Plastic Water Bottles are one of the stupidest purchases you can make… Period.
There, I said it, go ahead and hate me while you’re blowing your money, encouraging oil consumption, and harming the environment, but I’m entrenched in my position on this one! I don’t usually stand on a soapbox, I’m not a tree hugger by any means, but this is by far one of the dumbest things I see people doing – purchasing and wasting bottled water.
Hear me out before posting hate comments!
As I was hiking one of the many beautiful parks here in Hawaii earlier today I met a gentleman who was by the traditional definition, successful. He had a great job working as a financial analyst, drove a BMW, and had been to over 20 countries.
We hiked for about three hours together and had great conversation and debate on topics ranging from travel, to politics, and even religion. However, there was one thing that struck me about this gentleman whom I had much in common. He believed a lot of the things I did, but was not acting upon them. For example, he believed in frugality, living for today, and gaining experiences. Yet he consumed like the average American and informed me after this hike he was on his way to purchase a camera and his max budget was $500 for a point and shoot! Not exactly a frugal purchase. This only bugged me because he was saying one thing and doing the opposite. I’m not a frugality snob.
My point is, he packed two freshly minted bottled waters in his pack, which made me ask him… why don’t you just use a Water Filter and a sturdy bottle? He simply replied,
“I should, I’ve just been lazy.”
After thinking for a moment I decided it was worth it to pursue the conversation and we got to talking about why bottled water isn’t a great choice. I think, or at least I hope, he enjoyed talking about it and will change his ways.
Below are a few of the points that we spoke about while hiking the Pacific Shore:
1. Shipping – Water is heavy! Shipping it is not cheap, therefore every time you take a drink of your bottled water, think about the journey it took to arrive at your mouth. Go ahead, look at the label, then think about how much gas was used to make it magically appear at the store.
2. Plastics – Plastics are made with oil. Increased demand for oil increases your price at the pump. Enough said.
3. Waste – If you drink one bottle a day for 10 years, you’ve used up 3,650 plastic containers. You could fill a swimming pool with all your bottles!
4. Price – A cheap crate of bottled water at a large retailer is $7. There are 24 bottles (1/2 liter each) in this crate, which means the total amount for $7 is a whopping… 3.2 gallons, which means approximately $2.20 a gallon. Tap water runs about a few cents a gallon. For our example let’s use 2 cents a gallon. What’s the markup for that? About 11,000%!
Every time you take a swig out of that plastic overpriced oil consuming ridiculous piece of marketing, think about the list above and why you shouldn’t be doing it. Treat it as if it’s a bad habit like smoking that you should try to break.
There are also indirect costs to you, the taxpayer. How so? 88% of bottled water plastics are not recycled. This huge volume of bottles has to be picked up by your municipality, brought to the landfill, and takes space in land that could be used for a better purpose. These are all expenses the municipality bears that are then passed on to you.
For more information about why drinking bottled water makes you look stupid consider these articles:
10 reasons to stop drinking bottled water
San Francisco Chronicle article about the Real Cost of Tap Water
Find out where to purchase money saving Water Filters
How much bottled water do you drink in a year?
Why do you buy bottled water?
How to you manage your water consumption?
Photo from Program Witch