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5 Reasons Why You Shouldn’t Buy Bottled Water Anymore

5 Reasons Why You Shouldn’t Buy Bottled Water Anymore

I recently wrote an article about why you shouldn’t re-use water bottles. Since it was so popular, I figured I’d take it a step further. Thus, this article focusing on why you shouldn’t buy bottled water at all.

Though you might be somewhat familiar with this topic, I bet you’ll be interested in reading about the latest reasons and research stating why you should skip buying bottled water when you go to the supermarket. Read on, and once you’ve finished, please let me know if you have the same attitude towards bottled water as you do now.

1. Bottled water costs you more in the long run.

We all know why we buy bottled water. It’s more convenient to grab one and go, than it is to clean and maintain a re-usable bottle, or to grab a cup and fill it up using a filter-based pitcher.

While using bottled water will save you time in the short run, it will also drain your hard-earned cash in the long run. Indeed, recent studies have shown that bottled water costs around $7.50 per gallon, which is about two thousand times as costly as the water that comes from your faucet.

Despite that fact, we continue allowing ourselves to be bamboozled by beverage companies. From 2011 to 2012, we’ve increased our combined spending on bottled water by 6.5%, making it quite a profitable industry indeed.

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2. Bottled water pollutes the environment.

According to National Geographic, folks purchase around half a billion bottles of water per week – in the United States alone.

Despite the fact that we have a much more developed municipal water infrastructure, Americans consume three times as much bottled water as Italy (the biggest water bottle market in Europe).

Unfortunately, few of those bottles are recycled, with most ending up piled high in landfills, floating around in stagnant rivers, or lodging themselves in various underwater environments.

If we really want to help mother nature, we’ve got to stop buying bottled water and look to our taps instead.

3. Bottled water isn’t any cleaner than tap water.

Despite commercials from Arrowhead and Fiji that would have you believe otherwise, bottled water isn’t any more “pure” than the stuff that comes from your tap.

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The reasons for this vary, but one of the major ones is that the FDA (which regulates bottled water) is nowhere near as powerful as the EPA, which regulates our tap water.

A 1999 study brings this difference to light. They tested over 1,000 bottles of water, sourced from 103 completely different brands. While the water was safe to drink for the most part, they found that at least some samples they tested contained contaminants that exceeded state standards. These contaminants ranged from those of the bacterial variety, to carcinogens and various kinds of toxic chemicals — all of which would normally not be permitted under normal EPA standards.

If you’re thinking, “Well, that study was done in 1999 so it’s probably out of date,” you’d unfortunately be incorrect. Since that time, the regulations that guide the bottled water industry have not changed.

The bottom line? Your tap water is more than likely just as pure (if not more pure) than any of the bottled water you can purchase in the market. Filtering it yourself only makes it that much better.

4. Bottled water companies aren’t being honest with you.

If a company isn’t telling you the truth, do you feel inclined to give them your hard-earned money? I would bet your answer is no.

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Many bottled water brands advertise their product as being sourced from natural springs or other theoretically pure sources. The truth is; however, that up to 45% of bottled water is sourced from the exact same places that your tap water comes from. These corporations try to hide that fact in order to drive sales.

Brands like Aquafina and Dasani are the worst offenders when it comes to using municipal water sources. This is the same exact stuff you can get from your faucet.

Even worse than their use of municipal sources is the fact that bottled water companies get the majority of their water from the drought-stricken state of California. Which is disturbing, since bottling plants require 1.63 liters of water for every 1 liter placed in an actual bottle. In other words, creating one bottle of water wastes nearly two bottles of water in the process. Not very sustainable.

Therefore, if you are buying bottled water, it’s likely that it comes from a municipal source. Probably one that exists in California. That’s reason enough in my book to stay away. (Being from California, I literally haven’t seen more than a couple drops of rain in the past five years.)

