water: from the tap or bottle?

Tara - posted on 07/11/2010 ( 42 moms have responded )




In another thread people were talking about whether or not they recycled and if they had to pay or not. I figure it is everyone's responsibility to recycle even if it means paying to do it, this is our only planet people!!
For every water bottle you buy, it takes 1/4 of it's volume in crude oil to make the plastic that holds the water.


If your family is like many in the United States, unloading the week’s groceries includes hauling a case or two of bottled water into your home. On your way to a soccer game or activity, it’s easy to grab a cold one right out of the fridge, right?

But all those plastic bottles use a lot of fossil fuels and pollute the environment. In fact, Americans buy more bottled water than any other nation in the world, adding 29 billion water bottles a year to the problem. In order to make all these bottles, manufactueres use 17 million barrels of crude oil. That’s enough oil to keep a million cars going for twelve months.

Imagine a water bottle filled a quarter of the way up with oil. That’s about how much oil was needed to produce the bottle.

So why don’t more people drink water straight from the kitchen faucet? Some people drink bottled water because they think it is better for them than water out of the tap, but that’s not true. In the United States, local governments make sure water from the faucet is safe. There is also growing concern that chemicals in the bottles themselves may leach into the water.

People love the convenience of bottled water. But maybe if they realized the problems it causes, they would try drinking from a glass at home or carrying water in a refillable steel container instead of plastic.

Plastic bottle recycling can help—instead of going out with the trash, plastic bottles can be turned into items like carpeting or cozy fleece clothing.

Unfortunately, for every six water bottles we use, only one makes it to the recycling bin. The rest are sent to landfills. Or, even worse, they end up as trash on the land and in rivers, lakes, and the ocean. Plastic bottles take many hundreds of years to disintegrate.

Water is good for you, so keep drinking it. But think about how often you use water bottles, and see if you can make a change.

Betty McLaughlin, who runs an organization called the Container Recycling Institute, says try using fewer bottles: “If you take one to school in your lunch, don’t throw it away—bring it home and refill it from the tap for the next day. Keep track of how many times you refill a bottle before you recycle it.”

And yes, you can make a difference. Remember this: Recycling one plastic bottle can save enough energy to power a 60-watt light bulb for six hours.

Text by Catherine Clarke Fox


Coley - posted on 07/23/2010




My current city has the strongest smelling and most disgusting tap water I've ever had. You can insist the US has standards all you want, but it doesn't make it smell safe. Our apartment complex has 2 filter machines by the laundry rooms, so I reuse water jugs and pay a quarter per gallon for my son's water, the jug we keep in the fridge, and for making ice. I use tap for cooking and making coffee, because then you can't tell it tastes like a dirty swimming pool.

IMO, anyone who insists on buying thousands of bottles and thoughtlessly sending them to a landfill when there's a safe, cheap, responsible, and delicious alternative is a spoiled lazy brat.

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Danielle - posted on 07/23/2010




We use a Brita water filter. Used to drink bottled but it isn't very environmentally friendly and too much garbage/recycling to deal with.

[deleted account]

Straight from the tap - no Brita filter. I will only drink bottled water if it's offered to me when I'm not home. I keep a regular drinking glass at work and use the water cooler provided simply because the water's colder.

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I drink tap water... out of a plastic water bottle. I'm aware of the toxins, but since I unknowingly drank toxic waste dump water for the first 8 years of my life.... I really don't worry about it.

Becky - posted on 07/12/2010




IMO, bottled water is a waste of money. We put a reverse osmosis filter in our house, because we're not crazy about the chlorine - which some days is so strong you can smell it - and flouride and other junk that's in our water here. It gets all the chemicals out and the water tastes better than bottled.
We do buy a case of bottled water occassionally, for when we go out, although we also have reusable water bottles. A water bottle is good for a dime, so we're very diligent about recycling all our drink containers. That's our boys' spending money! :)

C. - posted on 07/12/2010




Lea, thank you Captain obvious for stating what I had already stated a half an hour before you posted (about the bottles containing chemicals that get into your water) :P

And no, not most. A good portion, but I would say just slightly under half of all companies don't purify their water.

There was actually a study done on it some time ago that disproved that myth.

Hannah - posted on 07/12/2010




I bring one bottle with me every day to work. I then refill it with our bottled water here at work. At the end of the day I throw my bottle into our recycling bin here at work. When I get home is when I allow myself my one pop a day.

Lea - posted on 07/12/2010




plastic bottles also contain chemicals that get into your water. most bottled water is tap water anyway.

C. - posted on 07/12/2010




(Quoting Cathy S)
"I buy individual bottles occasionally and reuse them"

I do that, too, sometimes. Just be careful, though b/c if you reuse them too much, it will cause the plastic to break down, causing toxins and chemicals from the plastic to seep into your water b/c they aren't made to be reused.

