World Water Day — A No Bottled Water Challenge

by Katy on March 22, 2010 · 28 comments

Today, March 22nd is recognized as World Water Day, whose goal is “Clean Water for a Healthy World.” Sound simple? Well it’s not. If you live in a community where you have access to clean water at the turn of the tap, then you are lucky.

And if you do have access to clean potable water, then why are you buying bottled water?

Bottled water is not only packaged in single use plastic, but comes from far locales that then require transportation and is less safe than municipal water which have required safety checks.

Not to mention that bottled water transforms the perfect beverage from pennies per gallon to dollars per gallon, which is simply poor financial planning in my book. (Coin Girl does not approve!)

The University of Portland just became the first West coast college to publicly ban sales of bottled water on its campus, sating that they

“Feel strongly that access to water is a basic human right and shouldn’t be privatized or sold in single-use plastic bottles with present and looming water shortages.”

I just now came back from seeing Annie Leonard talk about her The Story of Stuff book, (which was fantastic) and she just today premiered her new video, which is called:

The Story of Bottled Water

Not convinced yet? Well perhaps a little something called A Love Letter to Tap Water might seal the deal.

If you are committed to bringing your own tap water when you’re out and about or even *shocker* using drinking fountains when you’re thirsty, then add your name to comments section below.

Katy Wolk-Stanley

“Use it up, wear it out, make it do or do without.”

{ 28 comments… read them below or add one }

Gypsy March 22, 2010 at 11:05 pm

I recently bought a SIGG bottle so that I can no longer have any excuse to buy bottled water, even though I was buying a locally sourced one. I have a water filter on my tap at home and at work, which makes the water taste awesome. My goal is to buy not one bottle this year … but I need to get DH on the same page. Its a really awful habit.


Jane March 23, 2010 at 1:05 am

I’ve just talked about this on my blog, too. It’s such crazy marketing, and such insane waster.
I would love one of those fancy stainless steel bottles, but for now I’m reusing plastic drink bottles. I never buy water, but I always have some with me.


WilliamB March 23, 2010 at 1:57 am

It’s better than buying bottled soda. It’s a lot better than buying bottled soda. Other than that, it’s not very smart.

My jurisdiction is notorious for unsafe water. Once a decade something deadly happens: giardia and/or crypto in the supply; discovery that the cleaning agent used causes the coating on the very old lead pipes to come off, distributing lead into the water; a bad storm overwhelming the sewer system and possibly contaminating the water.

I still use tap water. I use the filter pitcher when I can but if not, tap is still fine with me.


Kristen@TheFrugalGirl March 23, 2010 at 2:19 am

I never, never, never, NEVER buy bottled water. Ever. It seems like such an enormous waste of money to me. We all own Klean Kanteens, and we drink tap water in those.


Valerie Heck March 23, 2010 at 2:31 am

I have a metal water bottle I use, I don’t understand how much money people spend on water! It’s crazy to me.


Laura March 23, 2010 at 3:43 am

As a student, I opt for flexibility.

When I work as a substitute teacher, I bring bottled water. No way I’m drinking out of school a school drinking fountain!

Reusable bottles are going to reenter my life whenever I have a dishwasher (next apartment?).

Just the way it is right now!


susanna eve March 23, 2010 at 3:47 am

I finally have a great metal bottle for my daughter, it’s from MEC and it keeps her water cold for hours. That was an issue for us, she wouldn’t drink the water once it got warm. I am rarely away from home long enough to need water. We have lots of refillable bottles/containers in our home. I bought a couple of larger plastic ones for my son when he plays sports.
I almost never buy bottle water. I am getting to the same point as I am with coffee. If I forget my refillable bottle or travel cup, I just go thirsty for a little while:)


Emily March 23, 2010 at 3:51 am

We ♥ our SIGG bottles! The kids take them to school every day for lunch. We take them on outings. We hauled them to Europe and let our only-water-drinking kid bring one to restaurants to ensure she could have “non-gassy” water. Yes, sometimes the tap water tastes different. But bread also tastes different in various parts of the world – accepting different flavors is part of experiencing life!


Aly R. March 23, 2010 at 4:04 am

I personally quit bottled water quite a while ago. What I am the most proud of though is getting my parents and my longtime boyfriend to quit bottled water as well. They were “hardened” water bottle consumers– they had become convinced that it was necessary for all of the commuting, sports and outings in their schedule. What helped a lot was getting them each their own re-usable water container and conspicuously using mine in front of them. Along with some tap water vs. bottled water education. Call me shameless. Ah well, at least it was for a good cause! 🙂


ToilingAnt March 25, 2010 at 10:02 am

I did nearly the same thing– everyone got Nalgene bottles from us one Christmas, and I know they are still seeing use. Even if they help cut down on only half the bottled water my in-laws were used to buying, it’s a big difference!


Molly On Money March 23, 2010 at 4:40 am

I too quit using bottled water years ago. I’m total impressed with Univ. or Portland! That is very cool.
I live in the high desert where even tap water is a commodity. When we walk out of the house we always have are reusable water bottles in hand, full of water.


Mary March 23, 2010 at 5:38 am

We use Kleen Kanteens, fill them up at home or work, they’re also great for traveling. We’re not trendsetters by any means but I’ve noticed other people in our family are now also carrying reusable water containers instead of buying water. Feels good to practice good habits that are so easy!


