Tap Water: Why Not?
One hundred and forty. One German citizen consumes a total of 140 bottles of mineral water per year. This water is all too readily purchased in a practical plastic bottle. We are happy to pay many times more for it. But why is that? According to experts, water from plastic bottles is no healthier than tap water. And yet we are causing a small unnecessary environmental crisis with our plastic bottle consumption. Drinking tap water not only saves a lot of money, but also protects our environment.
So why do we carry boxes of water when we can get healthy, wonderful water straight from the tap? We asked ourselves this very question and investigated whether this is really possible without further ado and what tips & tricks there are to make water consumption more convenient and sustainable for all of us.
"One German citizen consumes a total of 140 bottles of mineral water per year. "
Before we start, a little recap from the last blogposts on the topic of zero waste:
💡 Each German causes about 457 kilograms of household waste per year.
💡 A whole 38 million tons of waste are generated every year in Germany
💡 There are five garbage islands floating in our oceans
💡 There are already more than 200 million tons of plastic waste in the sea
💡 An estimated 3 million tons are added each year
💡 Per capita, Germans consume around 18 plastic bags per year.
💡 That's a total of around 1.49 billion bags in Germany per year.
💡 While approx. 60 g of CO₂ is emitted for a paper bag, this is only 37.8 g of CO₂ for a recycled paper bag.
One of the best marketing tricks in the world?
That's what critics call bottled mineral water. The voices are getting louder and louder that tap water in Germany is ecologically better, harmless to health, and much cheaper to boot. While a liter of bottled mineral water can cost 70 cents, you can get 2 liters of drinking water from the tap for one cent.
"While a liter of bottled mineral water can cost 70 cents, you can get 2 liters of drinking water from the tap for one cent."
Is our tap water healthy at all?
According to surveys, every twelfth German considers our drinking water to be questionable. Our tap water is one of the highest quality water available. The control is regulated by the drinking water ordinance of the federal government. Our waterworks are responsible for ensuring that the quality of our tap water is adequate and that it is safe to drink. However, we ourselves are responsible for the pipes in our houses and apartments. Nevertheless, tap water is considered safe to drink throughout Germany.
What about the ecological balance?
Mineral waters are usually bottled in PET bottles. Sometimes also in glass bottles or Tetrapaks. The transport of the products from the source, to the supermarket and then to our homes, the production of packaging and the recycling of the packaging requires many resources and emits CO₂. According to the Federal Environment Agency, drinking water is the most sustainable alternative to bottled water, as it causes less than 1% of the environmental impact that mineral water does.
"According to the Federal Environment Agency, drinking water is the most sustainable alternative to bottled water, as it causes less than 1% of the environmental impact that mineral water does."
Our five tips for sustainable water consumption:
1. Simply bubble at home
If you want to avoid transportation, water hauling, and packaging waste, you can easily make tap water sparkling at home with a water bubbler. Whether you're using a Sodastream or another brand of sparkling water machine, you can easily make your sparkling water at home and not have to lug it all the way from the supermarket to your house. The good thing about it is that you can fizz as you like, not too little and not too much - just the way you like it. The investment in a soda stream is worth it after just a few cases of fizz and saves you a lot of lugging around.
2. Take your to-go bottle with you
Remember to fill up your to-go bottle (link partner) and pack it before you leave the house. This will not only save you money, but also plastic for the bottle of water you would otherwise buy at the kiosk around the corner or at the vending machine.
3. Water filter
Are you still critical of the water quality? As already mentioned, our drinking water ordinance ensures strict testing of our tap water and therefore nothing should stand in the way of enjoying water from the tap. If you still have concerns, you can run the water through a water filter, for example, Britta.
4. Goes also with taste
You like all kinds of flavors and like to drink sodas? Try your hand at a homemade one! Cut a lemon into small pieces or mix a little orange juice and refine the whole thing with a little mint and agave syrup - and you have a delicious homemade lemonade.
You can find zero-waste challenges in the PLAN3T app for which you can now earn double Planet Coins for a month. Try your hand at 'Drink Tap Water' and track your success every Sunday. Over the coming weeks, new challenges will be added, which we will take a closer look at in the next blog posts. We hope you have fun trying out the challenges. If you have ideas for future blog posts or further questions, feel free to write to us at email@example.com or contact us on Instagram, Facebook or LinkedIn.