Monday, February 01, 2010

Bottled disaster

I grew up in Laval, Quebec, which was - and still is - home to one of the most advanced water filtration plants in North America. As a result, the quality of our tap water was never questioned. We simply drank it, and it was good.

I don't think my parents ever bought bottled water. They didn't have to. Why pay for something that the city provides for free (well, as part of your taxes...)? Maybe it was also a simpler time, because if we wanted water while on the go, we drank it from a fountain. Giant stacks of plastic bottles just weren't part of the grocery store landscape back then.

I admit more than a little discomfort with bringing pallets of these things into the house. So much plastic and wasted resources, all so we can have the ridiculous illusion of fresh and safe drinking water. Maybe I'm being overly dramatic, but scenes like this bug me. I guess I'm fighting a losing battle, as bottled water seems to have become yet another hallmark of modern life that expands our already-overwhelming influence on our planet.

Your turn: Where do you stand on bottled water?

One more thing: To participate in our latest Thematic Photographic theme, "Water in any form," please click here.


Mark said...

We use water filters instead of buying bottled water. Much more economical and much more environmentally friendly.

I simply installed a filter on the tube that runs from the wall to the refrigerator, and that's our drinking water. We used to have one on the kitchen sink, before we bought a house that came with a refrigerator with a built-in water dispenser.

Tabor said...

We have filtered water from the refridgerator but have well water so don't really need to filter anything. We used to buy bottled water for hiking and on travel still do, but try to remember to use the plastic drink containers we recently purchased.

Bill Deys said...

I do my best to not buy water. I usually do when I'm traveling but when I'm at home I have multiple water bottles that I fill at home and keep a couple in my truck.

I will say at home we don't drink the water. Our well water is very hard and not long after moving in my wife had problems because of drinking it. We have a water cooler and buy bottles of reverse osmosis water. Still better then small bottles IMO, about the best middle ground.

Tracie said...

I live in an area where our tap water is very bad (not just bad tasting, but often when we get out water bill it will have a notice at the bottom that during the month the water quality did not meet the federal standards. That is pretty scary) so we buy bottled water (the large 2 gallon bottles) for drinking and cooking. I would like to get a filtration system set up, because I do feel guilty about the bottles....but I will keep buying the water as long as the stuff that is coming out of our tap is definitely unsafe.

Anonymous said...

I only use them for practical reasons. Taste and "safe" are not reasons I use them.

-they fit in my lunch bucket. I've yet to find a refillable anything that is as compact and holds as much (I drink a lot) liquid, and still lets me close the lid.
-I reuse them. I'm not buying it for the contents, just the vessel. Yes, I've heard all the hubbub about not reusing them... The tinfoil brigade might suggest its the water bottle sellers that are behind that.
-I won't be heart broken if I forget it somewhere.
-It won't break if it goes sailing off whatever I set it on.
-they are clean.
Being a London resident, I'm well aware of their anti-water bottle policy. Where I work has the same, they will not provide bottled water at events (but they will provide disposable cups, soda in personal bottles, etc.) and instead provide pitchers of tap water. Now, I have nothing against tap water (Its what I refill mine with) what I do have a problem with is the general unsanitary state of these pitchers. Observe if you get the oppertunity at larger events how people use these. Fingers holding the rims, moving them about, etc. Yuck. The water was safe when it went into the pitcher, but now you have introduced a legion of hands onto a pitcher I need to drink from. At least a water bottle afforded me the ability to wipe it down before consumption, and I don't need to worry about anything but the bottlers and rodents in the bottled water. =-)


daisy said...

I'm against bottled water yet we buy it (A LOT) every summer. My husband works in a tin building with no a/c and hot motors being repaired. Sure he could have a thermos of water but he likes to put the bottled water in the freezer and then drink all day. the summer I give in. I mean the poor guy MELTS!

Nishant said...

We used to have one on the kitchen sink, before we bought a house that came with a refrigerator with a built-in water dispenser

Work from home India

guppyman said...

I am all for bottled water! Tastes great, convenient, and it pisses off whiny liberals. I like things that do that.

*Actually, I think that the whole concept of paying for something you can get out of your faucet is insane... BUT- the convenience factor (and the pissing off whiny liberals thing) makes us go thru about 3 cases a week...

I do have a theory about bottled water, the government and cockroach DNA... But that's another story....

Anonymous said...

In the US, the EPA standards for tap water are better than the standards that the FDA imposes on water that you buy in a bottle. It is just a total waste of money to buy bottled water. I got one of the Enviro Products' better water filter bottles to filter the water I drink when I am at work and at the gym.

ciara said...

i think my hubs is addicted to water's been something he has done for years. i can't take drinking water from the sink, so i get it from the water/ice dispenser of the fridge which has the filter. is canadian water better than u.s. water system? probably. :0/

Pamela said...

I've used it when we travel.
Other than that I think it is all ridiculous.

Catherine said...

I never buy bottled water, I guess if the water from our tap was going to kill me it would have done so long before now. If I want to take a bottle of water on a long walk then I fill one from the tap.

You should never re-use those bottles that the water comes in, and you should certainly not use them in the car. They are a cheap single use plastic, and if you re-use them, especially if you leave them in a warm place, the plasticisers (chemicals) leach out into the water. Buy a higher quality plastic bottle, or a stainless steel water bottle, if you want water on the go.

theMuddledMarketPlace said...

bottled water?
hate it
hate that we use it
hate that we think it's neccesary