4 Big Health Benefits of Drinking Sparkling Water

February 16th, 2017

Our bodies are composed of roughly 60 percent water, yet we all lose some of this crucial nutrient during normal, daily activities. And if we don’t replenish the water lost by drinking the recommended eight glasses a day, we run the risk of becoming severely dehydrated. But what can you do if you simply don’t like the taste of plain water? If you are one of the many people who just can’t seem to stomach eight cups of plain water each day, you may want to think about trying the next best thing: filtered, sparkling water.

What is sparkling water?

Sparkling or carbonated water is created by simply dissolving carbon dioxide in plain, still water. When you drink filtered water with carbonation, only bubbles are added during the process, which means that you can reap some of the same healthy rewards of still water, while enjoying a refreshing, fizzy beverage. Aside from being sugar-free, plain sparkling water offers a handful of additional health benefits. Read the rest of this entry »

Buzz About Natura® Water

February 16th, 2017

The Natura® Water Purifying System offers proprietary technology that eliminates impurities while retaining healthy, thirst-quenching minerals. Natura®’s stylish, reusable bottles can be filled in seconds with chilled still and sparkling water that is guaranteed to please even the most discerning palate.

Natura®’s unique approach to “gourmet water” was first developed in Italy, where water, like wine, is considered an essential part of every meal.

Italy has the world’s highest per capita consumption of premium water – twice as high as in the US. Italians pay exceptionally close attention to the characteristics and taste of their water, and even match it to their wine and food selections.

It is in this environment that the superior Natura® Water Purifying System was created.

PRESS RELEASE: Edgewood College, Madison, WI

February 15th, 2011

Edgewood College cut their bottled water purchasing in half
AND is removing 10,000/bottles a year from land lls!

The first college or university in Wisconsin to be accepted into Wisconsin’s Green Tier Program, a state initiative that encourages institutions and businesses to go beyond current rules and regulations to reduce their impact on the environment. Edgewood College has a commitment to environmental stewardship and sustainability that resonates deeply at the College, a legacy begun by the native people who rst cared for this 55 acre campus on the shore of Lake Wingra.

As part of the College’s Green Tier contributions, Edgewood College made the decision to go bottleless in early 2009. In August of that year, Natura Water installed a Natura Water ltration/puri cation Model D2 system, offering freshly bottled Still and Sparking Natura Water, in the Main Dining Hall (the largest of the two dining options on campus.) “We wanted students to make a choice and see if they gure it out (regarding the green bene ts,)” stated Gregory Heintz, Dining Services Director at Edgewood College.

Did faculty and staff respond? First year results proved to cut their bottled water sales in half, thus eliminating as many as 10,000 disposable bottles from hitting land lls. A huge success for the effort, and although the priority was to deliver eco-friendly solutions, cost and pro t were still a large factor for the Dining Services operations. Heintz noted that, although the amount of bottled water products sold were signi cantly decreased, actual sales dollars were not affected. Upon implementation, the Dining Hall was met with faculty and student resistance to the “charge-by-glass” approach at $.75 per glass. In immediate response, Heintz made the decision to sell Natura Water Sports Bottles for $39.99, and offered unlimited Still and Sparkling Natura Water re lls. First year bottle sales conclude that the majority of residents living on campus, required to be on meal plans, have purchased the bottles to enjoy the perks of unlimited Still and Sparkling Natura Water. The pro ts from these sales have more than covered rental costs for the Natura Water system.

Currently, Edgewood College is projecting conservative sales of 120 bottles annually and the Dining Services team is looking forward to continuing the elimination of 10,000 bottles per year from being disposed of.

Since 1927, students have enjoyed great opportunities for learning in and out of the classroom at Edgewood College. This independent liberal arts college in Madison, Wisconsin notes enrollments of 2,400 (graduate and under graduate) with a low student to faculty ratio of 13 to 1. Noting small class sizes, more than 50% of full-time faculty with Ph.D. or Terminal Degrees and a wide variety of more than 60 Major Academic Programs and 40 Minors, the College also offers Athletics, NCAA Division III and Northern Athletics Conference (NAC), Student Organizations, Internship Opportunities and Study Abroad Programs.

