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Not too long ago, everyone drank tap water in Miami and other U.S. cities. Drinking bottled water wasn’t even in the minds of most people until the 1990s when it became in fashion to drink what was considered to be better water in plastic bottles than what was coming out of the faucets in many American homes. By the 2000s, bottled water became the convenient way to carry water with you wherever you went and even today, bottled water is a huge business. But studies show tap water is actually better for you. Here’s why.
Drinking water in any form is good for you because your body needs a certain amount of water for optimal function. If you get dehydrated, you can experience headaches, dizziness, fatigue, dry mouth, confusion, and more. But tap water has added vitamins and minerals that keep you healthier than you would be without it. For example, fluoride is added to most community water sources to prevent tooth decay. You’re not getting any fluoride from bottled water.
The plastic bottles themselves could be a health hazard. Most of them are made from polyethylene terephthalate (PET), which contains additives from the plastic synthesis process. These additives, or chemicals, can leach into the water, particularly if you leave a bottle in the sun or it is otherwise degraded. Copious amounts of these chemicals can lead to endocrine and reproductive dysregulation, endometriosis, and even infertility.
Of course, plastic bottles are harmful to the environment as well as to your body. Approximately one million bottles of water are purchased every minute across the globe and only about 9% of those bottles are recycled. Where does all that plastic go? In the oceans, rivers, lakes, and landfills, where it will sit for up to 450 years. And while we’re waiting for these bottles to eventually decompose (none of us will be around when the current bottles are gone), they’re leaching those chemicals into the environment.
Moreover, plastic bottles are dangerous to marine animals who don’t know the difference between them and food. When they swallow these plastic bottles, they can’t digest them and eventually, they will become sick or even die from the plastic in their system. In fact, plastic bottles kill more than 1.1 million marine creatures each year, causing major disruption to the ocean ecosystem.
By drinking tap water instead of bottled water, you’ll not only be healthier in your body and be contributing to a healthier environment, but you’ll also be healthier in the wallet as well. Americans spend up to $16 million on bottled water every year. This breaks down to approximately $0.64 per gallon. Incredibly, tap water is 3000% less expensive than bottled water, coming in at $0.02 per gallon. Imagine what you could do with all those savings!
Given that tap water is generally safe to drink in the United States (if you’re really concerned, get a tap water filter), we should be drinking more of it instead of bottled water. There are so many benefits to tap water that you can’t get in bottled water that it shouldn’t be a difficult choice to make.