[deleted account]

I usually try to stay away from bottled water... when I actually do buy any, I bring the bottle to the bottle depot (Alberta has a deposit on pretty much all beverage containers.) if I can't bring in to the depot, I at least recycle it or even give it to a homeless person who is looking for bottles.

where I grew up, I could drink the tap water without problems but since I've moved out west, there is NO WAY, I will drink it straight from the tap. It makes my stomach upset since I'm sensitive to whatever they put in the water.. We have Brita filters to solve that problem.

Rosie - posted on 07/12/2010




i don't like the taste of bottled water, i have always used tap. we have a line hooked up to the fridge and my family always uses that.

however i do find the conveinence of bottled water too much sometimes. if we are going on a vacation or something i buy bottled water to take along with us, but it is not an everyday or even every week thing. and yes, i do recycle. :)

Julie - posted on 07/12/2010




In the US, the public water supply is amongst the safest in the world, so I drink tap. I have Nalgene bottles that I fill when I drive or whatever. I REFUSE to pay for water here! I travel with an empty water bottle and fill it up from the water dispenser at a restaurant or just a fountain, because one cannot travel with liquids. The taste isn't always the best, but I'm not paying $4 for a pint of water.

I used to have a job where my water bottle would get very hot sitting in my truck while was working, even if I parked in the shade and kept the windows open. After a job, as long as it was still wet, I didn't care!

My favorite water to drink? Just under ice-cold, filtered hard water from abouts the "rust belt" area!

Least? ANY with sulfur in it--UGH!!

*Lisa* - posted on 07/12/2010




I live in Hong Kong and the tap water here is undrinkable so we have to buy water bottles. When we are in a more permanent house we will look into a water filter then we can get back to tap water. I tried boiling the water and drinking it cooled but it tastes awful!!

Jodi - posted on 07/12/2010




I wish we had green waste bins Loureen - we have to pile it up and take it to the dump. But at least we have a ute for the business, so we just use that.

C. - posted on 07/12/2010




If we were able to keep my PapPap's house (in PA) after my grandparents passed away, I would say tap water. It was so pure and yummy.. No filter or anything. It was well water and it was ALWAYS nice and cold and always crystal clear.

Unfortunately here at home, the water isn't so tasty :( And when we were in Hawaii, someone warned us not to drink the tap water (unless we were on a military installation, which we were, but we didn't take the chance). I think the reasoning was b/c most places didn't have purified drinking water or something, I can't remember. But we didn't bother, we just bought bottled water.

BUT, now I am determined to just buy a filter and I am already starting a small collection of reusable bottles so we don't have to waste money on bottle water (and of course to help the environment). So, I guess it will be tap.

Charlie - posted on 07/12/2010




We have crisp , clean , cold tap water its so delish !!

when i lived in Sydney i would drink bottled and eventually bought a filtered reusable bottle .

We have to recycle in Aus , you can be fined for putting the wrong rubbish in the wrong bins , we have three bins , red for everyday non recyclable rubbish , yellow for recyclable rubbish , and green bins for vegetation and gardening rubbish .

I found out the hard way when i put the wrong thing in the wrong bin and got a warning from the council .

[deleted account]

We have a rain water tank so our tap water is fairly pure and tastes very clean. So it's tap water for us.

Iris - posted on 07/11/2010




"Iceland water is still friggin' awesome. It's the only one I have left though."

I agree!!
Mom is coming for a visit in August and I've asked her to bring me 3 bottles of tap water. Even the Iceland bottle water doesn't taste as good as the Icelandic tap water, but it's pretty darn close.

Nikki - posted on 07/11/2010




We give my son bottled water, we never boiled water, I then reuse those bottles and fill them with tap water and put them in the fridge or bring them when I take my dog out for a walk.

But I am a crazy person when it comes to recycling, barely nothing goes into the garbage.

Here in Toronto we have 3 bins
Black is for garbage, and they only will pick up so much
Blue is for recycling; paper, plastic, glass, cans etc
Green which is food waste and paper towel, napkins

Lindsay - posted on 07/11/2010




I would feel no different in the small fee to pick up recycling as the fee we pay for weekly trash pick up. I would gladly to it...so handy! I do think this service should be available everywhere though. I'm sure it would contribute to a big boost in recycling.

Jodi - posted on 07/11/2010




We recylce a LOT. In Australia, most local councils provide a recycling bin for each household, and ours is emptied every second Tuesday. It REALLY helps motivate us to recycle, because if we had to take to to a recycling centre, I think we'd probably sometimes get a little lazy. Yes, the council adds a charge to the rates, but really, in the grand scheme of things, it is pretty minimal.

Lindsay - posted on 07/11/2010




I have to say that I'm totally jealous of you ladies with recycling pick up at your house. I would love to recycle more but everytime I get enough piled up to make me go insane, I head to the recycling center to find it closed....such a pain, so I've pretty much given up on even trying at all. If we had the option of the pickup though, I'd be all over it!

