On Bottled Water

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I have a confession: I love my Brita. It’s not one of those fancy ones that attaches to your sink faucet or anything—it’s just a pitcher that filters my tap water…or so I thought.

The science behind it is actually a little more complicated than that. The activated carbon and ion-exchange resin remove impurities like chlorine, lead, copper, mercury, cadmium, and zinc that can reside in tap water, according to Brita’s website.

What most people don’t know is that drinking tap water can be a healthier and economically wiser choice than bottled. The production of mainstream plastic bottles (Aquafina, Dasani, Evian, Volvic, etc.) requires up to 47 million gallons of oil per year. The multinational journey that many of these products take more or less cancels out the petroleum that’s saved by the fraction of these that are recycled. National Geographic reported on the Earth Policy’s Institute’s 2006 study, revealing that bottled water costs more than gasoline per gallon. (More on water safety after the jump).

Water safety is an issue, too. Tap water is regulated by the Environmental Protection Agency and state and local governments; bottled water only has to answer to the Food and Drug Administration, whose regulations for water do not include prohibitions on E. coli or fecal coliforum bacteria.

Normally I cook using tap water, and don’t take issue with drinking it, either, thankful for the fluoride. But the Brita is my safety net; besides, I think the water tastes better! My roommate gives me a hard time about our lost fridge space and tells me how clean Boston municipal water is. I know, which is why I drink it, refilling the plastic water bottles I do occasionally buy for weeks at a time with my beloved Brita. Find yours here.

Like most of the women in my family, I crave cold water in the morning (for whatever reason) and drink until it hurts my teeth. Most mornings, there’s nothing like an ice-cold glass of water straight from my Brita. Now, a Brita and Milla Jovovich? Don’t tempt me…

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