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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 March 13, 2019

How to Get out of a Rut: 12 Useful Ways to Get Unstuck

How to Get out of a Rut: 12 Useful Ways to Get Unstuck

Have you gotten into a rut before? Or are you in a rut right now?

You know you’re in a rut when you run out of ideas and inspiration. I personally see a rut as a productivity vacuum. It might very well be a reason why you aren’t getting results. Even as you spend more time on your work, you can’t seem to get anything constructive done. While I’m normally productive, I get into occasional ruts (especially when I’ve been working back-to-back without rest). During those times, I can spend an entire day in front of the computer and get nothing done. It can be quite frustrating.

Over time, I have tried and found several methods that are helpful to pull me out of a rut. If you experience ruts too, whether as a working professional, a writer, a blogger, a student or other work, you will find these useful. Here are 12 of my personal tips to get out of ruts:

1. Work on the small tasks.

When you are in a rut, tackle it by starting small. Clear away your smaller tasks which have been piling up. Reply to your emails, organize your documents, declutter your work space, and reply to private messages.

Whenever I finish doing that, I generate a positive momentum which I bring forward to my work.

2. Take a break from your work desk.

Get yourself away from your desk and go take a walk. Go to the washroom, walk around the office, go out and get a snack.

Your mind is too bogged down and needs some airing. Sometimes I get new ideas right after I walk away from my computer.

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3. Upgrade yourself

Take the down time to upgrade yourself. Go to a seminar. Read up on new materials (#7). Pick up a new language. Or any of the 42 ways here to improve yourself.

The modern computer uses different typefaces because Steve Jobs dropped in on a calligraphy class back in college. How’s that for inspiration?

4. Talk to a friend.

Talk to someone and get your mind off work for a while.

Talk about anything, from casual chatting to a deep conversation about something you really care about. You will be surprised at how the short encounter can be rejuvenating in its own way.

5. Forget about trying to be perfect.

If you are in a rut, the last thing you want to do is step on your own toes with perfectionist tendencies.

Just start small. Do what you can, at your own pace. Let yourself make mistakes.

Soon, a little trickle of inspiration will come. And then it’ll build up with more trickles. Before you know it, you have a whole stream of ideas.

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6. Paint a vision to work towards.

If you are continuously getting in a rut with your work, maybe there’s no vision inspiring you to move forward.

Think about why you are doing this, and what you are doing it for. What is the end vision in mind?

Make it as vivid as possible. Make sure it’s a vision that inspires you and use that to trigger you to action.

7. Read a book (or blog).

The things we read are like food to our brain. If you are out of ideas, it’s time to feed your brain with great materials.

Here’s a list of 40 books you can start off with. Stock your browser with only the feeds of high quality blogs, such as Lifehack.org, DumbLittleMan, Seth Godin’s Blog, Tim Ferris’ Blog, Zen Habits or The Personal Excellence Blog.

Check out the best selling books; those are generally packed with great wisdom.

8. Have a quick nap.

If you are at home, take a quick nap for about 20-30 minutes. This clears up your mind and gives you a quick boost. Nothing quite like starting off on a fresh start after catching up on sleep.

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9. Remember why you are doing this.

Sometimes we lose sight of why we do what we do, and after a while we become jaded. A quick refresher on why you even started on this project will help.

What were you thinking when you thought of doing this? Retrace your thoughts back to that moment. Recall why you are doing this. Then reconnect with your muse.

10. Find some competition.

Nothing quite like healthy competition to spur us forward. If you are out of ideas, then check up on what people are doing in your space.

Colleagues at work, competitors in the industry, competitors’ products and websites, networking conventions.. you get the drill.

11. Go exercise.

Since you are not making headway at work, might as well spend the time shaping yourself up.

Sometimes we work so much that we neglect our health and fitness. Go jog, swim, cycle, whichever exercise you prefer.

As you improve your physical health, your mental health will improve, too. The different facets of ourselves are all interlinked.

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Here’re 15 Tips to Restart the Exercise Habit (and How to Keep It).

12. Take a good break.

Ruts are usually signs that you have been working too long and too hard. It’s time to get a break.

Beyond the quick tips above, arrange for a 1-day or 2-days of break from your work. Don’t check your (work) emails or do anything work-related. Relax and do your favorite activities. You will return to your work recharged and ready to start.

Contrary to popular belief, the world will not end from taking a break from your work. In fact, you will be much more ready to make an impact after proper rest. My best ideas and inspiration always hit me whenever I’m away from my work.

Take a look at this to learn the importance of rest: The Importance of Scheduling Downtime

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Featured photo credit: Joshua Earle via unsplash.com

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