Wednesday, August 17, 2011

Water filtration continued...

Yesterday I wrote about the importance of drinking good, clean water. Water that is free of chlorine, medical residues, heavy metals, hormones and other contaminants. So before I move on to other aspects of water, I feel the need to share my opinion about some practical options available for getting good water.
First of all, I would like to acknowledge that we are blessed to have access to what is, in the grand scheme, very clean drinking water. There are too many people in this world, who do not have access to clean drinking water, or have to walk huge distances to get water. Therefore if you currently buy bottled water, I would like to suggest to you the following: Buy a water filter. There will be an initial investment but ultimately you'll be paying as little as $0.02 per liter (depending on the amount of particulates in the water, which determines how long the cartridge lasts). Then take the money you would have spent on bottled water and donate it to a charity that brings clean water to people who currently don't have it. You can find your own charity, but here is one to start with:

But back to my ramblings about options for clean water here. The reason I don't approve of bottled water is that it requires a bunch of energy. In the case of water coolers, you either by it yourself and do the heavy lifting, or you get it delivered to your house. Either way there is transportation involved. Also, the company that bottles the water is using more energy to process the water before it goes in the bottle. If you are drinking major brand bottled water in small bottles, not only are you paying more for water than you are for gas, but the transportation involved with this water is astronomical! Some of this water comes from the other end of the world! And of course it comes in plastic bottles which have to be made and recycled (if you recycle!). And all along you could have filled your stainless steel water bottle with filtered tap water before you leave the house! Simple!

I also want to address reverse osmosis filtration. Many major brands sell water that is reverse osmosis filtered and you can also install such a filter at home below the sink. Basically, a reverse osmosis filter pushes water through ever finer membranes, the final one being so fine that only water molecules fit through. Seems like a good idea, but the water inevitable ends up acidic. I've tested the water from a below-the-sink reverse osmosis filter and also some major brands' bottled water. The pH was usually around 5.8 as opposed to a neutral 7ish.

I am hoping to get into some of the more interesting, mysterious and wonderful aspects of water next, but today this will have to do. Let me leave you with this question: have you ever drank from a high mountain spring or stream? If you did, it probably tasted wonderful and refreshing. But would you say it was more 'alive' than the city tap water? I plan to explore the concept of living water vs. dead water over the next couple of days, so if you're out hiking in the pristine mountains and come across a spring or stream, have a sip and really pay attention to the experience.

Now, go have another glass of water! ;-)

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