Credit: stevendepolo

According to the Bottled Water Free Day website, it takes three litres of water to produce one litre of bottled water

Bottled Water Free Day encourages people to cut back or eliminate their bottled water usage

Canadian households are beginning to make the switch from drinking bottled water back to tap water at home. According to Statistics Canada, in 2009 about 24% of Canadian households said bottled water was their main source of drinking water, down from 30% two years earlier.

Canadians could be catching on to the fact that bottled water often tastes no different than tap water (and in some cases it is tap water). Another reason is that Canadians are recognizing our tap water is actually really quite good: in the case of Greenwood, BC, its drinking water was rated "best in the world" at a recent international competition.

Perhaps the biggest reason is that Canadians are realizing the huge amount of discarded plastic bottles are causing a global garbage crisis: it is estimated that 65-90% of water bottles end up in landfills every year.

The Negatives of Bottled Water

Need more reasons to give up the bottle?

In the USA, consumers buy approximately 29 billion water bottles a year. It takes 17 million barrels of crude oil to manufacture the bottles. And according to National Geographic, that’s enough oil to run a million cars for a year.

We don’t actually have a need for bottled water: if municipalities reinstated drinking fountains, or if we carried out own bottles from home, we’d be fine. Not convinced? Watch this awesome video by Story of Stuff about the bottled water industry.

Finally, bottled water might actually be bad for us. According to Environmental Working Group’s 2008 scientific study on bottled water vs. tap water, bottled water can contain toxic byproducts of chlorination, cancer-causing contaminants and bacteria. According to Health Canada, “In Canada bottled water is regulated as a food and therefore it must comply with the Food and Drugs Act.” But it is still known to contain bacteria and other contaminants.

So check out the Bottled Water Free Day website to find more info and see how you can contribute!