Totally Tapped

Last night we took some time to watch a really great documentary: Tapped. I had been looking for a way to watch the film for awhile now, but couldn’t find it at my library or video rentals nearby.  The only option seemed to be to purchase the DVD – I didn’t want to spend $20 on something that I had never seen before though, especially while drying to decrease our footprint on the planet.  Then yesterday I had an epiphany.  I would purchase the DVD, watch it and donate it to the local library so others could access it.  Well, no sooner did I check out Amazon.com for the DVD, did I find out that Amazon also offers an online rental program for certain shows/films.  So for $3.99 we were able to watch Tapped, maybe you will too!

I loved the film.

It confirmed a lot of my previous research on the bottle water industry, and opened my eyes to many other related problems.  The film makers included research showing various chemicals found in bottled water, both straight from the shelf, and bottles left in a car to heat up.  They discuss the huge debacle over BPA in heavier plastic bottles (think those heavy five gallon jugs), baby bottles, plus other reusable plastic bottles and the disturbing effects of these chemicals on humans.

The biggest thing I realized from watching this though, was how tied up our bottled water industry is with very few companies.  The three largest manufacturers of bottled water happen to also be producers of mass amounts of sugary carbonated beverages and other sweet drinks.   Every year they make huge profits off commodity items, and now, thanks to us, they make the bank on a natural resource.  Water is the next oil.  Only water costs us more.  If you factor that you can usually get a 20 ounce bottle of water for around $1, and a gallon = 128 ounces.  That’s roughly $6 per gallon of water – I’m pretty sure your tap offers a discount.  Yes, I do realize you can buy a large gallon for less than this, but what does the average bottled water consumer drink?  Single bottles at a time.  I just bought gas the other day for $2.69.

Also, the film includes interviews with an FDA representative who is responsible for approving bottled water for sale.  She clarifies in the film that the FDA is not responsible for managing all bottled water (they only cover interstate sales – per the film, 60-70% of bottled water is bottled and sold within state lines).  Although the FDA does check up on bottling companies, they don’t certify the water and they themselves do not inspect the water – they rely on the bottling companies testing.  They don’t even require bottled water companies to submit routine reports on the status of their water!   I checked the FDA website, and definitely can see where there is required “reading between the lines”  and gray areas that don’t specifically say that they are 100% responsible for making our water safe.

So while I understand that the future of our ground drinking water is not looking good, and bottled water is a fact of life — does what we’re doing make sense? Why not start supporting your local municipalities water resources so we can improve our water supplies?  Why are a few guys getting rich off selling our natural resources, when the efforts could be placed to make sure that safe tap water will be available for generations to come?  I have both my feet planted firmly on this topic.  I’m still on team tap water.

I shudder every time I think of the giant masses of plastic out in our oceans. Absolutely shudder.

So do your water research, and make informed decisions on every.thing you put in and on your body.  Research your effect on this planet, and future generations.  Stop trusting blindly, and do yourself a favour.

As with any documentary, Tapped gives a biased point of view of the industry.  However, I found the information to be accurate to my findings via FDA and municipality resources on bottle/tap water.

Here is some additional material on the debate.

PS:  I’m thinking of doing a green giveaway soon.  I’m not 100% sure if I will yet, since I’m not sure my blog-traffic is high enough to warrant it yet…but if things keep improving in the next few weeks, I will give it a go.

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6 thoughts on “Totally Tapped

  1. Great post, Jaye. There’s two issues here. One is actually the water; the other is the build up of plastic bottles. Even if people want to drink “specialty” water, because they don’t “like” the taste of tap or honestly believe that it’s safer to drink bottled, then the least they can do is consider buying the eco friendly aluminium water bottle and filter their own water for consumption. I know I’m unpopular in voicing such a strong opinion, but using plastic water bottles is simply laziness. I admit it. When I grab a bottle of water, it’s because I was lazy and unprepared. Shame on me.

  2. It’s all in the plastic. Plastic, plastic, plastic. Just the smell walking through Wal-Mart of the plastic items they peddle smells bad. How can something that smells so potent be good to use.

  3. I know you don’t have control over it, but I find it very ironic there is an ad at the bottom of your post to sign up for bottled water home delivery.

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