The old literary quote goes “water, water everywhere, nor any drop to drink.” It feels like that sometimes. There’s plenty of water in your house, coming out of faucets in the kitchen and bathrooms, but if you’re like most people, you seldom drink it, especially if it isn’t filtered.
Once a wonder of indoor plumbing, people in the United States now commonly shun tap water as not fit to drink (and in some places like Flint, Michigan, that is true). But tap water in most of the country remains a viable and inexpensive source of drinking water. And yet, millions continue to spend their money on bottled water.
We’re here to break the bad news: You’re wasting your money. You’re also consuming massive amounts of resources and contributing to a global litter problem filling our waterways, oceans, beaches and countrysides with massive amounts of bottle refuse.
With that in mind, here are five ways you can save money while also doing a solid for Mother Nature.
1. Kill your bottled water habit
You may have heard the story about how the bottler of Evian water intentionally named the product because it’s naive spelled backward – a nod to fooling consumers into buying a virtually free product at a premium.
Well, that story isn’t true. Evian is named after the town where the spring the water is extracted from is located, Evian-les-Bains. But if you’re buying bottled water, you’re part of a big, global problem, as we mentioned above. Yes, we’re judging you, and not secretly.
Bottled water is convenient, but it’s an unnecessary purchase unless you’re living through a natural or man-made disaster in which local water sources are contaminated. Sadly, though, many people have bought into the notion that bottled is better. U.S. bottled water consumption reached a record of 11.7 billion gallons in 2015, according to International Bottled Water Association, an industry group. That's about 36.5 gallons per person.
Instead of spending your hard-earned money on bottled water…
2. Buy in bulk
If you must have bottled, consider a water cooler and delivery service. If the quality of your household water is not up to snuff, this type of “bottled” water is less expensive over time and creates less waste as the large water containers are returned and recycled. Or you can...
3. Opt for a filter container...
According to banthebottle.net, one water pitcher filter can purify the equivalent of as many as 300 16.9-ounce bottles. You’ll not only save a lot of money, you’ll get great taste and less waste.
There are pitchers and spigot dispensers you can keep on your countertop or in the refrigerator, plus there are carry-along filtered water bottles you can take with you on the road or to the gym.
4. ...or buy a home filtration system
You can also filter your water before it comes out of the tap, saving you the time and effort of filling filter containers. It’s a little more expensive, but if your water quality is bad it can be worth it. Plus, you’re still likely to see a savings over buying individual water bottles.
5. Soften your hard water
Water in many parts of the country is full of minerals that can impact not only the flavor, but also the quality of the water. It can leave mineral deposits that can build up in your sinks and shower, make detergents and soaps less effective and can eventually fill your pipes with calcium and other mineral deposits.
If you live in an area where this is a problem, you may want to consider investing in a water softener or deionization system, which can offset the harmful effects of your water’s minerality and make it taste better in the process. It’s an upfront investment that can save you thousands in the long run.
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