Sunday, February 20, 2011

Some Thoughts On Water

I love to drink water. Occasionally in a restaurant I'll order lemonade, or make hot chocolate or tea for myself at home, but mostly I drink water. More specifically, I drink filtered water at room temperature. This has been the case ever since I weened myself off a very entrenched soda addiction during my high school years. In the 16 years since I kicked my soda addiction I've become a bit of a water connoisseur; mostly motivated by my desire to not taste the water I drink. I can tell the difference between tap, spring, soft, bottled, and a number of other differences.

For example, soft water has many benefits to pipes, soap usage and such but it is made soft by treating the water with salt and that means it doesn't taste good. I really can't handle the taste of salt and unfortunately a glass of room temperature soft water has enough salt to make it hard for me to drink. It's easy to hide this kind of fairly subtle flavors by simply drinking it very cold. Unfortunately, a cold glass of water tempers quickly and as soon as that process has begun the flavor begins to return. I'm the kind of person who has a glass of water by my side so I need water that has no flavor no matter how warm the room gets.

Tap water is alright but it does have a small hint of flavor, which is why I filter the tap water through a Pur water filter. I keep a pitcher full of it in the refrigerator for my husband or anyone else who might visit but I drink the water from the filtered pitcher that sits on the counter. Perfect, tasteless, room-temperature water. Just the way I like it.

Water is so vitally important to all aspects of life. Living in USA during modern times it is easy to take it for granted. There has never been a time when I haven't been able to shower, or flush a toilet, or wash my clothes, or pour a drink of water whenever I wanted. Water is easy to access in the corner of the world that I've grown up in. It is always clean and safe and seemingly infinite in supply. In my adult years I've become aware that water is not as infinite as it appears from where I sit. So many people around the world struggle daily to obtain safe drinking water. Not to mention the lack of water for crops and livestock. It's so hard to wrap my mind around these struggles because it is so very different from what I'm experiencing. I'm trying to do what I can to cut down on my water usage but it feels like it is no use for me to do so. I don't have to go far to see water being wasted on a massive scale. Is what I'm doing to conserve going to amount to anything more than a drop in the bucket when our culture is hell bent on excess in all it's forms?
As important as water is I feel strongly that the bottled water industry is a mostly a giant fraud. These huge corporations are mining water for free and selling it to people at ridiculous prices. The bottle themselves not only bleed toxins into the water they contain but once thrown away most of them end up in landfills or in bodies of water. A plastic bottle will never decompose - never. That's crazy. Think of all the bottles of water, heck even sodas and whatnot that are consumed every day. We will never be able to get rid of them. I'm not comfortable with this kind of price for convenience. Additionally many of these waters that are bottled come from a public water source, which is code for tap water. That right, instead of turning on the faucet and trapping some safe, clean, tested water is a reusable container to take with you when you go someplace we would rather buy a bottle of the same water at an incredibly high mark-up and throw it away when finished.

These industries have done an incredible marketing job. They have managed to convince the masses of people that bottled water is somehow more safe and pure than tap water. Plus it's so very convenient. There is nothing to wash or carry around any longer than you want. Just drink it on the go and toss the bottle after. I hate to admit there was a time when I bought into all this hype. I'll go downtown with my husband and after an hour or so walking around we are both crazy thirsty and end up buying a small 8oz bottle of water for $3. Can you imagine $3 for 8oz of water, that's 1 measured cup of water. But in the moment, we are both so thirsty and we need to drink so we pay. Bottles of water are so available everywhere that I simply stopped planning ahead to have enough water to drink when I'm out and about. But planning ahead and bringing water with is so easy. It doesn't take much time and it isn't difficult. I have a nice BPA free, reusable plastic container that I fill with water when I know I'll be out of the house for a while.

Sure the container costs more than a regular reusable plastic bottle but by making this investment in a safe container, which is paid by not buying just 4 disposable bottles of water, I'm providing myself a light and easy way to stay hydrated that will ultimately save me lots of money. I love to drink water.


  1. Water is so good for you, too. I'm lucky to have my own well water, and it is really good. The only time I splurge and buy bottled is when a hurricane is threatening to hit, or if we are at an aquarium or amusement park. I do always take a drink with me, but it doesn't always last until I get back home. I hate that the bottles are toxic, and that they don't break down. We have recycling bins all over town, so they can be melted down to make other things. It pisses me off that bottled water companies want to take OUR water, when we already have water restrictions as it is.

  2. My favorite thing about some bottled water is that it may be just filtered tap water so that generally means that someone's tax dollars are subsidizing the water treatment for some corporation's profitable export from their tax base. :( I have well water and filter mine too