Stop buying bottled water. What to do instead.

August 2019—The cases of plastic water bottles, wrapped in even more plastic, give me the creeps. It’s marketing that is telling you to buy it. And boy have we been buying!

The International Bottled Water Association, a trade group representing bottlers and distributors of packaged water, reports that the industry produced nearly 13 billion gallons of bottled water in 2016, "an increase of nearly 9%" over 2015 figures, the most recent data available. Bottled water is now the largest beverage category by volume in the U.S., the group reports, with wholesales nearing $16 billion in 2016.

It’s far more expensive and the water isn’t tested (like tap water is.) It has a use-by date so may not be safe to drink afterward. The plastics and the transportation are an environmental nightmare. Just stop. Unless you’re traveling to places with unsafe drinking water, want to store some for emergencies or have immune issues, you don’t need it.

Tasha Stoiber, senior scientist with the Environmental Working Group, says, "We don't recommend using bottled water unless it's in the case of an emergency or something has gone very wrong, like in the case of Flint, Michigan, where there's no safe water for anyone to drink."

What can you do instead? This article includes advice about water filters and also explains how to make your own energy drinks.