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Un-Bottled

A conversation I had recently got me to thinking about this and my brain wasn’t going to let me stop until I did the math for myself. Exactly how much money are you wasting on bottled water?

First let’s talk about bottled water…

If you shop at a warehouse club, you can get 40 17oz bottles of water for $3. That’s less than a dime per bottle, $0.075 to be exact. Let’s assume that your household drinks 3 bottles per day on average. That’s 145.43 gallons per year costing a total of $82.12. And you’re putting 1195 plastic bottles into your waste stream, hopefully they’re being recycled.

And now another approach…

First there’s the water itself. The price of tap water will vary by city, here in Tempe I pay $0.18 per 100 gallons. But let’s say $0.20 to keep the math easy. 145.43 gallons of tap water costs $0.29.

But you may not be comfortable drinking what comes out of your tap as is, I’m not. So you need some sort of filtration system. The pitcher style is probably the most popular, so we’ll focus on that. The pitcher itself could set you back as little as $10 or more than $30 depending on brand an capacity. My pitcher is 5 years old and still going strong, but let’s assume you need to buy a new $20 pitcher every five years. That’s $4 per year.

Generic replacement filters are $3.67 each and need to be replaced every 40 gallons. So to produce 145.43 gallons of filtered water, you will use 3.64 filters which is $13.34.

Add all that up and you end up at $17.63 per year. That’s 79% savings over store bought bottled water. Plus you’ve removed 1195 plastic bottles from your waste stream. And if your household drinks more than 3 bottles a day your savings would be even bigger.