Take Back the Tap with a Foldable Bottle

Vapur water bottles in orange

Last month, I reviewed the Vapur foldable water bottle, and while I thought it was a cool idea, I couldn’t really see myself using it all the time.

Consider my mind changed.

A Water Bottle You Can’t Forget

My husband and I traveled to Florida last week to see family. We flew into Fort Lauderdale to spend a few days with my folks, took the train to Orlando to see his, then flew home from there a few days later. I used my foldable bottle constantly!

A couple of years ago a friend got me one of those reusable grocery bags that folds up into its own tiny holder. You can stash it in your purse and always have a reusable bag with you. The Vapur bottle has definitely earned itself some real estate in my purse alongside that handy grocery tote.

Sure, many to go bottles hold more, but how often do you find yourself out and about and realize you forgot your bottle? I didn’t have to buy bottled water on the whole trip, aside from on the train where there was no potable tap water available to fill up.

Why Bother Ditching Bottled Water?

In the wake of discovering that so much tap water in the U.S. is contaminated with Hexavalent Chromium, isn’t bottled water best? Don’t forget that much of that bottled water is really just tap water. If our tap water isn’t clean, chances are neither is the bottled variety.

From the plastic in the bottle itself to the boxes and plastic wrapping used to transport it in trucks all across the country, bottled water adds up to a huge environmental cost. Once those plastic bottles are empty, many of them head to the landfill, where they will take thousands of years to break down.

Think it’s OK because you recycle that plastic bottle? Plastic recycling is better than sending that bottle directly to the landfill, but when we recycle plastic, it’s actually “downcycled” into an inferior product. After a few trips to the recycling center, the plastic’s quality becomes so low that it can’t be made into anything else. With plastic products, recycling is more like a pit stop on the way to the landfill.

On top of the environmental impacts, bottled water is not good for the people. Instead of investing in cleaning up our water supply, we’re relying on private corporations more and more for clean drinking water. Companies like Coke and Nestle buy up water rights here in the U.S. and overseas, privatizing one of our basic needs.

Even setting the social and environmental implications aside, bottled water can cost as much as 1000 times more than water from the tap. At between $1 and $3 a pop, I probably saved myself around $20 on my trip just by refilling my bottle from the fountain. Not too shabby.

Bringing your own bottle helps save you money while reducing your environmental impact. It’s a win all around! If you want to get serious, Food and Water Watch is asking folks to pledge to take back the tap!

Photo by Becky Striepe

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