Bottled water phenomenon: Just say no

Quick, think back to the days before bottled water. How did you survive? Were you thirsty all the time? How were you able to go all day without a bottle? Did you dream of bottled water? Probably not. The truth is, you don’t need bottled water and our planet doesn’t need the plastic bottles. So just say no. Don’t buy bottled water. Not convinced? Here are a few tidbits about bottled water:



Quick, think back to the days before single-serve plastic water bottles. How did you survive? Were you thirsty all the time? How were you able to go all day without a bottle? Did you dream of bottled water? Probably not. The truth is, you don’t need bottled water and our planet doesn’t need the plastic bottles. 

So just say no. Don’t buy bottled water. Not convinced? Here are a few tidbits about bottled water:

  • In 2006, each American drank about 167 bottles of water (38 billion water bottles) and 80 percent of these bottles were not recycled.
  • In 2007 we spent $16 billion on bottled water. That’s more than we spent on iPods or movie tickets (see Fast Company article).
  • Plastic bottles take up to 1000 years before they begin to decompose.
  • Even if we recycle plastic bottles, the environmental impact of producing the plastic, packaging and transporting the water, and then later recycling the plastic bottles is significant. All for something that you already have free in your home.


Keep it simple. Drink water from the tap. If your tap water is nasty or suspect, install a filter on your tap. For times when you’re on the go, buy a reusable bottle and fill it with tap water. Not sure which bottle to buy? Are Nalgene bottles really safe? You might consider using food-grade stainless steel bottles from Sigg, Klean Kanteen, or Earthlust. I love the taste of tap water from my Sigg stainless steel bottle.

Sigg stainless steel bottles
Sigg stainless steel bottles

While bottled water consumption may not be increasing as feverishly, it’s still a huge problem. New bottled waters continue to hit the market, laced with vitamins and supplements that are sure to cure your woes – or at least the marketing would have you think so.

The truth is that we’ve survived for thousands of years without bottled water. We don’t need it. Go ahead and just say no to the bottled water phenomenon. Tap water is free and infinitely better for our planet.


7 ways to beat BPA 
Bottles, bottles, everywhere

Break the Bottled Water Habit

Tapped is a film that examines the role of the bottled water industry and its effects on our health, climate change, pollution, and our reliance on oil.

Author: Kate

I'm a writer interested in photography, philosophy, bikes and simplicity.

3 thoughts on “Bottled water phenomenon: Just say no”

  1. Great post!
    I live in Los Angeles and fell for the bottled water scam hook, line, and sinker…
    I’ll be doing penance for all the plastic bottles I’ve sent to the landfill the rest of my life. But at least we’ve finally mended our ways.

  2. I love bottled water. It taste so much better than tap water. I get it deleivered to my home and office. I’m voting to keep bottled water companies in business. I don’t mind fair disclosures on source though so that we can make educated decisions on which water is the best. Those companies that are environmentally firendly should also be able to command higher prices. I know I am willing to pay mroe for Sparkletts over Alhambra everyday of the week because it is so much better!

    1. Sounds like you’re talking about the big plastic water bottles? Since those bottle are probably reused, there is less waste. I was referring to the smaller single-use bottles. You might consider installing a filter on your tap – it should make your tap water tastier. Thanks for your comment! -Kate

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