Robyn J. March 23, 2010 at 7:25 am

I am all for the challenge! This is FABULOUS! I feel like doing a dance right here in my kitchen. Each member of our family carries a Sigg bottle. Whenever we get ready to travel we fill up with refreshing, revitalizing water, right from our tap! (We are blessed with pure, clean delicious water!) Its spoiled us too< as we've just gotten back from a trip where water tasted very different. Instead of buying bottled we just filled up at the hotel or the fountain. I so completely agree with Univ. of Portland and I sure hope other institutions follow their excellent leadership.

One of the things that I've discovered to help "cover" the taste of water that is less than tasty is to travel with tea bags. I often pop in a Yerb Mate tea bag (which also give a great energy boost) in my bottle. My kids prefer Goji Berry Pomegranate in theirs. This is a fun way to add a little flavor without adding calories, high-fructose corn syrup, extra $ or excessive waste. We don't dine out very often but I always carry tea bags with me, as drinks really add to the expense of a meal.

Great Post Katy!


Jacquelyn March 23, 2010 at 7:43 am

Not only did I quit bottled water, but I quit the inane habit of carrying around a personal water bottle wherever I go! Considering that unless I am going into the wilderness (or an overpriced outdoor music festival, which I try to avoid), nearly EVERY place I go in this wonderful country will have sinks, drinking fountains, and other sources of free, potable water all over the place; packing around a specially-designed, single purpose container to carry my own little hydration source is silly! I am more likely to critically need a bathroom than a drink of water while I am out and about, but you don’t see me carrying around a port-a-potty, ‘just in case’. You can read my full thoughts on the matter here:


Aly R. March 27, 2010 at 2:06 pm

This is great as long as you have a good immune system… and some of us just don’t (no matter how many times we try drinking from the water fountain). Without fail, I end up with a sore-throat the next day. Every-single-blasted-time I work up the nerve to try it again. Thanks, crappy immune system!


Katy March 23, 2010 at 8:52 am

Keep in mind that although Kleen Kanteen and Sigg bottles are great for carrying your own water, they are not the only non-plastic options. We save the glass bottles that ice tea drinks come in, and they work great for carrying water.

You don’t have to spend a ton to avoid plastic.

Katy Wolk-Stanley
The Non-Consumer Advocate


jen March 23, 2010 at 9:33 am

We always try to bring water, tea, etc. from home when we go anywhere, and have several ice packs in the freezer and different sizes of cooler bags to keep them cold. At the moment we’re using plastic, but I’m slowly but surely trying to weed them out (without spending money) so your glass bottle idea is a big help!


Lisa March 23, 2010 at 9:41 am

I have never bought bottled water…there, I said it! Usually, while I’m out and about, I drink from public fountains if at all. If we’re going to be at an event for several hours, I bring along a big glass of iced tea from home. (Big glass canning jars with lids screwed on work well for this.)


Mamie March 23, 2010 at 10:46 am

We have many variations of reusable water bottles in our house, available for everyone to use as needed. The fridges at home and at my work offer filtered tap water, so I use that. No fridge for the Mister, so he carries at least two filled bottles with him to work every day. My niece and nephew have their “own” designated bottles to use when they are at our house. Now if I could get my dad to stop going through 5 or 6 plastic bottles a DAY, I’d be happy!


Shannon March 23, 2010 at 11:24 am

I view bottled water as an extreme emergency only purchase, so yeah I’m in for sure!


Beth D. March 23, 2010 at 11:47 am

I have not bought bottled water for almost 2 years now thanks to a PUR faucet we installed in our kitchen sink. I used to hate the iron-rusty smell and taste of our country water, but with the filter, it tastes better and is a fraction of the cost of the bottled stuff. Plus, I am using less plastic and not having to crush and haul away bags of bottles for recycling! Cheaper, cleaner, and less time consuming 🙂


magdalena March 23, 2010 at 3:46 pm

We had been using bottled water here, but quickly switched to 5 gal refillables. Our water supply is not safe; we don’t take the chance of something awful. (Sometimes it comes out of the tap murkey.) So we all have water bottles. We’ve experimented with flavourings, but the wee packets are a bit too twee and sweet; I’m going back to herb tea myself, having switched over to plain unflavoured water for a while. Sometimes the transition can take a while, but I’m hoping to get reverse osmosis at some point. I never buy single use water anymore.


Melissa March 23, 2010 at 7:17 pm

We have a variety of stainless steel bottles for our family, but no matter how hard I try, I can’t seem to get my mom to stop buying bottled water! I even bought her a beautiful Sigg bottle for her birthday. Whenever we visit, she always gives my kids a bottle of water for the ride home. Sigh.


Jenna Ann March 25, 2010 at 4:34 am

No more bottled water for me! I purchased a reusable bottle and love it! My tap tastes far better than bottled anyway.


Tracy Balazy March 25, 2010 at 6:30 am

I filter my tap water through a Brita filter, and I carry it in a clean IBC root beer bottle that I seal with a cap I got free at a Tupperware party years ago. Sometimes I put my glass bottle in a black and white polka-dotted vinyl-lined cloth holder with a carrying handle. I got this at a garage sale for 50 cents, and I think it was made for a baby bottle. For some reason, a lot of people compliment me on the contraption when I carry it around, and ask where they can get one.


sandy March 25, 2010 at 8:37 am

The last time I had bottled water it tasted like plastic–yuck. I much prefer my filtered tap water–and I put it in a glass bottle if I need to haul it with me. Usually I don’t carry water around everywhere, anyway.


Frank April 2, 2010 at 12:34 pm

Bottled water is just tap water put in a bottle. What a deal for the company that sells it. I am going to start selling oxygen in balloons with a little thingy you stick in your nostrils. I’ll make a mint!


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