Tap Congress to Get Off the Bottle

A not for profit, Corporate Accountability International, recently released a report with a startling revelation:

members of Congress over the course of a year spent nearly one million dollars on bottled water.

That works out to about $2000 per member of congress, just on bottled water.

According to the group, there is a strong corporate push, led by Nestle, to “turn water from a human right into a profit-driven commodity”. While we doubt anyone at Nestle is actively ploying this, the trend of increased bottled water consumption in the US is certainly of concern.

Corporate Accountability is asking the public to petition Congressional representatives to get off the bottle and to invest  in public water infrastructure.

What you need to know:

On the bright side, at least our lawmakers aren’t drinking soda pop all day (or are they?). But seriously, if you would have told the average American 50 years ago she or he should be buying water in a bottle they’d have thought you are crazy.

What happened? Billions of $$$ in advertising budgets to convince us that bottled water is a normal way to consume H two O. Here is a quote from a Susan Wellington, former vice president of marketing at PepsiCo:

When we are done, tap water will be relegated to showers and washing dishes

But consider this:

  • Bottled water costs over 1000 times more than tap water per fluid ounce.
  • Bottled water uses over 2000 times more energy to produce and deliver.
  • The purity of tap water is far more regulated than that of bottled water.
  • Most bottled water sold today is simply tap water that has been filtered and then bottled.

So why are you still drinking bottled water?

What to do at the supermarket:

Just skip the beverage aisles in the supermarket. By avoiding the drinks section, you’ll be “forced” to drink tap at home. While we recognize the utility and convenience of opening a bottle of water when on the go, or in the car, try a reusable container, not single use plastic bottles.

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  • October13

    I live in Los Angeles CA and tap water here contains more chemichals than bottle water.

    http://www.freedrinkingwater.com/water-pollution-tap-water-unsafe-ca.htm

    • http://www.fooducate.com/blog Fooducate

      The website you are linking to is sponsored by a home water filtering company. They have a vested interest to scare you into buying their filters. Keep that in mind.

      • October13

        Thank you Fooducate, I will keep that in mind. By the way I love you guys!

  • NormaIrisVidal

    That is an outrageous amt of money, I thought they used tap in d pitchers.

  • Mysofteyes

    Buy a water filter, such as MultiPure. A much better and sound investment!

  • Mysofteyes

    Bye the way… My parents had a water filter in their home in Los Angeles and the water tasted delicious. Consider the source of LA water! They had a Multi-Pure under the sink solid carbon block filter. (I am not trying to sell Multi-Pure… just know it is a good one. I have one in my home in Central California as well.)

  • http://www.madmoneyaffiliates.com Fistuk

    Thanks for the post. I’ve been trying to decide between bottled and tap water. Which is the lesser of 2 evils? Here you spoke about the evils of tap water. And I agree when it comes to purified or drinking water. But what about spring water – is that the same BS?
    Tap water, even when filtered, contains a myriad of chemical toxins, including chlorine and fluoride. Not to mention other toxic pollutants. The water here in my area in Georgia is so heavily infested with chlorine that I come out of the shower smelling like a swimming pool!
    So, all things considered, which is worse?

    • Mysofteyes

      Check out the Multi-pure… again I am not selling this to you! It will get out the chlorine-fluoride and much more. I have seen tests done on this filter where it even gets out particles of radiation. You might be pleasantly surprised. Whatever filter you use, it seems an important thing for you to do. Also, Colligan sells a carbon filter that you can put on your shower head. I have one of those, too! :)
      And some companies, including Multi-pure now have whole house systems. My daughter had a filter on her bathroom faucet as well. I may be a Britta or Colligan. I am not sure. Orchard Supply sells several different water filters.
      Here’s a toast to clean water ~ however we get it! All the best…..

    • Cheezy79

      I regulate water supplies for a government. It shouldn’t be that strong of chlorine smell. Complain to your provider or local regulators. They can check cl2 levels. Chlorine is a necessary evils given what is typically in your water before it’s treated (especially surface water) but too much is a scary thing. A simply Brita style carbon filter will help, just remember to change the filter regularly or you may end up with a bacteria problem.

      • Anonymous

        Thanks for the suggestion. I emailed someone from my city (hopefully the correct person). I hope he will care enough to correct this!

  • Jason

    I think it’s easy to sit on a high horse and say, “just buy a carbon filter and drink tap water.” Do advocates honestly prescribe to this 24-7?

