Turn It On

As one of six essential nutrients, water is necessary for survival. But drinking it from disposable plastic bottles may not be the best idea. A better choice for your personal health, and the health of the environment, may be to drink more tap water.

Tap water might be healthier than bottled water—which often is tap water—because it is more highly regulated and monitored for quality. For more information about our community’s water source, visit the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s website at http://water.epa.gov/drink/local.

Better for the Environment

Manufacturing, transporting and disposing of plastic water bottles adds to our carbon footprint in a big way. More than 17,000,000 barrels of oil are used annually to manufacture plastic water bottles. That’s enough oil to fuel one million cars for a year. It also takes three times the amount of water a plastic bottle actually holds to manufacture the bottle itself. Nearly 80 percent of empty plastic water bottles—as many as 140 million per day—end up in U.S. landfills. It will take centuries for those plastic water bottles to decompose, and during that time, the oil and other chemicals used to manufacture the bottles will leach into and contaminate the groundwater.

Better for Your HealthWaterbottles

Reusing disposable plastic bottles isn’t a good idea either, because many formulas for those plastics include phthalates or Bisphenol A, substances that are potentially harmful. Repeatedly washing bottles made from #1 plastics (polyethylene terephthalate, or PET) in hot water, for instance, breaks down the plastic compounds and releases toxic substances into the contents.

A stainless steel water bottle is safer and more durable choice for portable water when you’re away from a faucet. And programs like Tap It and Back 2 Tap can help you find merchants in our area who offer tap water refills when they’re needed. For more information, visit www.back2tap.com and http://tapitwater.com.