Recently I was travelling by train to Kolkata from Delhi. It was hot and of course, I needed a lot of drinking water. I had two glass bottles of water with me from home, but unfortunately it wasn’t enough for 24 hours long journey. I bought a plastic bottle of water and I didn’t feel good about it. But it just shocked me how many bottles of water were sold on the train and how many of them have been just simply thrown outside the train.
The hot summer is here and it seems it comes faster every year. Water is the perfect and the only way to refresh. In coming months the selling of bottled water will increase enormously and so will the waste of plastic bottles!
It is true that we cannot drink tap water in India and on top of that different brands market their water as the one which has all important minerals. Many people actually consume the specific water brand for many years. Water is extremely important and on average we should drink around 2-3 litters of water every day. Our body is made up of 80 percent water and you can only live a few days without this precious, life-giving substance. Since it is so important, you will get bottled water in every small shop in every corner of the city.
Unfortunately, there are many bad news about bottled water.
It is not healthy to drink bottled water.
Can you imagine the effect of the bottle of water on us which is sitting on the shop’s shelf? When you choose water from plastic bottle you are exposed to BPA – Bisphenol A or BPA which is an estrogenic chemical and has been linked to serious health problems including: Learning and behavioural problems, altered immune system function, early puberty in girls and fertility problems, decreased sperm count, prostate and breast cancer, diabetes and obesity and more. Though drinking bottled water possess serious health risks, leaving this bottle water in the hot sun will cause even more serious chemical exposure. Ultraviolet rays from the sun or high temperatures will accelerate leaching of the plastic chemicals directly into water! Adding to this health threat is a toxic substance called dioxin, which is also released into bottled water when it is left in the sun. Dioxin has been strongly linked to the development of breast cancer.
It is not environmentally friendly to drink bottled water.
There’s no sense in sugar-coating it. Bottled water is destructive to the environment. There is more water needed to make a plastic bottle that is actually in the bottle itself. Another problem with bottled water is the incredible amount of oil and fuel needed to make these plastic bottles as well to transport them to your local stores! And sadly, even if we think that they are all recyclable many of them finish in the landfills and in the oceans.
Basically we are disposing important natural resources, filling our lands with the trash and making a health threat to all of us.
For couple of years, I have been carrying my own water. I remember how we as students started to bring our own bottles to the colleges. I am reusing some glass bottles which I had at home and I am taking one of them with me. Sometimes it’s smart to have in your mind how much water would you need during the day and if there is an option to refill the bottle. Many places offer that. Once I already bought the plastic bottle of water on the train to Kolkata, I figured out I could refill it in the next big station.For me was a mistake, which I don’t want to repeat next time. Imagine, how big impact we can all make if everyone brings their own bottle?
Not only bottled water, there are also soft drinks for which I have no good words. We hear a lot about soft drinks and its effects on our health, but it seems we are still consuming them. Sweet drinks, which makes us even thirstier are packed in even smaller plastic bottles and designed in a way to use it and dispose it. I don’t want to imagine the chemical reaction between the ingredients and plastic bottle. I said no to soft drinks and I rather drink homemade ice tea and lemonade, which just taste so much better.
When we are talking about environmental issues, it’s usually on us to change something in our everyday life and in that way decrease the impact. This is actually sustainable life style which can start with taking small steps every day. Saying no to bottled water is definitely one of them.
Katja Polc, Member of Vatavaran team