on water?
Bottled water sells on its claims of being safer and purer to drink of course, but there is quite a lot of personal choice in taste that goes into a preference for bottled water brands too. Evian is considered a particularly pure and smooth taste; Poland Spring is considered a right for every kind of palate, Fiji Water is considered exotic, and so on. The Bottled Water Association even believes through surveys taken that the driving factor behind bottled water sales is often in many markets just the taste of the water – just imagine the trouble a whole industry goes to, to package and send water across continents, for the slight difference in taste that bottled water brands claim one over the other. The taste difference of course comes about because these bottled water brands can afford to use natural methods of filtration that municipal supplies can’t.
But people do care about the environment, and if there is one reason they still go out and buy bottled water, it’s for one reason – they don’t usually care to plan things out far ahead enough that they’d pick up a bottle at home and fill it out of the tap before heading out the door. People just don’t think about water until they are thirsty. With a little planning, with enough reusable Tupperware water bottles around the house, there can be no need to pick up a bottle the moment you feel thirsty. And if the taste of water out of the tap doesn’t quite do it for you, try a water filter at home. You’d be surprised at how close to the taste of mineral water, filtered water can get.