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What's in Your Water? Bottled vs. Tap

Cecelia Ungari

Find me at in the middle of some project or experiment, or asleep.

I'm surprised by all the plastic water bottles I see in people's hands. Sure they are marketed as convenient, pure and healthy. But its hard to believe people still buy into these myths. 

Bottled water isn't always cleaner than tap, it comes in a plastic bottle after many miles of transport, and it costs so much!! Some reports put the bottled water mark-up at 1000 times the price of tap water! Buying bottled water remains one of The Green Mama's Top 10 Green Faux Pas.

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The Green Mama recommends buying a stainless steel or glass water bottles, not plastic or aluminum. If your municipal system uses chlorine or has contamination, get a good quality water filter. Our family uses one with a carbon and KDF (Copper-Zinc) media, which cuts out the chlorine and removes particles larger than 5 microns. It cost $160 and will filter 10,000 gallons, way better and more cost effective than a Brita/Pur pitcher. Some technology, like reverse osmosis (RO) is very inefficient, wasting water and energy. Plus some sources find RO water is missing important minerals, and can actually be so 'hungry' it leeches molecules from the containers its kept in. If you have an RO system, drinking from glass is recommended.

We love Annie Leonard's "Story of Stuff." Just released is the "Story of Bottled Water." This 5 minute video is a great overview of the problems with our bottled water culture. Follow up with National Geopraphic's Daily News "Why Tap Water Is Better Than Bottled Water." 

Learn more about your municipal system with the EPA's Local Drinking Water Information. Check out a 2008 report from Chicago Tribune about Chicago's water.

Photos: Shutterstock
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