Why buy what you can drink for free?

September 23, 2011

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Photo: Courtesy of Healthy UNH

Paying more than the price of a gallon of gas for a product that American’s could consume for free would be foolish, irrational, and uneconomical, right? Then why do we spend nearly $21 billion purchasing something that can be easily be acquired by flicking on your faucet? I’m talking about water. Author Charles Fishman writes in his book, The Big Thirst: The Secret Life and Turbulent Future of Water, that Americans are spending "more on Poland Spring, FIJI Water, Evian, Aquafina and Dasani than we spent buying iPhones, iPods and all the music and apps we loaded on them".  So what is the obsession with bottled water and is it really any better than the free stuff? Many would argue no, and by reverting to good, old tap water you may not only be saving yourself some money, but also may be saving your health. 

Eat This Not That revealed that bottled water companies could be keeping secrets about their products to maintain consumers. What many Americans may not understand is that tap water is mandated to pass state, federal, and local guidelines for cleanliness and quality, where bottled waters are not upheld by the same strict standards. While you may in fact be drinking bottled tap water, it also may not be as pure as what you would get from your own faucet. What a scary idea, paying to drink tap water and the fact that these plastic containers could also be infecting your water with toxic chemicals!

Drinking straight from the tap can not only benefit your health, your bank account and the environment. Purchasing plastic bottles leaves you with less money in your pocket while also costing the nation money, as well as using previous resources to fuel the pumping of the liquid. Still don’t trust what is coming from your faucet? There are numerous home filtrations systems such as Brita and Pure that are worthy investments for clean water.  Check out the National Resources Defense Council website for great information regarding water across the globe all the way to your hometown. You can also learn more about what UNH and the New England Water Treatment Technology Assistance Center is doing to keep our campus water safe, clean, and economically friendly! Also find the Hydration Station located nearest you on campus!

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