Thinking outside the bottle
Once upon a time fountains of cool, refreshing, and safe drinking water were available everywhere in schools, offices, gyms, and department stores across the country. This once free and abundant resource has now been replaced by the creation of evil corporations in the form of bottled water.
I hate to break it to you but this glorified product is no more than a simple repackaging of your local tap water sold to you for a generous price (a litre of tap water costs more than a litre of gasoline). Popular brands such as Dasani and Aquafina have admitted that their water originates from public sources but they are not required to include this in their label. Bottled water is mistakenly conceived to be cleaner and safer to drink than tap water; however, municipal water sources are inspected on a daily basis whereas bottled water every once a week. And as Canadians, we are lucky to be enjoying 9% of the world’s renewable water resource, but if you are still concerned about the cleanliness of your tap water, you can always boil the water and put it through a purifier when it’s cooled.
Some other major criticism about bottled water is that they add plastic to landfills and use far too much energy in production. Did you know that it takes 3L of water to produce 1L of bottled water, and the total amount of energy required for every bottle is equal to filling a plastic bottle ¼ full with oil. Is this convenience worth the environmental impact? If you’re interested in learning more about the bottles water industry or about the importance of this resource I recommend checking out the documentary Tapped.
I know it all sounds pretty horrible, but don’t fret! If you’re concerned about this issue there’s something that you can do right here on campus. In the past year, a group of UBC students, faculty, and staff came together in creating Tap That – a campaign of water alternatives – you can sign their petition here for a bottled water free UBC!