Thursday, 11 March 2010 06:05

Why You Need to Stop Drinking Water Immediately

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Pictures from the Santa Monica College screening of Tapped

The water you're drinking right now probably contains chemicals linked to cancer...assuming you're drinking out of a plastic bottle or container - yes, even the one that says it's "BPA free" or "50% less plastic". So why does the label say it's "safe" and "pure"? Marketing. Truth be told, that bottle of water could be worse than what comes out of your tap, as the plastic has most likely leached something dangerous into it. I'm sure you're skeptical, because you've been conditioned to believe bottled water is better for you, but if you have even a doubt in your mind isn't it worth reading further?

Last night I saw the documentary Tapped (from the producers of Who Killed The Electric Car), and it was incredibly disturbing - if only you could have seen the look on my face while watching it. I found it interesting timing, because I've recently been struggling with a water issue at home. My Brita faucet filter broke a few months ago and I have been meaning to replace it, but wanted to do some research on other products first - this has proved to be quite time consuming. So out of laziness and frugalness (good filters can be expensive), I've been drinking from the tap. Every-time I turned on the faucet I felt like I was about to ingest a cup of chemicals, but I wondered if tap water is really all that bad. Turns out, in most cases, it isn't. In fact, I found out tonight that Los Angeles has been voted as one of the cities with the best tap water (though this page on EWG makes me question that)

Since this post is long enough already, here are some bullet points from Tapped:
Bottled water:
    • 80 million bottles of water are consumed a day in the United States, and Americans buy 29 billions of it a year.
    • costs 1,900 times more than tapped water
    • controlled by corporations, so their priority is making a profit, not health. It is a 11.5 million dollar business (as of 2007)
    • became a booming business in the 70's after Perrier became popular in social situations as an alternative to drinking alcohol during the day. Soda's market value was dropping and cola companies needed to do something, so they started selling water
    • often marketed as a way to become beautiful, healthier, and thinner
    • commonly labeled as "pure" and "safe, even thought 40% of it is just tap water (though many companies fool consumers by putting images of mountain tops on the packaging)
    • numerous harmful chemicals have been found in bottled water (including plastic water dispensers), such as benzene and BPA, which are linked to major health problems such as cancer. Bacteria and pharmaceuticals are also common in bottled water
    • plastic is made in petrochemical plants, i.e. petroleum from oil
    • tap water is regulated by health departments, but bottled water is not. The FDA has no control over most bottled water, especially if it is produced and consumed in the same state. Companies that bottle water do not have to submit reports to FDA, or to the public. In major cities, tap water is tested 300-400 times a month

  • Only 20% of plastic bottles are recycled in the USA, mainly because there are not enough collection facilities across the country. Only half of the country has curbside recycling (blue bins).
  • Only 11 out of the 50 states have bottle bills (beverage container deposit, returned if you recycle) and only 6 of them have bills on bottle water. In the states that have the deposits, 70-97% of products are returned.
  • Most plastic bottles end up in landfills, incinerators, or the ocean. The "beaches of the future" will be comprised of small pieces of plastic instead of rocks and sand.
  • If you don't know about the Plastic Soup/Garbage Patch in our oceans, please look it up - here's a good place to start
Memorable quotes from the movie and Q&A:
  • “Earth provides enough to satisfy every man's need, but not every man's greed” - Mahatma Gandhi
  • "When in doubt, cut it out"
  • "Bottled water is the greatest advertising and marketing trick of all time"
  • "This government isn't doing anything, this government is for sale, so every-thing's ready to be auctioned off including the public's right to water"
  • People look like "big toddlers" when they drink bottled water
  • "There is no such thing as extra water" (referring to the corporations who are stealing it from small towns)
  • "This is a battle that I know if I start I will loose" (referring to fighting against big corporations to stop harmful production of plastic in Corpus Christi)
  • "Evian is just 'naive' spelled backwards"
What can you do?
  • Write a letter to the government expressing your outrage - if enough of us raise our voices they may even watch Tapped!
  • Reduce the amount of plastic you use altogether (not just bottled water)
  • Attach a filter to your tap - Multi-Pure was recommend by Stephanie Soechtig (the director)
  • Do a test of your tap water to see how clean it is - home kits can be purchased
  • Visit the Water Quality Association to learn more about the quality of your water at home
  • Visit the Tapped website to learn how to take action - it also has some bonus clips if you've already seen the movie
  • Educate yourself about everything that you purchase, then vote with your dollar. Every time you buy something you are telling the company behind it that you approve of it, and therefore they will keep making more
  • Remind yourself that you are lucky to have access to clean water, so use it wisely and conserve your use of it as much as you can.
When the movie was over I wondered how many people in the audience would continue drinking bottled water - it's a hard habit to give up, but there are very few circumstances in which I would do it again. In fact, when I got home I gathered my plastic reusable bottles and food storage containers and put them in the recycling bin - I'll replace them with stainless steel and glass. Then I looked around and realized I have a long way to go before I'm plastic free - all my body care products are in plastic too.
Needless to say, I think this movie is important for everyone to see ASAP. It will be available on DVD and iTunes starting on April 3rd. Please support this film - they are having a hard time getting distribution and media spots since so many companies are sponsored by Pepsi and Coke (the "bad guys" in the movie).

The more documentaries I see the more I realize that we're in major trouble - every one of them is waving a red flag. Each of these movies are telling us to break out of the brainwashing that has been done by major corporations. But instead of feeling depressed, I feel compelled to do something about it and to encourage others to do so. Please don't turn a blind eye, don't blow it off as a conspiracy, don't take a back seat and hope for the best, don't slip into the false peace of ignorance, and don't give the government the benefit of the doubt when so many sources are calling their bluff. Worse case you could be wrong, best case you could save your life and those around you.
Read 6106 times Last modified on Tuesday, 15 May 2012 20:24