Last month, I read an article detailing the Grand Canyon’s intention to ban the sale of bottled water within its park. This morning, I read an article mentioning bans of bottled water sales on campus of U.S. colleges as well. Needless to say, this is causing serious controversy.
This article on the International Bottled Water Association’s (IBWA) website is a great sales pitch on behalf of their interests. I’ll list the five points of their article (italics mine), followed by my thoughts as why NOT to choose bottled water when other options prove more practical and feasible.
The International Bottled Water Association (IBWA) offers this list of five reasons consumers should make bottled water a part of maintaining a healthy lifestyle in 2012.
1. Choose bottled water for safety and convenience – Available in many different sizes, including 3- and 5-gallon containers used in bottled water coolers, 2.5-gallon refrigerator-size containers, and “on-the go” half-liter (16.9oz), one-liter, and 1.5 liter convenience–size packages, bottled water is always ready to quench your thirst. At home, in the office, or on the move, consumers can drink bottled water with confidence throughout the day. Bottled water is comprehensively regulated by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration for safety and quality and it comes sealed in 100 percent recyclable containers. Bottled water is reliable and is always ready to refresh.
The idea of having to purchase and repurchase water bottles, especially when the water is basically tap water (in my opinion) is one-sided, benefiting the seller and not the consumer. Instead, invest in a portable water purifier like the Sport Berkey® Water Bottle, Seychelle®, or any other proven portable purification device. Such versatile personal solutions will provide you with the ability to purify water from public sources when you are traveling around town, or provide a secure solution when you are on a day-hike or only have access to river, lake, stream, or even rain water. You’ll save lots of money with your investment and there is no need to waste plastic bottles.
2. Choose bottled water for its great taste – When water tastes better, it’s more likely to be consumed, and staying hydrated is important for your health, even during winter’s colder months. Many people enjoy bottled water because of its crisp, refreshing taste and with options that include spring; mineral, sparkling and purified, bottled water has a lot to offer.
In my experience, bottled water from the shelf tastes less than delicious and fresh. Anyone that has tasted fresh mountain spring water at its source can relate. I drink bottled water when no other fresh sources or purification is available, but that is because I understand the importance of maintaining proper hydration, not because bottled water is the bee’s knees.
My consulting experience has connected me to the marketspace of educated consumers who have made the transition from bottled water to portable personal purifiers. That transition frequently correlates with improved individual health, sound consumption behavior and knowledge base, and savvy purchasing decisions.
In choosing a personal portable purification bottle, be sure it addresses microbes like Giardia, Cryptosporidium, E. coli, viruses, foul tastes, odors, and colors from the water. It is also important that chlorine, heavy metals, and VOCs be removed/reduced if possible. Not only will this ensure great tasting water, but it will ensure your number one priority, your optimum health.
3. Choose bottled water instead of sugary or caffeinated drinks – According to the Centers for Disease Control, Americans get up to 1/3 of their daily calories from sugary beverages. Making the switch to refreshing zero-calorie bottled water could help reduce up to 700 calories/day or 255,500 calories a year! Drinking water also helps to curb your appetite; a healthy option for reducing calories and maintaining proper hydration.
I have to admit that the comparison of water against soda made me laugh. It’s a typical practice in marketing to polarize the reader’s options. This helps to influence an easy agreement with the writer’s thinking and influence. We all know that soda is anything but healthy and that excessive calories are unnecessary.
Remember that although it is important to drink enough water each day, a portion of your daily hydration should come from fresh, raw, non-GMO fruits and vegetables. It is important to look for nutrient dense natural foods as part of a balanced diet. People who are looking for zero-calorie drinks and eats, might do well to remember that nutritional balance is largely “calories-in, calories-out.”
4. Choose bottled water for its ability to multi-task – Need a cooler pack to bring your lunch to work? Pop a bottled water in the freezer the night before and toss it in your lunch bag as you head out to work. The frozen bottle will chill your meal and then provide a healthy, zero-calorie beverage to enjoy. A bottled water in each hand doubles as weights during a hike or run; handy fitness aids you can consume when you’ve finished your workout.
Plastic water bottles also serve as excellent paper weights, toys for children, and insect-holders. All joking aside, finding utilitarian uses for recyclable materials is commendable. Your personal water purification solution will provide you the ability to really multi-task. When you buy a plastic refillable container that will eventually need recycling, you are simply buying a storage solution that is a space holder, not an economical replenishing purifier of various water sources. Crafty marketers and copywriters are commissioned to make that empty water bottle look like a multi-tool…more of a gimmick than practical.
5. Choose bottled water because it’s the healthiest choice – Choosing to lead a healthy lifestyle can sometimes mean a lot changes in your life. Opting to drink bottled water makes one of your most important decisions also one of the easiest. Fitness experts recommend staying hydrated throughout the day. What better way to do just that than to choose bottled water when it’s time for a drink?
Unless you consider ingested fluoride healthy, I call *bull* on that statement, “…the healthiest choice.” Oh, and what about trihalomethanes, plasticizers, among other concerns in the water? The bottled water industry is not as regulated and guided as they present themselves. But that’s an area of discussion that I’ll leave you to research more, primarily because I am biased toward being a more informed consumer than the customer the IBWA would wish me or you to be.
I personally use the Sport Berkey Water Bottle because it is BPA-free just like many other economical personal purification bottles out there. Water is the healthiest choice; it’s not the bottle; it’s not the brand, it’s the natural element: H2O.
In summary, save money, drink water, and stay smart!