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August 23, 2012 | By: Kerri Barreca

Long Live the PET-free Bottle.

I know you’ve heard this all before but sometimes we need a little reminder: buying bottled water is not cool! Not only is it harmful to the environment, but it may compromise your health and the markup from these products is unthinkable. According to HowStuffWorks.com, for the price of one bottle of Evian, you could buy 3,785.4 litres of perfectly drinkable tap water. You are essentially paying for the packaging, the marketing and transportation costs rather than for the product itself.

To be clear, PET (or polyethylene terephthalate) plastic packaging is often used to bottle 500ml or 1L soft drinks, juice or water. These types of bottles are meant for one-time use and if they are reused they may leach the carcinogen DEHP (which has also been linked with obesity in some studies). Scary stuff. We are lucky to live in a country where our water doesn’t HAVE to be filtered but if you don’t like the taste of chlorine consider investing in a water bottle with a built in filter or a Brita for home use instead of buying bottle after bottle of PET plastic. Not only can this help keep empty plastic bottles out of the land fill, and reduce worry about toxins seeping out from cheap plastics but you’ll save a lot in the long term. A Brita system (either pitcher or faucet attachment) starts at $25 plus replacement filters every 3 months. Depending on how much water you and your family drink, this could be a smart investment.

It just does not make sense to me. Why buy water when we can get it for free (well not exactly free but a much better deal)! There are cases where commercialism may make this a bit more of a challenge but it is just a matter of being prepared and making it a habit to lug along a PET-free water bottle. For instance, not long ago, an old school mate of mine told me that our old high school had “sold out” in search of corporate funding. In exchange for financial support, the school removed all water fountains and replaced them with vending machines stocked full of soft drinks and guess what else…bottled water. This was sad news to hear but those thirsty students still have options. They simply need to be proactive, bring a water bottle and fill it up either at home or in the bathroom sink. It’s shameful to think that the school is hoping to profit at its students' expense but what better way for them to protest than by boycotting vending sales. Let’s hope today’s students feel the same way?

We can apply the same attitude anytime we go on day trips or run errands. Rather than fork out for over-priced drinks while at the amusement park, the zoo or grocery store for that matter, don’t forget your water bottle when you are packing your wallet and camera!

The bottom line is this: why hand over your hard earned money to corporations who are trying to trick you into thinking a bottle of water is any cleaner than a glass tap water? For advice on choosing the best reusable water bottle that’s right for you, visit the site http://thegoodhuman.com/choosing-a-safe-reusable-water-bottle/ for some tips and drink up! Leave those PET bottles of water for when you are travelling to exotic lands where the water quality may be iffy. Just remember how lucky we are to live in a country that has safe drinking water (and take advantage of it).


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