5 Factors to Consider When Buying Ethically-Sourced Bottled Water

Bottled water has unfortunately become the modern-day go to for many, from sports enthusiasts, avid hikers, to business folk working late hours. The convenience of purchasing a bottle of water is a guilty option for the modern consumer, since we are still far from achieving the necessary level of awareness in terms of the consequences of drinking bottled water – or at least drinking water that comes in typical, plastic bottles. 

This is where the market gets interesting: new brands are emerging to change the course of the industry, and introduce carbon-neutral, eco-friendly business models that don’t harm nature, but that also keep the modern consumer happy. If you’re eager to make your own bottled water purchases more sustainable when you are in the position to rely on them, here are a few things to keep in mind. Of course, we always advocate to taking your own refillable water bottle with you. The benefits are not just environmental, they usually mean that you stay more hydrated, and more often than not the water (since you put it there from your own source and it hasn’t been sitting on a shelf for ages) is healthier. 

Choose locally bottled water

When we try to find the best possible ways to lead a healthy life, we often look for the complicated solution, while the simplest, most obvious answers remain the most effective ones. Proper hydration, for example, remains a pillar of wellness and healthy living, so researching the best ways to hydrate your body can make all the difference for your long-term health. 

If you need to buy bottled water, aim for local brands. Why? Because no import means a lower carbon footprint, but buying from a smaller, local brand also means supporting the local economy and community prosperity. You can easily check the source of each brand’s water, look into the production facilities, and learn about the brand. 

Mind the carbon footprint

Spring water has become the latest must-try for its health benefits. However, some brands will boast their product’s mineral content and other health benefits of their water, while they’ll forget to mention its source and the way it’s processed. As vital as this may be, and we’ll get to that shortly, you should also look into the brand’s long-term goals and what they are doing right now to achieve them.

Aim to support ethically sourced spring water like SOURCE Water that aims to transcend from being carbon-neutral to becoming carbon-negative in the future. Their goal is backed by responsible management of their water source as well as healthy and sustainable packaging. In addition to meeting today’s standards, such brands aim for an even cleaner future, and choosing them means supporting the same sustainability goals in your own life.

What To Consider When Buying Bottled Water That Is A Better Choice

Glass beats plastic every time

So far, most bottled water brands have pledged to reduce the use of plastic, switch to harmless plastic varieties, or at the very least recycle the plastic bottles and thus make sure that their reliance on this material is less harmful for the environment. 

Alas, plastic in any shape and form comes with so many issues for our health and Mother Nature alike. Switching to glass bottles instead is the right way to go, as this material is far more sustainable and can be safely reused in your household for a variety of purposes. It is also a near perfect product for recycling, as it doesn’t require a great deal of toxic processing and can be re-recycled many times. 

Pollution beyond packaging

Purity has always been a major concern for bottled water brands and local governments trying to provide the safest, healthiest water sources to its citizens. Sometimes a brand can fit into the given parameters without truly doing their best to preserve the environment. 

Swedish experts emphasize the importance of adaptability in terms of water processing technology, but also governmental requirements protecting the environment and ensuring optimal water quality. Climate change will pose new challenges for brands to retain their sustainability certificates, and update their water processing capabilities to meet the latest standards. Simply put: look for brands that don’t shy away from improving their technology for water processing and retaining optimal mineral content for their product.

Ethics built into the business model

Even though we’re discussing water, the most essential of human needs, brands still exist to be profitable. However, some brands go the extra mile with the profit they earn and they invest in sustainability causes, local green charities, and other planet-oriented organizations that work on bettering our life on this planet.

The final factor to consider when purchasing ethically-sourced bottled water is this: does the brand partner with like-minded organizations aiming to preserve the environment? If so, you’re on the right track.

It would be remiss to get through this part of educating readers if we did not mention that of all water bottling companies, Nestlé is without a doubt, the worst of the lot. They in fact seem to go the extra mile to create UNethical practices and have created massive issues for both entire communities and governments worldwide. They are a prime example of “the bad guy” in business. If you do ONE thing in your aim to be a more ethical shopper, boycotting Nestlé products could be it. This means Nestlé Pure Life, Poland Spring, Arrowhead, Deer Park, Ozarka, Perrier, Vittel, Zephyrhills, Acqua Panna, San Pellegrino, Al Manhal and Buxton. In 2008, Nestlé Waters became the largest bottled water brand in the world. With everything from taking away water rights of clean drinking water in communities that desperately need it, to participating in human trafficking and child labor, to exploiting uneducated mothers in developing countries, Nestle is quite possibly one of the world’s most corrupt corporations.

From the water itself, to packaging, all the way to the end seller and the target market, you can certainly make a difference in choosing the right, ethically-sourced bottled water. Recognize the brands that work towards these sustainability goals and when you have no other choice but to purchase bottled water you can make a better choice while at the same time supporting businesses that strive to change the global mindset towards sustainability. 

Peter Minkoff

Peter is a lifestyle writer living between Europe and Australia. Follow Peter on Twitter for more tips.

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