Save Hundreds of Dollars and the Planet!

bottles
I love water! Iced Tea, and water are my two favorite beverages. When I was growing up, we never had milk with meals, we drank water, only my brother drank milk, the rest if us didn’t really like it. We had a soda man who came every other week to deliver bottles of soda, in all kinds of flavors and a big blue seltzer bottle for my dad. I didn’t really like soda either; I didn’t like the bubbles, and it was so sweet, so I drank water. We kept a bottle of it in the fridge, and refilled it as needed, from the tap.

Water is a great way to hydrate your body. It goes with everything, it can cool you or warm you, you can flavor it and enhance it to suit your taste, and it’s readily available almost anywhere. Most people in the U.S. have access to good quality, safe drinking water, and though some places have better tasting water, chances are you are accustomed to your local water, and it tastes just fine to you. Companies like Coca Cola and Nestle want you to think the water they sell you is better than what comes from your kitchen sink, but it’s probably not true. It’s great that more people are choosing water than soda but why shell out money for what is free (or close to it) and easily available.

In 1989 inspired by the success of Perrier, companies started selling bottled water, and we started buying it, and buying and buying… But you don’t have to! How difficult do you think it would be for you to stop buying water? What would happen to you? Would you suffer from dehydration and feel a never-ending thirst? I am here to tell you, you can do it, and if I can, I’m going to try to convince you to free yourself from the bottle, and it won’t take twelve steps! A few years ago I started thinking about how much money I was spending on water, as well as how much trash I was generating by buying two to three bottles of water daily. I decided I would stop buying water in 2008, and with very few exceptions have kept that resolution. I would estimate that in the past five years I’ve saved about $3500, and kept countless of plastic bottles out of circulation.

My water of choice was Glaceau Smart Water. It tastes really good, is electrolyte enhanced, and of course I loved drinking water that claimed to be smart- smart is very important, and maybe drinking it would make me smarter too. I don’t know if it’s still there, but there used to be a message behind the logo which you could read when you turned the bottle around, I don’t recall exactly what it said, but I do recall this phrase “So, you think your (sic) pretty smart…” and I realized that I was smarter than my water as well as its bottlers, not because someone had made an error (we all make mistakes, I’m sure that my blogs, however many times I proof read them, are filled with them) but because many people would have looked this copy over before it went to print, and because the message remained unchanged for quite a while. Clearly all those electrolytes weren’t making them any smarter, more alert, or attentive to details…

I feel much smarter now. I drink water that I filter. I use it to make my iced tea, or coffee, or just to drink. If I am travelling I carry reusable bottles, and more and more places are installing spigots on water fountains for refilling these bottles. It’s true, you can be very conscientious about recycling all your plastic (though some statistics claim 82% of plastic bottles go into landfill trash), but those bottles need to be transported to you, and recycling uses a significant amount of energy as well… Here is a story (though a few years old) talking about the cost of bottled water.

I realize that this piece isn’t really about food. I’m happy you’re still reading this, and haven’t hit delete yet, thanks. But I think this is important, and I hope thinking about it will have some influence on you. I hope you will reconsider the next time you go to pay for a bottle of water, and I hope you’ll give your tap water a try! I promise, tomorrow I will write about food.

July 7 011

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