Bottled or Tap: You Decide

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Remember tap water, that nearly free thing that comes out of the faucet that we have decided to only use to clean our dishes, shower, and flush the toilet?

Of course, who would ever drink tap water when you could just drink bottled water: safe, cheap, and convenient?

Lately, more people are questioning whether or not bottled water is actually better than tap water. Here are the facts; but, the decision is yours:

Safety: According to the Natural Resources Defense Council (NRDC), which has also conducted extensive tests on municipal water supplies as well as bottled water, says: “In the short term, if you are an adult with no special health conditions, and you are not pregnant, then you can drink most cities’ tap water without having to worry.” Tap water is regulated dozens of times daily by huge facilities in every state. You can find the quality of your tap water online. Bottled water, on the other hand, is not required to submit any quality reports.

Cost: Brands like Aquafina or Dasani are sold for at least $1 a bottle… even though they are essentially just bottled tap water… tap water, which you can get for nearly free. Why pay more for the same stuff? Beats me! 

Waste: It takes three bottles of water and one bottle of gasoline to produce one bottle of water. For tap water, this impact is nearly zero. Additionally, 4 of 5 bottles of water never make it to the recycling stream, but rather contaminate our water systems or landfills.

Convenience: Is bottled water really more convenient than tap water? Well, when you think about it, you have to actually go to a grocery store to buy tap water and then bring it back with you. However, most places have a tap, or at least a water fountain, where you can easily obtain tap water. You can also fill up your reusable water bottles with tap water to go! Water bottles also come in all sorts of shapes and sizes!

Max Chen is a senior majoring in Business at The George Washington University.

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