Oh, goody, one of my favourite debates! Although I made up my mind a long time ago to drink filtered water rather than bottled water, today’s guest blogger brings the subject up again. Read Felicia Baratz’s very logical synopsis, covering cost-effectiveness and environmental concerns.
Clean water is a highly valued commodity to many people. For proof, just look at the market created by the desire for reliably clean water: Even though water treatment facilities put every drop of water through a thorough cleansing process before recycling it and distributing it for public consumption, many citizens have chosen to take extra precautions by purchasing at-home water filtration devices or even electing to purchase bottled water.
And there’s plenty reason to be cautious. Even though water treatment plants clean up water, the process of delivering clean water from the plant into your home can introduce a variety of contaminants into so-called “pure” water. Additionally, contamination at the water treatment plant is always a possibility.
An in-home filter can be a great way to add a second layer of protection and clean your water of the contaminants that may have been picked up on the way to your tap, although many consumers simply opt to purchase bottled water and sidestep tap water entirely.
But if you’re budget-conscious as well as health-minded, you may be interested in knowing whether filters or bottled water are more effective at providing you with safe drinking water. To answer that question, let’s take a look at how the numbers break down.
For a family of four, the typical recommended daily water intake is about two gallons. That means, on average, each person in your home should consume about 5.3 plastic bottles of water every day. At forty cents per bottle, that amounts to more than two dollars per person per day, or eight dollars every day. In other words, a family of four drinking only bottled water should expect to spend more than $3,100 every year on drinking water alone.
Compare that with the cost of filtering tap water, which generally costs about $120 to filter water for an entire year. Even given the cost of tap water itself, the cost of drinking filtered tap water can amount to as little as $235 every year — a significant savings over bottled water, which offers the same quality at a much higher price.
The environmental cost
When it comes to buying bottled water, there’s also the cost to the environment to consider. Because plastic is not biodegradable, plastic waste can have a very detrimental effect on the environment. With a family of four projected to consume more than 7,700 bottles of water in a given year, the environmental impact can be enormous — even if you choose to recycle those plastic bottles.
Filters, meanwhile, produce only the nominal waste of a used filter. While producing the same amount of water, filters offer far less waste and pose a much reduced risk to the environment than bottled water.
Bottled water may not seem like an exorbitant expense when a case of 24 can be purchased for as little as $6, but when you do the math and realize the consumption taking place, the costs can add up quickly. Using filters can free up more of your pantry space and have a much smaller impact on the environment. And, of course, you’ll end up saving thousands of dollars every year.
About the Author
Felicia Baratz is a writer living in the Indianapolis area. As a writer for doseofmyown.com, she specializes in articles about health and nutrition.
What are your thoughts on filtered water vs. bottled water? What is your choice and what’s your reasoning?