Most of the water we drink is tap that is filtered through the fridge. It tastes good and we have reusable sports bottles that I keep filled so that they are easy to grab and go. I probably purchase a big case of bottled water (28) about twice a year. We keep them stocked in the car just in case and will sometimes pack them in the cooler for backup if we are spending the day out. Typically, they don't get recycled...=S

Jodi - posted on 07/11/2010




We all have reusable drink bottles, and I take them everywhere with us. If, when we are travelling, we are not sure that the water in a particular town is ok, we would buy bottled water, but that is the only time. Where I live, we are lucky to have great drinking water, and there is nothing wrong with water from the tap. When we are on a really long road trip, we have a large 10 litre drink cooler that we fill and keep in the back of the car so when our drink bottles empty, we always have a supply. Especially given half of Australia is the middle of nowhere......

Personally, I think the bottled water thing is a marketing gimmick, and really, it's criminal to pay more for water than you do for fuel.....

ME - posted on 07/11/2010




I have a brita pitcher, and I filter tap water and use reusable bottles...The three of us drink more water then anything else...I could never throw away THAT many bottles...I'm not saying I never buy them, but as rarely as possible...

Johnny - posted on 07/11/2010




I have no issues with the safety of tap water at all. I know it is perfectly safe, and my husband and daughter drink it all the time. However, our tap water is quite heavily chlorinated at this time, and I am very sensitive to that. I get extremely sick to my stomach when I ingest our local tap water or any in a swimming pool. So I drink bottled water. Whenever I go somewhere they do not chlorinate as much I drink tap. And I am extremely happy that my area will soon be completing a new water treatment facility that will significantly lower the amount of chlorine that is used in the water. So I will be back on tap in a year or so. Better for the environment and will save lots of money. My daughter & husband use resusable stainless steel water canteens filled with tap wherever they go, and I take one, but filled with bottled water :-(

It took me years to figure out why I hated drinking water. It wasn't until my cousin told me that she was sensitive to the chlorine in our water and couldn't drink it that I put it all together. I do watch my daughter for any signs of a problem, but it does not seem to bother her.

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We drink tap water, but it does go through a filtration system in my fridge.
My son drinks nothing but water & hubby and I drink it most of the time, so if we had to buy that much bottled water, one, we'd be broke, and two, the environment would suffer horribly :P

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Oh, I forgot to say that we do recycle. Our trash service offers 3 bins: one for garbage, one for green waste (yard trimmings, etc.) and one for recycling. The trash is picked up every week and the green waste and recycling alternate every other week. We are sent the schedule at the begining of the year (on both paper and a magnet for the fridge) and it's really easy to keep track of it.

I love that our city makes it so easy to recycle and our bins are called "mixed" recycling, meaning we can put ALL our recyling in one bin and it's seperated (glass, plastic, paper, etc.) at the recycling plant.

I know that everyone on my street uses their recycling bins and I really like seeing them on the street every other week because I like knowing we are all so concious of the good we are doing for the environment.

We also teach our kids about recycling and how good it it. Now, our 2 year-old can distinguish what goes in the recycling can and what goes into the trash can (and what goes into the compost can of course) and I love it! :)

Oh, also we don't really use the greenwaste can all that much. Our lawn trimmings go into our compost pile and it makes great soil for our garden every year! Our tomatoes, lettuce, cabbage, artichokes, broccoli, corn and asparagus all turned out wonderful! :)

[deleted account]

We buy one case of water every year before hurricane season, just in case. If we don't use it, we'll drink the bottles for convience then keep the bottles. I fill them up with tap water, put them in the freezer and have ice cold water all day. The bottles usually wear out by the time hurricane season rolls around again. And I do recycle them. It's not a big deal to keep all the recycables out of site in our laundry room until recycling gets picked up.

Gertie - posted on 07/11/2010




I only drink bottled water. Our water doesn't taste good. I buy about 5 or 6 28 bottle packs every month. Even though we have to pay for recycling (baloney!) hardly any of those bottles make it to the recycle bin. It's unfortunate, but I'm not having a bunch of trash outside my home.

At my last home I was meticulous about recycling. We had a bin and they collected it every week along with all of our regular garbage. I didn't have to look at it, so I didn't mind seperating it all.

Now, they only pick up recyclables every other week and its a pain trying to remember if its the right week or not. I'd like to start recycling again, but not the way its currently implemented right now.

