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I Got Off Bottled Water—You Can, Too

10/15/2010 12:00:00 AM

Tags: bottled water, plastic bottle, carbon footprint

In this age of bottled water, filling a glass from the kitchen faucet and quenching my thirst seems so quaint. I’ve been truly enjoying that old-fashioned simplicity since I installed a 3M Full Flow Drinking Water System last month.

For years, I’ve satisfied my family’s thirst by having local spring water delivered in reusable 8-gallon jugs. The water is delicious, but the transport and delivery were killing our household’s carbon footprint—and budget. (Americans spend $10.6 billion a year on bottled water, which can cost up to 5 cents an ounce, and the bottled water industry uses 17 million barrels of oil each year to make plastic bottles.)

bottled water 
Bottled water production uses up 17 million barrels of oil each year. Photo By EJP Photo/Courtesy Flickr. 

Filtering my family’s tap water is an easy, elegant alternative to buying overpriced water in plastic. By filtering out the sediment, chlorine taste and odor, lead and cysts, the 3M filter allows my family to enjoy fresh, clean (cheap!) water straight from the tap—and will prevent us from buying 45,443 16.9-ounce plastic bottles in the coming year.

The 3M filter, a sleek canister that we installed under the sink, has an easy-change replacement filter that even the most non-handy person (like me) can twist off and on. The best part? Once a year, when it’s time to change the filter, 3M will send me an e-mail reminding me to order it. The company will then ship the replacement filter to me for free. As a working mother who often ended up with a dozen or so empty water jugs rattling around in the garage (because I forgot to leave them out on delivery day), this is a huge and important convenience. (There’s nothing healthy about an overused water filter, but I don’t completely trust myself to keep up with the maintenance.)

Today is Blog Action Day 2010, so spread the word about how to get clean, healthy water at less cost to our environment and ourselves. Let’s get all Americans off the bottle!

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