Bottled Water and Energy: Getting to 17 Million Barrels

March 1st, 2010

The Pacific Institute finds that it took approximately 17 million barrels of oil equivalent to produce plastic for bottled water consumed by Americans in 2006—enough energy to fuel more than 1 million American cars and light trucks for a year. The widely cited 1.5 million barrel statistic is an error, the result of a miscommunication between a journalist and a researcher in 2003. That researcher and others now stand by this updated assessment.

Click here for full report >>

Operation Water Pollution – Part 5

March 1st, 2010

Alternatives to Bottled Water
There are many ways that the individual person can make a difference in terms of bottled water. Here are some ideas that you can consider.

  • By a reusable water bottle. The reusable bottles will cut down on the amount of plastic bottles going to the landfill and/or ocean every year.
  • Drink tap water. Most cities have safe tap water so buy a reusable water bottle and keep filling it with tap water.
  • If you do buy a plastic water bottle, reuse it or recycle it. Last year the California Department of Conservation estimated that nine out of ten bottles are not recycled and that there were one billion bottles ending up in the garbage. Those bottles could have been recycled into 74 million square feet of carpet or 16 million fleece sweaters!
  • If you drink bottled water for health reasons, consider installing a reverse osmosis water filter in your home instead. The money you spend in buying the filter will be worth the money you save every day by not buying bottled water.
  • If you are concerned about the tap water in your community, get together with the other residents and work with the city to improve how the water is treated.
  • Petition the federal government to increase funding for safe drinking water across the country and especially in rural and First Nations communities.
  • Work with water organizations to promotes the importance of safe drinking water and the need to protect your community’s water source as a way of ensuring high quality drinking water for future generations.

Sources:
Bottled Water a Fact Sheet from the Safe Drinking Water Foundation
People Magazine article “Banned! Top chefs just say not to serving bottled water – and yes to helping the environment”. July 16, 2007
Macleans Magazine article “Green Report: It’s so not cool” May 14, 2007

Operation Water Pollution – Part 4

March 1st, 2010

Bottled v. Tap
The reason people drink bottled water is because they believe bottled water is healthier than tap water. Most often this idea is false.

Health
Incidents of drinking water contamination such as the E coli outbreak in Walkerton, Ontario and the Cryptosporidium outbreak in North Battleford, Saskatchewan have done a lot to cause people to think that their drinking water is unsafe. Large cities rarely have a problem with the water coming out of the taps. It is smaller communities and First Nations communities that have a greater chance of drinking water issues, just look at Saddle Lake, Alberta or Kashechewan, Ontario.
When incidents of drinking water contamination occur, the sales of bottled water go up because people begin to question the safety of their drinking water. Bottled water companies take the opportunity presented by an incident of contamination to create more doubt in the safety of drinking water and to promote the safety of bottled water. However, there is no health advantage to drinking bottled water. The regulations surrounding bottled water quality are insufficient. Would you drink bottled water knowing that the company can bottle water containing E coli and Cryptosporidium? Or that they only have to test their water once a week for bacteria?

People have become ill from drinking bottled water. In 1994, there was a cholera outbreak in Saipan a United States territory in the Marianas Islands (http://www.nrdc.org/water/drinking/bw/appb.asp). The cause was found to be contaminated bottled water and only those people who drank the bottled water became sick.

Cost
Aside from the poor regulations there is also the cost of bottled water. In 2005, Canadians spent 653 million dollars on 1.9 billion litres of bottled water. The companies producing bottled water often increase the price and people can spend 240 to over 10,000 times more for bottled water than for tap water.
Not every one in the world has access to clean, safe drinking water. The World Health Organization along with the United Nations and UNICEF estimates that it would cost 1.7 billion dollars per year (above current spending) to provide clean drinking water to every individual in the world. Improved sanitation would cost another 9.3 billion dollars. The 11 billion dollar total sounds like a lot of money but is actually only 24% of the 46 billion dollars that bottled water is worth.

