In addition to this being a
Blog Action Day 2010 post about water, it is also a confessional: I buy bottled water…occasionally. That is VERY occasionally.
No, no, no, it’s not what you think! As one who lives in earthquake country and chooses preparedness over denial, I have bottled water in my home and in my car.
As all the emergency preparedness resources and guides advise (see: ready.gov, 72hours.org, and/or redcross.org), it is vital to have at least three (ideally five or seven) days worth of water on hand for each member of the household. Up until a few years ago, I purchased water in large plastic bottles. Of course, this was well before I became aware of the detrimental impacts of the bottled water industry on the environment, our health, and economies around the world.
Several artifacts of my period of ignorance continue to linger around the house. An assortment of “expired” water, still in its original bottles, resides in a large storage tub under the back stairs. This water has sat for years, and I would not deem it drinkable, but I opt to hold onto it should there be an emergency situation that leaves my home without running water. Not wanting to waste this precious resource or put their plastic containers back into circulation, these gallons are in line for hand rinsing or other non-ingestive uses. Should they ever be emptied, they will be refilled with tap water and stored again for this same purpose.
So what, you may be wondering, do I do for emergency drinking water? There was a period when my partner and I regularly purchased sparkling mineral water in glass bottles by the case. We are both anti-plastic, and this felt like a more environmentally-friendly action: glass was easily recyclable. And then I had a revelation: glass is easily and more safely re-usable. I decided we should re-fill the empties with tap water and re-store them in the cardboard boxes in which they came. We now have several cases stowed around the house.
We love to drink bubbly water, and for our day-to-day consumption, we invested in a metal soda siphon which infuses tap water with carbonation from a metal (recyclable) CO2 cartridge. It is cost-effective and storage space-saving, to boot!
As we gradually increase our stockpile of emergency water, we find ourselves purchasing very little bottled bubbly stuff. As a fine beverage option when neither tap water nor the siphon is available, we drink it sparingly, and treat it as a special occasion kind of beverage, much as one would a fine wine or champagne. New to our emergency beverage supply containers are the glass gallon jugs in which we purchase local organic apple juice. Apple juice is great for an emergency as it’s always nutritious and delicious, and when the bottles are empty they get refilled with water.