The Student Gazette -
Student Gazette

Bottled water is an expensive, wasteful habit
Friday, May 14, 2010

Lauren Hardman is a seventh-grader at Academy of Holy Names

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Did you know that if you took all of the water bottles purchased in New York, they would reach the moon? Bottled water has become one of the most popular beverage choices in America. Bottled water is a waste of plastic, money and energy.

Water bottles are an insane waste of plastic. In 1997, American purchased 3 billion bottles of water. Today, we have purchased over 31 billion bottles. According to the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation, about 30 million bottles end up as trash every day. At this rate, nearly 2 billion bottles are wasted. As well as hurting the environment, plastic bottles are bad for everyone’s wallet.

Bottled water costs about $10 per gallon, which is more expensive than gasoline! Many people don’t know that perfectly drinkable tap water costs under a penny per gallon. According to DEC, local governments spend over $40 billion on pristine drinking water for the public. Water from the tap is the clear alternative, because it creates less pollution, costs much less, and uses fewer natural resources and energy.

One of the major problems America is facing today is the energy crisis. Water bottles aren’t helping. In fact, in 2005, nearly 18 million barrels of oil were used to make water bottles. Manufacturing these bottles produced hundreds of thousands of metric tons of greenhouse gas emissions. If all bottles in New York were recycled, those emissions would be reduced by nearly 65,000 metric tons.

So, if water bottles seem so awful, why have they become America’s most popular drink? The answer is people think drinking “naturally purified, distilled spring water” is safer and better for them. Actually, if a water bottle is used several times, the chemicals in the plastic can be potentially harmful to your body.

Although the situation with water bottles seems pretty desperate, there are ways you can help. You can recycle water bottles you find, and you can use reusable, BPA-free bottles. Also, drink water from the tap. It is much less expensive. Even getting a filter can save you hundreds in the long run.

So, even though plastic water bottles might be easier and more convenient, they aren’t so easy on the environment. They aren’t easy of your budget either. Drinking water from the tap is the better way to go.

BPA stands for BisPhenol-A, a potentially harmful chemical commonly found in plastic.

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