[deleted account]

When I lived in Nevada (right at the base of the Sierra Nevada Mountains) I used to drink straight from the tap. Our town water was supplied by snow run-off and it is the BEST water anywhere! :)

Now that I live in California though, ugh... the water is so chlorinated it almost smells like a pool when I turn it on - gross!!!! So, we got a filter that goes right on the tap and we have one of those big water dispensers in our backyard (for easy access to the kids in the summer since it gets so hot and we spend most of the day outside). We got the cooler system from the flea market ($5! We love the flea market) and we refill our giant bottles at the grocery store for WAY cheaper than buying the same amount in little bottles would be. We reuse the giant bottles over and over and over again (we have 3, so we don't need to run to the store right away when one runs out).

We do buy about 1-2 cases of the small bottles of water every summer for camping and for bringing in the car (like I said, it gets HOT, around 104 F on average every day from mid-June until the end of August and the kids really need something cool to drink even for the shortest car rides), but I like to think we're doing pretty well over all. :)

Joanna - posted on 07/11/2010




I use plastic water bottles, they are convenient to keep by the bedside (with this pregnancy I get really bad cotton mouth throughout the night, and am too clumsy to keep a cup of water there), or when I had Paige I kept them by the feeding chair along with a snack to try and make sure I stayed fed/hydrated.

But what I do is I also have a Brita filtered Jug that I fill up, and when I drink a bottle of water, I fill it with water from that jug 2 or 3 times, until I feel it's a little gross. So I re-use the plastic bottles a few times, and I don't feel so bad.

Although I have started using those reusable thermos' more often. I just need to find a good insulated one, but I'm trying to cut down on my plastic bottle usage. I just can't help the convenience of them, especially during pregnancy and life with a toddler.

LaCi - posted on 07/11/2010




I used to be a fan of the taste. Fiji used to taste amazing, now it tastes like crap. Iceland water is still friggin' awesome. It's the only one I have left though.

Jessica - posted on 07/11/2010




Thanks for posting this, I've been drinking bottled water for a while now and have felt guilty about throwing so much away, and keep meaning to look into recycling in our city but keep forgetting, unfortunately.

The reason I drink bottled water is almost purely for convenience, and now its become a matter of taste, as much as that annoys me. Since becoming pregnant with my son, and breastfeeding him, and now being pregnant again I have become much more aware of how much water I need to drink... and how I don't drink enough. I know it sounds silly, but I've honestly found that the only way I drink anywhere near the amount I should is by having bottled water on hand in the fridge. I fought it for a while, not wanting to be one of "those people" who won't drink tap water, but finally said fuck it and gave in. If this is the only way I'll drink water, then I'll just do it! But I will feel much better about it if I at least start recycling them, so I need to get on that! :)

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Oh the tap water here is just so gross! I never ever bought bottled water when I lived in New Jersey. I had a reuseable bottle that I filled up form the tap. As soon as we moved to Arizona, it was apparent how nasty the tap water is. We buy gallon jugs of water form the grocery store and a 1 liter bottle for daily use that we refill and eventually recycle.

Charlene - posted on 07/11/2010




When I lived in Calgary, I could only drink bottled water.
I was pregnant and the water out there was so disgusting and smelly that just running the water for a shower almost made me lose my lunch. I just couldn't stomach it, even after Gracie was born.
We tried a Brita filter, but even that didn't work.

We would buy the big bottles sometimes and other times we bought a case of individual water. All of our bottles were taken back for a refund. We paid a ten cent deposit on every small bottle and we got ten cents back at the bottle exchange.

At work though, we had one of those machines with the giant water bottle, so I bought a refillable bottle for work and before I left to go home, I would fill it up so I could have water for the morning.

Now that we are back on PEI, water here is much better, especially the water at my in law's because they have their own well. I just drink tap water now with a lot of ice. :)

We still recycle everything else though. It's free here.. I've never heard of having to pay for it.

Krista - posted on 07/11/2010




I use my Brita filter and drink tap water. The only time we buy bottled water is if we're on the road, and we'll buy a big 2-l bottle and share it, instead of all those tiny little bottles.

LaCi - posted on 07/11/2010




Tap water. Although the boyfriend has gallon jugs to take to work. Although I'm still not convinced my tap water is entirely safe, i know where that shit comes from.

Sharon - posted on 07/11/2010




We have our own well & its tested regularly. We drink tap water generally.

I keep a case of water in my car for immediate access when the kids refillable bottles run out. I refuse to let them drink town tap water, omg its so nasty.

And the bottles they use, I wash and rinse out to take with me to work. My NICE BPA free bottle was stolen so I refuse to let the thieves keep stealing my stuff.

Do we recycle? Yes.

Caitlin - posted on 07/11/2010




I buy bottled water sometimes (I guess on average two or three cases per year). I moslty use them for longer road trips (put them in the cooler) and usually refill them a few times before recycling. I ALWAYS recycle my bottles...

Jenny - posted on 07/11/2010




I strayed to bottles but have come back to the tap. We have reusable bottles for playing ball and heading to the beach. I do use a Brita Filter though.

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