Sources: Bottled Water a Fact Sheet from the Safe Drinking Water Foundation Natural Resource Defense Council

Operation Water Pollution – Part 3

March 1st, 2010

Transporting Water

This aspect of bottled water is a source of huge amounts of pollution. After producing the bottles (and causing pollution), bottling the water (and causing pollution) then comes shipping the bottles across the world (and causing even more pollution).
Most often bottled water is transported by the semi truck-load. Driving the water around the country and continent causes massive amounts of exhaust which converts to an increase in the amount of greenhouse gases and Global Warming. The fuel needed for the trucks comes from the oil rig operations that are doing their part in polluting not just the air with the emissions from machinery but are also causing pollution in the process of producing oil.

When the bottled water makes its way across the ocean the pollution can be just as great. The fuel used to power the ships releases greenhouse gases. There is the chance of oil leaks and spills. And there is a new form of pollution that is ruining water habitats and ecosystems everywhere, especially the Great Lakes. Invasive species are plants and animals that are not naturally found living in the waters of the Great Lakes but have been introduced accidentally and are taking over the habitats of the naturally occurring species of plants and animals.
The tanker ships use water to compensate for the load they are carrying. The ballast water helps keep the ship at a safe depth in the ocean. The ships take on water in the harbour and then head out to sea. When approaching their destination, it was common practice to empty the ballast water at the new harbour. However, when the ship filled up with ballast water, they also brought along a few critters that are not common to the waters of the new harbour. The introduction of new species is a form of water pollution that is often overlooked. And although bottled water is not the main cause of these invasive species the fact that water is shipped over seas means that bottled water is contributing to the pollution of vast areas of water.
The amount of oil needed to make the bottle, fill it and ship it releases an estimated 250 grams of greenhouse gases per bottle of imported water. Some analysts state that when one quarter of the water in each bottle was replaced with oil that is an accurate description of the amount of oil used.

Source:
Bottled Water a Fact Sheet from the Safe Drinking Water Foundation
http://www.invasivespeciesinfo.gov/aquatics/ballast.shtml
http://www.epa.gov/owow/invasive_species

Operation Water Pollution – Part 2

March 1st, 2010

Water
The water that goes into water bottles is another cause for concern.

Types of Water
There are six types of water that is bottled. Each type has specific criteria it must meet in order to be labelled that type of water.

  1. Spring Water is water that comes from an underground source and that flows to the surface naturally (not pumped to the surface). It must have less than 500 parts per million TDS (total dissolved solids)
  2. Mineral Water is the same as spring water except that is has more than 500 ppm of TDS.
  3. Well Water is water that is same as spring water but is pumped to the surface.
  4. Artesian Well Water rises to the surface under its own pressure from a confined aquifer.
  5. Purified Water can come from an underground source or it can come from municipally treated water. It is also called distilled water, deionized water and reverse osmosis water.
  6. Carbonated Water is water that contains carbonation either naturally or from adding carbonation. It can come from a spring, well or community water supply.

Regulations and Standards
In Canada, bottled water is regulated under the Federal Food and Drug Act because once water is sealed, it is considered a food product. There are nine regulations for bottled water but five deal with labeling, one with prepackaged ice and ONLY 3 with bottled water quality. The three water quality standards state that:

  • Mineral water and spring water must be from a groundwater source and cannot contain any coliform bacteria.
  • If the water contains coliform bacteria, more than 100 total aerobic bacteria per mililitre, and naturally occurring fluoride ions it cannot be sold
  • Distilled water, demineralized water and carbonated water definitions.

The regulations surrounding quality are scary. According to the Environmental Protection Agency and the Food and Drug Act in the United States bottled water does not have to be disinfected or use certified operators or labs. When it comes to contaminants like E coli or Cryptosporidium, bottled water is NOT banned from using water containing these organisms and the water going into the bottles only has to be tested once per week. The companies producing bottled water do not even have to have filters in the water system to get rid of pathogens.
There is also the concern of water bottling plants depleting the water sources they are using to the point where the original users have nothing left and are forced to buy their water.

