Why We’re Being Stupid If We Still Buy Bottled Water

by Clare Gallagher

Did you know that buying bottled water is roughly the equivalent of spending a thousand bucks on a gallon of milk that would normally cost $2.99? Bottled water costs 300 to 2000 times more than tap water.

Buying a pack of bottled water is like spending $15,000 on a round of drinks. Please ponder that figure for another few seconds.

So why do we still keep buying bottled water? A number of reasons.

Here are five myths we tell ourselves to rationalize buying bottled water -- debunked:

1. We think bottled water is safer to drink.

Think again.

There have been recent and frequent bottled water contaminations. Fourteen brands of bottled water were recalled a few weeks ago due to possible E. coli contamination. Such contaminations are likely because bottled water is subject to fewer filtering laws than tap water.

Yes. You heard me.

TAP WATER quality is more strictly regulated and consistently enforced than bottled water quality. And this has been the case for decades.

Yet we Millennials who still buy bottled water are blindly following a trend.

2. We don’t like the taste of tap water.

Buy a filter. It will still save you money.

3. We don’t care about the environment.

If we buy bottled water, we might as well tattoo "F*CK THE EARTH" on our foreheads.

This is possibly the most important reason not to buy bottled water.

It contributes to an unsustainable amount of waste in our global ecosystem. There are numerous consequences of plastic waste for both terrestrial and marine environments.

Recycling cannot solve this problem, but not buying bottled water can.

This isn't something we don’t already know. Buying bottled water is wasteful.

4. We are stupid.

As active, smart and responsible people, there is really no good reason to justify buying bottled water when we have access to drinkable tap water and affordable reusable water bottles.

Granted, some of us live in developing countries where bottled water is the only safe option. When I lived in rural Thailand this past year, I cringed every time I had to purchase a bottle at my local 7-Eleven, but what choice did I have?

I recycled the bottles diligently -- even though it wasn’t convenient -- and tried not to think of all of my peers back home who have access to clean tap water yet still buy bottled water.

5. We are ignorant and lazy.

I surmise that those who still buy bottled water must be embarrassingly narrow-minded or lazy.

We can change that.

We are capable of acting like the generation we claim to be. We must hold each other accountable.

It’s not cool to have plastic bottles piled up in our kitchens. It’s not cool to constantly pass up on buying a reusable water bottle because we’re too stingy.

We’re clearly not doing the math and not realizing that all of those “one-time purchases” of overpriced bottled waters are way more expensive than the actual one-time purchase of a reusable water bottle.

It’s not cool to ignore environmental stewardship and waste reduction.

We love to vacation in the tropics. Yet we forget that what we think of as pristine beaches are incredibly vulnerable to devastation from plastic waste.

While chugging away in our everyday lives, we cannot forget that those “ideal vacation spots” won’t stay immaculate forever if we continue to do things like buy bottled water.

We cannot forget those bottles travel to places other than the corner trash bin.

We don’t have to make conservation or climate change mitigation our careers. But we do owe it to each other, to our kids and to our grandkids, to be smart and responsible people.

This means not wasting money on bottled water and not ignoring environmental issues. We are better than that.

That is apathy. That is laziness. That is irresponsible. That is embarrassing.

And frankly, it’s just plain stupid.