The Story of Bottled Water

The Story of Stuff people did The Story of Bottled Water. I knew about the economic problems with drinking bottled water–paying 2000 times for something you can get for almost free in your kitchen–and of course I have talked about the environmental impact of plastic before. But this video does a good job of putting everything together, especially in showing how we came to be consumers of bottled water in the first place. According to the above video, soda companies became concerned about the sales of sodas leveling off, so they started trying to sell water to people. Consumers weren’t buying the idea for awhile, so the companies started scaring people with ad campaigns suggesting that tap water isn’t safe. And yet over one-third of the bottled water we buy comes from that very same tap. Pretty nervy stuff!
While I don’t use bottled water at home, I used to stop in a store and buy a bottle if I wanted water while I was out. A couple of years ago, however, I switched from bottled water to a reusable bottle that we got as swag at a conference. I fill the bottle up every time I go on a hike or wine tasting or any other activity that requires extra water. Over time, I must have saved myself from buying hundreds of bottles of water this way. It’s amazing what a little change in habit can do.
I am one of those people who are picky about the taste of tap water. I like the tap water in my current house, but have lived in places where I didn’t like the taste before, and it was a struggle to force myself to drink it anyway. A water filter helped, as did adding flavor to the water. Even to this day, I commonly used lemon slices, cucumber slices, or the stems from my mint or basil plants to give the water a lift and help distract from traces of minerals and chlorine. It makes a big difference.
What are your water drinking habits?

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4 thoughts on “The Story of Bottled Water”

  1. We don’t drink tap water. I cannot stand the taste of it. Never have been able to, so we do use bottled water…but…we have a water cooler that has the 5 gallon bottles on it, and we fill the bottles at the local water store for under $3 a bottle. Then, when we are going out for a walk or where ever we might need water, we have re-usable bottles we use.
    I do stock up on the individual bottles of water when they are on sale-as in 35 bottles for $3.49-however, those are for emergency situations. I try to keep 2-3 cases of them in storage at all times-rotating and using according to expiry date-as a just in case measure.

  2. …so the companies started scaring people with ad campaigns suggesting that tap water isn’t safe.
    Great article. I have to say I am mighty tired of companies and corporations stampeding people into doing whatever benefits the bottom line. I keep picturing a herd of lemmings. I despair for humanity some days, yanno?

  3. I drink lots of water and usually carry an insulated Tervis tumbler with a lid in my van when out. We use a Berkey water filter at home to remove chlorine and other chemicals, and it also improves the taste greatly.

  4. Very interesting. In New Zealand the tap water is very good and most people drink tap water. That said, I have heard that high levels of floride in the tap water could be the reason for the increase in thyroid diseases in the US. I don’t know if that is rumor, but I’ve wondered…


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