    There are hundreds and thousands of things in tap water that aren’t even measured, and RO systems aren’t practical for most people. Carbons filters also have no or little effect on removing things like chromium-6, arsenic, bacteria and viruses, sulfides, nitrates, fluoride, heavy metals, and synthetic organic chemicals. Clean water is about much more than simply “taste”.

    On the other hand, though bottled water is anywhere near as regulated as tap water, they use MUCH more sophisticated methods of producing clean water. Not saying bottled water is perfect, but for example,

    https://www.nestle-watersna.com/pdf/NPL_BWQR.pdf

    When tap water gets this sophisticated with their filtration (or even close), I will be all on board. Plastic can be recycled and transportation can be improved in the delivery of clean water to the masses. I’m just not that sanguine when it comes to municipal water getting cleaned up.

    I’d put any bottled that water that uses both RO and carbon filtration up against any tap water any day of the week in an exhaustive analysis. I don’t even think it would be close in terms of overall cleanliness.

    • http://www.fooducate.com/blog Fooducate

      Your link is to Nestle’s website. They make lots of $$$ from selling bottled water. Do you think they are an unbiased source of information?

  • Jason

    I think it’s easy to sit on a high horse and say, “just buy a carbon filter and drink tap water.” Do advocates honestly prescribe to this 24-7?

    There are hundreds and thousands of things in tap water that aren’t even measured, and RO systems aren’t practical for most people. Carbons filters also have no or little effect on removing things like chromium-6, arsenic, bacteria and viruses, sulfides, nitrates, fluoride, heavy metals, and synthetic organic chemicals. Clean water is about much more than simply “taste”.

    On the other hand, though bottled water is anywhere near as regulated as tap water, they use MUCH more sophisticated methods of producing clean water. Not saying bottled water is perfect, but for example,

    https://www.nestle-watersna.com/pdf/NPL_BWQR.pdf

    When tap water gets this sophisticated with their filtration (or even close), I will be all on board. Plastic can be recycled and transportation can be improved in the delivery of clean water to the masses. I’m just not that sanguine when it comes to municipal water getting cleaned up.

    I’d put any bottled that water that uses both RO and carbon filtration up against any tap water any day of the week in an exhaustive analysis. I don’t even think it would be close in terms of overall cleanliness.

  • Nancy – The Frugal dietitian

    I like the comment about 50 years ago…my dad as a part-time job delivered spring water. You had to have the “cooler” too – bulk is cheaper – selling in 12-24 oz. bottles would have seemed very ridiculous. It would have been considered a “scam”. But then we only had 6-8 oz. glass bottle of soda then too!! That was a special treat too.

  • Lauren

    Does anyone else ever feel totally defeated and helpless when reading about the chemicals in water? Like, “I’m not drinking soda. I’m not drinking fruit juices. I’m not drinking sports drinks. And now you’re saying my water is bad for me, too? What the eff am I supposed to do NOW?” So frustrating.

    • guest

      Get a filter.

  • Bokumad12

    Buy a PUR water filter!!!!!! They are great! Just attach it to your kitchen faucet.

  • J in VA

    Another great filter choice is the Berkey. They are portable, the filters last for years and you can buy an optional (shorter use) fluoride filter. The water is great!

    I own one but do not sell them.

    J in VA

  • http://www.foodieformerlyfat.com Foodie, Formerly Fat

    I have a great thermos bottle that I bought at Target and I carry around my own water. My daughter and son also have thermoses of their own that we fill at home and take with us.

    I also encourage my kids to use public water fountains, which skeeves some of my companions out sometimes, but I think it’s pretty essential to teach my kids that this is what water fountains are for!

  • MealPlanMom (Brenda)

    Such an interesting debate! I personally don’t mind the taste of our tap water and have used water filters (the kind that goes into a pitcher) but find it to be a hassle and not really worth it. But just last night our local news had a story on AGAIN about the radiation in our water (it’s like the third time I’ve seen a related story in a few months). Now, I’m not sure if they’re speaking regionally but I can bet that’s going to scare a lot of people into going back to the bottled water–or keeping them drinking it. Even though it may be that the bottled water is from the same source of the supposed radiated water but most people don’t put two and two together! My husband has an RO system for his saltwater aquarium. Perhaps I should start having him bottle up our water from that.