What's healthier for you? For the environment?

What's healthier for you? For the environment?

In the last two decades bottled water has gone from extraneous to ubiquitous. Despite having one of the best public water systems in the world, Americans continue to buy more and more bottled water-per capita, 27.6 gallons last year, up from 17.8 gallons in 2000 (and only 1.6 gallons in 1976). Is it worth it?

1. 40% of bottled water-including top-brands Aquafina and Dasani-is simply filtered tap water, not water from natural springs or other "pure" sources.

2. In the United States, more than 10 million barrels of oil are used to bottle water annually-and that's just production. Consider the oil consumption (and emissions) required to bring water to the U.S. from Fiji, for example.

3. Americans throw away 22 billion water bottles each year, over 60 million each day. It can take as long as 1,000 years for the average plastic bottle to biodegrade.

4. Numerous studies have shown that bottled water is generally no safer or healthier than tap water, despite costing up to 10,000 times more.

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* What else to drink? Try these healthy beverages.