March 25, 2009
Don’t drink bottled water – and don’t let your children drink it. If you’re a city councillor or official, don’t waste taxpayers’ money buying it. If you‘re a restaurant, don’t serve it. If you work at a school or college, stop using it. Why?
#1: Using bottled water sends the totally false message that municipal tap water is unsafe. More than a quarter of bottled water comes from municipal sources, anyway.
#2: It takes oil to make those bottles. According to the California-based Pacific Institute, the energy required to make one bottle is the equivalent of filling it ¼ full of oil. In Canada, the 2.1 billion litres we bought in 2006 needed 1.1 million barrels of oil to make them.
#3: Most bottles are not recycled, and end up in the landfill.
#4: It takes more energy to ship and truck them around.
#5. It’s stupid. Why pay 1,000 times more for bottled water when it costs a penny a gallon from your tap, giving money to the water corporations as if it was Christmas?
#6. Drinking bottled water is making our children grow up with the habit.
#7. Can we really trust the bottles not to leach their chemicals?
The City of Los Angeles has not allowed the use of city funds to buy bottled water since 1987.
San Francisco and Seattle have just banned its purchase by city departments and agencies.
Chicago has placed a 5 cent tax on every bottle to discourage its use. All Illinois state agencies have been banned from buying it. Berkeley School District has stopped providing it. And now students on campuses across Canada are creating bottled-water-free zones – see www.insidethebottle.org.
It’s OK for emergencies – but otherwise, let’s junk it.
First published in EcoNews: A monthly newsletter funded by your donations that dreams of a world blessed by the harmony of nature, the pleasures of community, and the joys of personal fulfillment, guided and protected by our active citizenship.