Of all the wastes of money I see, the costs of drinking water must be one of the greatest.
We’ve all heard of the latte factor (more on that later), but water must take the cake!
According to Earth-policy.org, the average American drank 23.8 gallons of bottled water per year as of 2004. And that was more than 40% more than 5 years earlier.
The average cost per gallon of bottled water varies greatly. Some estimate the average cost as high as $3.00 per gallon. Based on my observation it must be greater than this. How often do you see a bottle of water for less than $1.00? At 16oz. per bottle this is $8.00 by itself!
Assume the average is only $3.00 (We’ll give them the benefit). The average cost for tap water nationally is less than a half a penny! Bottled water costs as much as 600 times more than tap water.
Quality is the prime reason many people demand bottled water. Honestly, it was quality that converted me originally. As a child we had a pool in the backyard. One summer I decided to test our tap water for the heck of it. I found the tap water to be perfectly chlorinated and balanced for the pool. Upon this discovery I decided I only wanted “spring” water, containing no chemicals. For years I would only drink bottled water with the ignorant assumptions that I was avoiding the chemicals.
Turns out bottled water is often the same thing as what comes from your tap! The Environmental Working Group reports 38 different chemicals in 10 major brands.
Are you a big fan of bottled water but looking for ways to cut your spending, consider using this custom calculator at New American Dream to convince you to change your habits.
For the price of a few bottles you could purchase a clean and reusable canteen.