In Western countries, health and safety standards are typically lower for bottled water than for ordinary tap water. Many claims are made about the healing powers of mineral waters, but the World Health Organisation has found no scientific evidence for any of them – and, despite the marketing images, bottled water can come from very mundane and sometimes industrially contaminated places.
- Buying bottled water means buying packaging!
- It also means transporting heavy liquid by road, using far more energy than is needed to supply drinking water through the mains supply.
- The simplest green approach to fluid on the hoof is to carry an empty bottle and refill it from the tap. The inspirational GiveMeTap aims to make clean water easily accessible to every human in the world by creating a network of cafes and shops where you can get free tap water refills, and using 70% of profits to others in need by funding water projects in Africa.
- Have a safe reusable bottle such as one made from stainless steel.
- The most certain way to take control of your own water supply is to buy a water filter. Natural Collection is one of many places that supplies water filter jugs (basic and relatively cheap), water filter taps (convenient, but a bit of an investment), and even a water filter bottle for refilling when you’re out and about.
- Water filter elements need replacing regularly if they are to work well. The Natural Collection‘s version uses only a fabric sachet, rather than a plastic cartridge.
- Filter cartridges for Brita water jugs can be returned to the manufacturer for recycling via most Argos, Robert Dyas and Homebase stores where boxes are provided for the collection of used cartridges. Currently the cartridges have to be transported all the way to Germany for recycling, but it’s a start…
- Water companies add fluoride to the mains supply in some parts of the UK. Fluoride is banned in some European countries for the damage it does to human health, but groups such as the British Dental Association wish to see its use expanded in Britain. See the National Pure Water Association for arguments against water fluoridation.