5. Buying bottled water sets a bad example.

Consider for a moment that we live in a world where ~750 million people have little to no access to clean drinking water. What would they think of us if they knew we wasted a precious resource like water by placing it into bottles, when we could just as easily get it from our faucets and refrigerators? We forget the absolute luxury of running water.

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Given everything else stated in this article, it would seem ludicrous to them that we’ve managed to perpetuate such a strange and backwards industry.

Finally, I’ll end with this: the human race spends collectively around $100 billion dollars a year on bottled water. The United Nations estimates that just 1/6th of that amount of money would be enough to “cut in half the number of people without access to clean water.”

So let’s be thankful for our taps! Instead of spending our money on the bottled stuff, let’s send it to those who really need it.

Where to go from here…

As I stated in one of my previous articles, your best best is to buy a nice re-usable water bottle, and re-fill it with tap water (or filtered tap water, whichever is your preference). You now know that your tap water is just as clean (if not cleaner) than the H2O in your favorite bottled brand. Additionally, you know that it will cost you a lot less in the long run to use your tap as opposed to purchasing pre-packaged water. With that in mind, you really have nothing to lose!

Rewinding back to the question I asked in the introduction: what is your opinion of bottled water now? Will you still buy it on a regular basis? Sound off in the comments section below.

Featured photo credit: sparkling water/susanne nilsson via flic.kr

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Last Updated on September 16, 2019

How to Stop Procrastinating: 11 Practical Ways for Procrastinators

How to Stop Procrastinating: 11 Practical Ways for Procrastinators

You have a deadline looming. However, instead of doing your work, you are fiddling with miscellaneous things like checking email, social media, watching videos, surfing blogs and forums. You know you should be working, but you just don’t feel like doing anything.

We are all familiar with the procrastination phenomenon. When we procrastinate, we squander away our free time and put off important tasks we should be doing them till it’s too late. And when it is indeed too late, we panic and wish we got started earlier.

The chronic procrastinators I know have spent years of their life looped in this cycle. Delaying, putting off things, slacking, hiding from work, facing work only when it’s unavoidable, then repeating this loop all over again. It’s a bad habit that eats us away and prevents us from achieving greater results in life.

Don’t let procrastination take over your life. Here, I will share my personal steps on how to stop procrastinating. These 11 steps will definitely apply to you too:

1. Break Your Work into Little Steps

Part of the reason why we procrastinate is because subconsciously, we find the work too overwhelming for us. Break it down into little parts, then focus on one part at the time. If you still procrastinate on the task after breaking it down, then break it down even further. Soon, your task will be so simple that you will be thinking “gee, this is so simple that I might as well just do it now!”.

For example, I’m currently writing a new book (on How to achieve anything in life). Book writing at its full scale is an enormous project and can be overwhelming. However, when I break it down into phases such as –

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  • (1) Research
  • (2) Deciding the topic
  • (3) Creating the outline
  • (4) Drafting the content
  • (5) Writing Chapters #1 to #10,
  • (6) Revision
  • (7) etc.

Suddenly it seems very manageable. What I do then is to focus on the immediate phase and get it done to my best ability, without thinking about the other phases. When it’s done, I move on to the next.

2. Change Your Environment

Different environments have different impact on our productivity. Look at your work desk and your room. Do they make you want to work or do they make you want to snuggle and sleep? If it’s the latter, you should look into changing your workspace.

One thing to note is that an environment that makes us feel inspired before may lose its effect after a period of time. If that’s the case, then it’s time to change things around. Refer to Steps #2 and #3 of 13 Strategies To Jumpstart Your Productivity, which talks about revamping your environment and workspace.

3. Create a Detailed Timeline with Specific Deadlines

Having just 1 deadline for your work is like an invitation to procrastinate. That’s because we get the impression that we have time and keep pushing everything back, until it’s too late.

Break down your project (see tip #1), then create an overall timeline with specific deadlines for each small task. This way, you know you have to finish each task by a certain date. Your timelines must be robust, too – i.e. if you don’t finish this by today, it’s going to jeopardize everything else you have planned after that. This way it creates the urgency to act.

