Photo by: Jacek Dylag from unsplash.com
There was once a time when we actually drank the water that flowed from our tap. This all changed when a thin, clear type of plastic known as PET (Polyethylene Terephthalate) was found to be a convenient and VERY cheap vessel for holding water. Clever marketing soon followed and before long people were buying up this “new product”. That was around the late 1980’s.
According to The Water Project, https://thewaterproject.org Americans now spend $100.00 or MORE per year on bottled water for EACH person in the family!! This depends of course on whether you grab the off - brand case of water for $2.99 or the fancy stuff (the “artesian” water) at the steep price of $20.00 or more per case. On the other hand…. unlimited refills of tap water could be enjoyed for the price of the monthly water bill.
Based on Brita research, Americans throw away 35 BILLION plastic water bottles every year! A few (about 9%) are recycled but the rest end up in landfills OR make their way to the rivers and eventually to the ocean.
Switching back to tap water seems logical. If the expense of bottled water just went away, how much money would YOUR family save? Take the Tap Water Challenge for ONE week to find out.
What is the Tap Water Challenge?
It goes like this: Simply give up ALL bottled water for one whole week. Instead…. hydrate with water straight from the tap.
Chill it down by keeping a pitcher of water in the fridge.
Dress it up by floating a few mint leaves in the glass.
Make it fun for kids by serving it in a cartoon - themed cup.
Dress it up for dinner by adding frozen fresh strawberries instead of ice cubes.
Go European by placing a fancy carafe of cold water on the table.
Use a cinnamon stick for a straw.
“But what if I just don’t trust that tap water is safe”?
To be certain…there are definitely times when bottled water saves lives. After natural disasters for example, bottled water is desperately needed by the Red Cross. When private wells or local water sources are deemed to be temporarily unsafe for various reasons, families of course rely on bottled water.
For questions or concerns regarding the safety of the local public water source throughout North Carolina, contact the Division of Water Resources at: 877-623-6748.
Questions regarding the safety of the water from private wells, must be directed to the local county health department.
Written by: Jenny Favret, MS, RD, LDN
Nutritionist, Duke Pediatrics Healthy Lifestyles Program