Today is Bottled Water-Free Day – a time to discuss the destructive environmental and political effects of bottled water.
Today is Bottled Water-Free Day—a time to discuss the environmental, social, and political ramifications of bottled water, and encourage everyone to ditch single-use plastic bottles!
Bottled water: a political issue
Most of us are aware that bottled water places a heavy burden on the environment, and it’s a no-brainer that they can add up in cost, when tap water is free.
But it’s more than just bottled water’s environmental footprint of single-use plastic that organizations have called into question. According to Bottled Water-Free Day’s website, other problematic issues surrounding bottled water include
- the safety of bottled water
- the weak bottled water industry regulatory standards and practices
- the growing corporate control of water
- the use of misleading bottled water marketing schemes
- the heavy social and ecological toll of for-profit water around the world
Clearly, bottled water is very political topic, involving heated questions such as “Is water a commodity, or a human right?”, “Who should own water—communities or corporations?”, and “Should water ever be for sale?”
How to celebrate Bottled Water-Free Day
- If you haven’t already, decide to give up bottled water, and choose a reusable water bottle (see below).
- Tell your school, workplace, or community to ban the sale of bottled water, and supply water fountains or stations where students can fill up their own water bottles. According to Bottled Water-Free Day’s website “there are over 81 municipalities, 7 school boards and 21 campuses that have committed to ending the privitisation of water and phasing out the provision and sale of bottled water in their sectors.”
- Check out Bottled Water-Free Day’s website for more information.
Choosing a reusable water bottle
One of the easiest things you can do for the environment (and to address the other issues mentioned above) is to invest in a reusable water bottle and fill it up with good-old tap water. Take it to school, work, the gym, on a hike …
Just a few short years ago, many reusable plastic water bottles were found to contain bisphenol A (BPA)—a chemical deemed “toxic” by Health Canada—but these days, many have “BPA free” labels. Choose number 2, 4, or 5 plastic, as these are said to be the least toxic options.
If you opt for metal, be wary that some have epoxy liners that may actually contain BPA. Food grade stainless steel is made without a liner, so it’s an excellent option. Glass or ceramic containers are also good nontoxic options.