My goals are broken down into monthly, weekly, right down to the daily task lists, and the list is a call to action that I must accomplish this by the specified date, else my goals will be put off.

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Here’re more tips on setting deadlines: 22 Tips for Effective Deadlines

4. Eliminate Your Procrastination Pit-Stops

If you are procrastinating a little too much, maybe that’s because you make it easy to procrastinate.

Identify your browser bookmarks that take up a lot of your time and shift them into a separate folder that is less accessible. Disable the automatic notification option in your email client. Get rid of the distractions around you.

I know some people will out of the way and delete or deactivate their facebook accounts. I think it’s a little drastic and extreme as addressing procrastination is more about being conscious of our actions than counteracting via self-binding methods, but if you feel that’s what’s needed, go for it.

5. Hang out with People Who Inspire You to Take Action

I’m pretty sure if you spend just 10 minutes talking to Steve Jobs or Bill Gates, you’ll be more inspired to act than if you spent the 10 minutes doing nothing. The people we are with influence our behaviors. Of course spending time with Steve Jobs or Bill Gates every day is probably not a feasible method, but the principle applies — The Hidden Power of Every Single Person Around You

Identify the people, friends or colleagues who trigger you – most likely the go-getters and hard workers – and hang out with them more often. Soon you will inculcate their drive and spirit too.

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As a personal development blogger, I “hang out” with inspiring personal development experts by reading their blogs and corresponding with them regularly via email and social media. It’s communication via new media and it works all the same.

6. Get a Buddy

Having a companion makes the whole process much more fun. Ideally, your buddy should be someone who has his/her own set of goals. Both of you will hold each other accountable to your goals and plans. While it’s not necessary for both of you to have the same goals, it’ll be even better if that’s the case, so you can learn from each other.

I have a good friend whom I talk to regularly, and we always ask each other about our goals and progress in achieving those goals. Needless to say, it spurs us to keep taking action.

7. Tell Others About Your Goals

This serves the same function as #6, on a larger scale. Tell all your friends, colleagues, acquaintances and family about your projects. Now whenever you see them, they are bound to ask you about your status on those projects.

For example, sometimes I announce my projects on The Personal Excellence Blog, Twitter and Facebook, and my readers will ask me about them on an ongoing basis. It’s a great way to keep myself accountable to my plans.

8. Seek out Someone Who Has Already Achieved the Outcome

What is it you want to accomplish here, and who are the people who have accomplished this already? Go seek them out and connect with them. Seeing living proof that your goals are very well achievable if you take action is one of the best triggers for action.

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9. Re-Clarify Your Goals

If you have been procrastinating for an extended period of time, it might reflect a misalignment between what you want and what you are currently doing. Often times, we outgrow our goals as we discover more about ourselves, but we don’t change our goals to reflect that.

Get away from your work (a short vacation will be good, else just a weekend break or staycation will do too) and take some time to regroup yourself. What exactly do you want to achieve? What should you do to get there? What are the steps to take? Does your current work align with that? If not, what can you do about it?

10. Stop Over-Complicating Things

Are you waiting for a perfect time to do this? That maybe now is not the best time because of X, Y, Z reasons? Ditch that thought because there’s never a perfect time. If you keep waiting for one, you are never going to accomplish anything.

Perfectionism is one of the biggest reasons for procrastination. Read more about why perfectionist tendencies can be a bane than a boon: Why Being A Perfectionist May Not Be So Perfect.

11. Get a Grip and Just Do It

At the end, it boils down to taking action. You can do all the strategizing, planning and hypothesizing, but if you don’t take action, nothing’s going to happen. Occasionally, I get readers and clients who keep complaining about their situations but they still refuse to take action at the end of the day.

Reality check:

I have never heard anyone procrastinate their way to success before and I doubt it’s going to change in the near future.  Whatever it is you are procrastinating on, if you want to get it done, you need to get a grip on yourself and do it.

More About Procrastination

Featured photo credit: Malvestida Magazine via unsplash.com

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