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Wednesday, February 08, 2006

The Bottled Water Dilemma

Bottled water 1
Originally uploaded by dotjay.

One World News reported last week that consumers spend a collective $100 billion on bottled water each year. They report consumption of bottled water in developed countries has increased 57 percent since 1999.

While I drink tap water at home I often buy bottled water for the convenience. I don't particularly believe bottled water is healthier than tap water, it is simply more convenient.

You can recognize a person in pursuit of weight control by their ever present bottle of water. As we all know water is a key player in weight loss and weight maintenance.

During weight loss there are many waste products to eliminate. A high water intake protects you and helps your body to rid itself of waste products efficiently, promoting better weight loss. In addition water fills the pouch and helps to prolong and intensify your sense of satisfaction with food. Feelings of hunger can often be relieved by drinking water.

Water consumption plays a key role in weight management as well by flushing toxins, staving hunger and preventing dizziness that results from dehydration.

The question raised by the environmental think tank the Earth Policy Institute (EPI) is the ecological soundness of bottled water. "Tap water comes to us through an energy-efficient infrastructure whereas bottled water must be transported long distances--and nearly one-fourth of it across national borders--by boat, train, airplane, and truck. This 'involves burning massive quantities of fossil fuels,'' EPI Researcher Emily Arnold said.

Contributing further to the economic impact is the cost of fossil fuel to manufacture bottles. 'Making bottles to meet Americans' demand for bottled water requires more than 1.5 million barrels of oil annually, enough to fuel some 100,000 U.S. cars for a year,'' Arnold said.

Here-in lies the dilemma for our LivingAfterWLS community. We are committed to our water intake, we are people on the go and need a steady supply of water, health researchers are telling us don't reuse the bottles because they harbor bacteria and environmentalists say the economic impact of bottled water is killing the planet.

What are we supposed to do to meet our needs, respect our health and the planet?

I drink tap water at home, but I also keep a supply of bottled water in my car and at my office. When I stop to put fossil fuel in my car I usually buy a bottle of water to take on the road.

What is your strategy for always having available water? Do you worry about the enviornmental impact of bottled water?


Jenn said...

My tap water at home is NASTY, and I refuse to drink it! Thankfully, I have a water cooler at home and work, so instead of carrying around (and storing) bottles, I have a mug that I use every day at work and glasses that I use at home. I do find myself, however, sometimes buying bottles of water when I'm out and have stupidly forgotten to bring water along. Do I worry about how my bottled water habit affects the environment? Not really; I couldn't live without it! Instead, I just drive my super-efficient (50 mpg) diesel Jetta.

Anonymous said...

Good point, Jenn. I had to wonder why the environs are attacking the water bottles - what about soda? You know it has an economic impact as wellon the fuels AND contributing to obesity, dental problems, health-care costs ect.


Penny said...

Hi Kaye,

Besides the impact on the environment I also think about the impact on my pocket book. Tap water is much cheaper then constantly purchasing those small bottles of water. Rather then buying bottled water to use I invested in a good quality water filter for my home. This way everyone in my family gets to enjoy great tasting water at a fraction of bottled water prices.

Anonymous said...

I buy bottled water when I have to. When I do, I save the bottles and reuse them. Our tap water here is some of the best water Ive ever tasted, we have our own fresh water dam not 10 miles from here. I am one of the few lucky ones, when it comes to good clean tap water. So I bottle it with the reused bottles. I do use a filter, but it stays clean for at least 3 times the length it should.

Anonymous said...

I have not knowingly drank tap water in many years. At home and work I use a PUR water filter pitcher and a glass. I have several waterbottles that I generally fill for car trips. I travel a lot for work so I will buy a gallon bottle to keep in my hotel room and fill my water bottle(s) to carry with me for the day. Why go through all this you may ask, well I live next to an EPA engineer who says that when you are drinking great quantities of water that tap water has high concentrations of floride, chlorine, particles, and unhealthy bacteria. I am concerned about the environment which is why I try to only buy gallons if I can't filter my own but my health is my primary concern. After WLS I believe that we need to be more careful what we ask our liver to filter since we are already overworking it from processing toxins associated with the weight loss. This is why I use the PUR brand. The blue series filters out bacteria as well as chemicals. This brand was originally catered to campers in the woods so their high-end model takes out more than say the Brita brand.

Anonymous said...

I also live in an area with undrinkable tap water (Magna, Utah) so I drink a ton of bottle water. I try to drink 120 oz or more per day. I hate the impact on our environment. But, I do recycle all my plastic bottles as my concession to this...

Anonymous said...

HI! I seem to be more sensitive to smells and tastes, so I drink only one brand of bottled water. I usually carry a case of bottled water in the back of my car. If I happen to not have any and need some and cannot find the brand I drink, I just go thirsty till I get home or a place that does sell it. As for the environment, pish posh, I am not to worried about it.