Recently, I found myself wandering up and down the aisles of a local Whole Foods in search of something new to keep me on track with an overall wellness journey that I have been traveling. Having exhausted the obvious daily choices of raw fruits and vegetables, I was hoping to find something new. I almost took my cart passed the aisle with the bottled water until I spotted one that I had been seeing around the office and on the train over the past couple of months.
I’ve never been an obsessive water drinker. It’s a struggle to get the amount I need all day without constant reminders to myself. So when I spotted the particular black label I had been eyeing that read “Super Hydrating Water,” I threw it in my basket. The next day, I stared at the bottle confusingly as some of my coworkers walked back and forth to our typical office water cooler. Isn’t water just water? Why did I pay more than $2 for something that is, essentially, free?
In the United States, bottled water consumption is at an all-time high. In 2012, Americans spent $11.8 billion on bottled water, drinking an average of 140 liters per person. And there are so many to choose from! Flavored, nutrient-enhanced, electrolytes added, pH-altered, and filtration in every way imaginable.
Given that our bodies all need water the same way, do these products add health benefits, or are we buying into the hype? If you purchase your average annual consumption of water, you’d be looking at an expense of more than $1,000 a year, depending on the brand. And according to the U.S. Natural Resources Defense Council, much of the fancy bottled water that we drink actually comes from tap sources that you could be getting for free. Also, the plastic containers they come in are just as harmful to our health. Even with the potential financial and health expenses, what reasoning goes into the purchase of bottled water?
War On Tap: America’s Obsession With Bottled Water
It seems as if our personal choices are a direct representation of our identity. We can fear tap water or embrace it. We can drink certain waters for health benefits or not. As for me, I will take what I can get, but I am a sucker for a pretty bottle that’s BPA-free. That just might be my statement.
I encourage you to take a look at both sides and give us your take!