Ewwww…..This is Why You Need a Water Filter!

Water filter
On the left is the filter that was replaced, on the right is the new filter.

Bottled water sucks, we all know that (if you don’t know why, read this article and you’ll know everything): Here are my top 5 reasons for eschewing the bottle….

–It wastes fossil fuels during transportation (especially when it comes from ridiculous locales like Fiji!)

–Bottled water isn’t any cleaner and may actually have all sorts of bad stuff in it because bottled water isn’t regulated by any outside testing agency, whereas all municipal water is tested every day for contaminants and chemicals.

–All those plastic bottles leach toxins into the water (especially if left in the sun or subject to temperature fluctuations)

–Only about 20% of all plastic bottles are recycled; that goes for water receptacles too

–It’s a scam; why spend money on something that should be free? When you do, you’re only supporting the privatization of our natural resources, which should be available to all. Just because you can afford bottled water doesn’t mean that everyone can. By expecting, as citizens, to have access to clean water, we force our government to invest in and maintain water supplies.

At the same time, I know, I know, our municipal water isn’t as good as it could be (some areas have great water, some not so much). I live in a very populous area next to Long Island Sound, so our water is pretty low-quality and it’s chlorinated, which is not something I want to be drinking tons of or showering in. Instead of spending hundreds a year and contributing to massive amounts of plastic waste, I bought a this whole-house water filtration system from Gaiam. They have other types here. I bought a whole- house filter because I wanted to make sure I was showering and watering my garden with non-chemicalized water too.

Also, I carry my cool Sigg water bottle with me wherever I go, and fill up in bathrooms and water fountains when I’m on the go. Even though that water isn’t filtered, most of my agua is, so I think it’s worth reducing waste and energy use to subject myself to unfiltered water a small percentage of the time.

Make sure you dispose of your filters properly, though! They don’t belong in the regular garbage as they are now mini toxic-waste holders. By shipping them off to the landfill you’re taking all the now concentrated wastes you’ve removed with the filter and adding them right back into the environment. Drop those old filters off at your municipal toxic waste collection area.

Starre Vartan is founder and editor-in-chief of Eco-Chick.com and the author of the Eco-Chick Guide to Life. She's also a freelance science and environment writer who has published in National Geographic, CNN, Scientific American, Mental Floss, Pacific Standard, the NRDC, and many more. She lives on an island in Puget Sound with her partner and black cat. She was a geologist in her first career, and still picks up rocks wherever she goes.