Source:
Bottled Water a Fact Sheet from the Safe Drinking Water
Foundation Bottled Water Basics – an EPA document on bottled water

Operation Water Pollution – Part 1

March 1st, 2010

Water Bottles

One of the problems with bottled water is the bottle that the water comes in. These bottles can cause major problems in the environment and for the person drinking from them.

Making the bottles
Every year the US makes 2.7 million tonnes of plastic into water bottles. The plastic is made from a product called PET. Making 1 kilogram of PET uses 17.5 kilograms of water. So in order to make 2.7 million tonnes of plastic there is 47 million tonnes of water used. That’s enough water to fill 18 862 Olympic sized swimming pools! If you were to swim in one of those pools every day, it would take you almost 52 years to swim in the amount of water used to make water bottles in one year!! Click on Math for the calculations.

Water is not the only natural resource used to make the plastic water bottles. Oil is also used. In order to make all the water bottles for one year, the United States uses 20 million barrels of oil. That’s enough oil to fuel 100 000 cars!

Storing the bottles
When water sits in the bottles some of the chemicals from the plastic begin to leach into the water. A 2006 Canadian study found that after water bottles made with PETs had been stored for six months, there was a significant amount of antimony (a toxic chemical) found in the water.
There is also some concern about bisphenol A which acts like a synthetic hormone. There is concern about bottles made from PET leaching bisphenol A into the water. This dangerous chemical is currently being researched by the Canadian government to determine just how dangerous it can be.

Disposing of the bottles
Many people in Canada recycle their used water bottles. But there are an estimated 88% of bottles that end up in the trash instead of the recycling facility! Unfortunately the plastic bottles often end up in the landfills and often oceans. It takes sometimes thousands of years for the bottles to breakdown in landfills. In the oceans, the bottles react with the sun light and eventually break down into plastic pellets and are eaten by birds and fish. Eating the plastic kills the birds and fish. Sometimes the plastic does not break down at all. Some researches believe that plastic in oceans will stay there for thousands of years and may never break down completely.

The 12% of plastic that is recycled is often not used to make new bottles because it is too expensive to use. The recycled plastic is used to make things like fleece jackets, fiberfill pillows, carpet and many other products.

Source:
Bottled Water a Fact Sheet from the Safe Drinking Water Foundation People Magazine article “Banned! Top chefs just say not to serving bottled water – and yes to helping the environment”. July 16, 2007
Macleans Magazine article “Green Report: It’s so not cool” May 14, 2007
Bottled Water Basics – an EPA document on bottled water

Don’t buy bottled water

October 3rd, 2008

-Sustainability Advisory Group for Environmental Stewardship, Wesleyen University

We are working with Bon Appétit to find ways to reduce our use of bottled water on campus. Individuals can help by not buying it. Transportation of bottled water is an unnecessary use of gasoline, and other statistics associated with bottled water’s impact on the environment are staggering:

  • The EPA has stronger regulations for tap water than the FDA has for bottled water. Thus, bottled water is not necessarily safer to drink.
  • An estimated 25 percent or more of bottled water is really just tap water in a bottle–sometimes further treated, sometimes not. (NRDC)
  • 86% of plastic water bottles in the US become garbage or litter, which is 30 million bottles a day.  (Container Recycling Institute)
  • Sent to the landfill, the bottles can take up to a millennium to biodegrade.
    (E magazine)
  • Globally, 2.7 million tons of plastic are used to bottle water per year.
  • 1.5 million barrels of crude oil is used to produce the water bottles consumed by Americans each year.  This amounts to enough to fuel about 100,000 US cars for a year.
  • Bottled water is 5,000 times more expensive than tap water.
  • Americans spend over $15,400,000 on bottled water every day.
  • Bottled water companies enter communities, dry up their local water resource, and degrade aquifers.  This often leaves communities without an adequate safe water source. (Earth Policy Institute)
  • Over one third of the world faces serious water shortages. (United Nations Environmental Programme)
  • $100 billion is spent on bottled water annually.  One year’s worth of bottled water expenditures could completely cover the development of efficient and sustainable water infrastructure throughout the entire world, three times over. (UN Millennium Development Goals).

Source: Wesleyen University