Healthy Body, Mind, and World: Drinking Water is Essential


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This blog is what I chose to do for my Activism Project for my Environmental Earth Science Class. I chose to do a blog about healthy, eco-friendly food because eating healthy is very important to me and I think that being more eco-friendly should be important to everyone.
This is our planet and if we keep polluting it the way we have been the effects of the pollution are just going to keep getting worse and worse, which is not good at all. In this blog I will give you some interesting information on something that all humans need to drink. I will also show how it impacts the environment.

Part 2: Drinking Water is Essential
 

The human body uses water in many ways and for various reasons. Drinking water when you are thirsty and with meals is an important factor in staying healthy. You can get some essential fluids from beverages other than water, and even some foods. But water is the most important source of fluid and water helps your body in many ways. It helps to do things such as: protect your spinal cord, cushion and lubricate your joints, and get rid of wastes through urination, bowel movements, and perspiration. Your body may need more water in certain situations. The situations may include things such as when you are: vomiting, sick and have a fever, when you are more active physically, and when you are in warmer climates.

Drinking water is essential to human life. But how much watera human actually needs to drink is dependent on their body’s regulation of their water balance. The water balance in the body is balance between the intake and loss of water. Humans usually have a loss of 1% of their body’s water in 24 hours. The loss of water in the body should be replenished by the person drinking 1.5 liters of water a day to keep their water balance in their body in balance.

Drinking an adequate amount of water is extremely important for the nutrition of the human body, but many people around the world do not have access to clean drinking water. More than 2 million people die every year because they lack access to safe, drinkable water. As of 2011 the United Nations recognizes having access to safe, clean, and affordable drinking water as a human right, and requires countries to provide water without discrimination to all of the people in their country. Bottled water can be a temporary fix for this problem, but it is not a permanent solution. The real solution is for the governments of the countries to invest in better water system development to give the people in their community the access to the water they need to survive.

Some people think that bottled water is better for them and the environment, when tap water is actually much better for the people and the environment. The environment is affected by the usage of bottled water. Greenhouse gasses which cause climate change are produced during the production, transportation, and disposal of plastic water bottles. Waste is also a result of the water bottles because eventually they end up in landfills. Bottled water manufacturers are among the world’s biggest polluters. Crude oil is used to make the chemicals that are used to make the plastic water bottles. The chemicals that make up the water bottles are also toxic for the environment. Each year about 2.7 million tons of plasticare used in bottling water around the world. To make all of the bottles required to fulfill Americans’ bottled water needs for just one year would take about 1.5 million barrels of oil. In the United States this is enough fuel to fuel 100,000 cars for a year. Fossil fuelsare used to transport the raw materials for the bottles and for the transportation in the finished product. Sometimes the finished products are being transported all around the world for consumption, which uses a lot of fossil fuel and contributes to global warming. Nearly a quarter of the bottled watercrosses out of the border of the country that it came from. Many people think thatrecyclingis saving our planet, but about half of the plastic bottles that can be recycled are being put in landfills. Some Canadian provinces have recycling deposit programs, and the provinces that do have a much higher recycling rate of 75%, compared to the provinces that don’t have such a program 33%. The United Statesconsumes seven billion gallons of bottled water each year, making the United States the world’s biggest drinker of bottled water. The degradation of these plastic bottles can take anywhere from 400 years to 1000 years.  Unnecessary garbage is the result of unnecessary consumption of bottled water. The process of recycling plastic water bottlesalso creates a large carbon footprint because of all of the energy used in the recycling process. Bottled water comes at a high price for the environment and financially for consumers.

To avoid these environmental problems, we can be drinking filtered tap water instead. After all, bottled waters such as Aquafina are just purified tap water. So save the plastic and money, and take it right out of the tap. The environment isn’t as effected by tap water because it usually stays close to its origin, so it doesn’t use as much fossil fuels. The use of public tapwater even with the treatment and the distribution of it has a much smaller carbon footprint than the bottled water life cycle does.  

It is important for us to come up with alternatives to crude oil originated plastic water bottles. Some companies have already started making water bottles that are made out of a plastic that comes from corn. These bottles degrade in only 75 to 80 days. One company that uses these bottles is a Colorado based company that puts their spring water in the BIOTA bottles that come from corn. The bottles made from corn are much more eco-friendly than the bottles that are made from crude oil. But in order to really help the environment we need to eliminate the use of bottled water all together.

It is a common misconception that bottled water is better than tap water, but the opposite is true, tap water is better because of the tougher guidelines it has to follow. Tap water and bottled water are both regulated in Canada. Tap water is regulated by the provinces, or territories, and or the municipal governments using the federal government’s guidelines for Canadian Drinking Water Quality. Bottled water is regulated by the Federal Food and Drugs Act. The guidelines for bottled water are much less thorough and stringent than the guidelines are for tap water. The tap water usually goes through more frequent and tough testing in the Canadian cities than bottled water does. The Canadian Food Inspection Agency has inspectors that check the water bottling plants once in a year to a year and a half. In Ottawa every year over 125,000 tests are done to check the drinking water. In Toronto every four to six hours the water is being tested. Contrary to popular belief bottled water isn’t always saferto consume than tap water.

Water should be controlled by the communities, not by the big corporations that just use the water purely for commodity and profit. In some places around the world you have no choice but to pay for the water you need. Drinking water in Canada is mostly in the hands of the community, which means the community or non-profit provides affordable water in that meets high standards of being safe to drink, and being as environmentally friendly as possible.

BPA free bottles are important to use for a few different reasons. One reason is that you can put tap water in them, and they are re-usable. But the main reason is because BPA is harmful to humans. It is especially harmful to young people, since it can cause developmental changes in the mammary tissue and in turn makes the young people predisposed for mammary cancer. BPA is often used in the manufacturing of plastic bottles that are made from crude oil. Scientists found that the rats were more likely to develop mammary cancer with BPA in their systems.

People often buy bottled water because of convenience, and because they think it is safer to drink. However, because of the environmental implications of the plastic and the distribution, and how the tap water is more regulated, tap water is actually better for people and the environment. Bottled water, once seen as a luxury item, is now a common sightaround the world, and an accessory for the health conscious. The use of bottled water needs to be substituted with the use of tap water for the health of humans and the world we live in. More people in the world need to join the fight that environmental groups in developed nations have started to combat the notion that bottled water is better for humans than tap water.

– Written by Sonya Chiarella Activism Project Blog 02.19.2013

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