I really resent paying money for bottled water and give myself a good ticking off on the rare occasion I’ve had to spend my hard earned bucks on the pre-bottled stuff. Those of us fortunate enough to live in the first world have access to clean, drinkable water and this alone should be enough to relegate the bottled stuff to the grudge purchase, which I for one deem it to be, yet still it sells.
The drinking water in our homes costs too of course, and the majority of us pay for it either through rates, taxes or some other indirect levy. Governments have over many years made significant investment in the infrastructure to capture this most basic of human necessities and bring it conveniently to our home so it is only fair that we pay for the reservoirs, dams and colossal networks of pipes that ensure clean, running water is brought to us.
We might feel a sense of surprise when we step outside our home, become thirsty and realise with some low-level intellectual amazement, that our domestic water tap, the source of all this wonderful H2O has not been magically transported with us. This is because we tend to take immediate access to water for granted and this is the opportunity that the pre-bottled water industry pounces upon.
It’s usually at this point, wallet in hand that we traipse off to the nearest retailer or perhaps undertake an expedition to locate a vending machine to procure some of the colorless, tasteless liquid that is essential to life. Having succeeded in this mission, we are usually around two dollars poorer and soon have an empty plastic bottle to dispose of. Of course, the bottle may be disposed of properly, but even so an empty plastic bottle really does just becomes society’s problem; according to the National Litter Index, over 168 million drink containers are littered in NSW alone. Clearly, not all disposed bottles contained water but a significant proportion would have, so that is still a shameful and unnecessary impact upon our environment.
The challenge then is to save our own money by boycotting the purchase of bottled water and in the process assist the environment in some small way by negating the need to add one more plastic bottle to the hundreds of millions which are already taking their toll.
Addressing this is a win-win and the solution is simple; simply invest in a high quality reusable water bottle or flask, something you are proud of perhaps because it was
acquired on some special trip or journey – mine was brought from Water Aid at the Glastonbury Festival a couple of years back. This will help you get in the habit of remembering to fill-up before you leave home and before you know it, you will have developed a habit and mindset that will last you a lifetime.