The environment is sadly impacted because all these plastic water bottles will take at least 450 years to decompose in our landfills. That is IF they aren't sealed up in bags or containers, in which case it would take 1000 years or never according to this post on PostConsumers.com.
Everybody knows these are the problems our world faces so how can we change our living habits to better practices and save money at the same time? Some Americans are living so tight pay check to pay check that they cannot afford a cleaner, healthy lifestyle. Or so they think.
The first step towards better drinking water, less money spent and a cleaner environment would be switching to bulk water and finding reusable water containers to haul around instead of plastic water bottles. This can be achieved by visiting the water centers in major grocery stores and sometimes little huts found around the city. Where I live these can range from $0.25 - $0.32 a gallon. The more water you buy in bulk, the cheaper it is. Purchasing a BPA-free water jug can eliminate toxins from your body and is a good way to buy in bulk.
However, these water mills are a step up from bottled water, they still use reverse osmosis filtration, which causes the water molecules to change their structure. This doesn't sound like a big deal, but what happens is the water's PH balance changes to a more acidic base. This can change the PH balance in our own bodies as well if your diet is already high in acidity or you have illness. So while this step will help you get to the better steps mentioned further on in this article, it should not be seen as a "arriving" at the final solution that could mitigate all these issues we are trying to remedy.
The best kind of solution is finding a filtering system that doesn't change the water's molecules, its affordable, it doesn't store in plastic, and it filters out all the harmful things we are drinking like chlorine and fluoride. You can start a slow transition working your way up to the best systems, and work on saving up the money if you have to, but one of the best out there is the Big Berkey Water Filters. Although some of these systems do come in plastic, they have the option of stainless steel as well as different sizes depending on how many family members you have.
Initially, this set up is very expensive. You do have to buy the set-up along with extra filters if you want to remove the fluoride. But the health and cost saving benefits down the road are worth is. One set of main filters, not the fluoride ones, will last seven years! Depending on how much you use it. When you add up the cost of the system and divide it out by roughly how many gallons of water an average human drinks per day, the cost is less then you pay at the grocery store to refill your own jugs. According to their website, "...including fluoride and arsenic reduction, 1 gallon of Berkey water costs just 7 cents!" You can read it on the front page of their website half way down and towards the bottom to get the full information.
I don't work for any of the companies I review, but I do believe in supporting corporations and businesses that are trying to reverse the problems in our world. I do not know if Big Berkey intentionally set out to give us all these benefits that help the environment as well, but as long as they remain in that direction I will support and recommend them to everybody. They also sell other things on their website such as filters for your shower. I purchased one because the chlorine in my water is so high that it was drying out my skin. The filter has helped with that, as well as my not having to breathe in harmful chemicals while the bathroom door is closed. Check out their website for other things like their water bottles too, and their travel version for camping. If you can't yet afford an expensive set-up, start with something small. Any good water in your body will help.
So far, all my friends can taste the difference of the water and say it is really good. I am so "spoiled" with it now that I won't drink water in restaurants or even other people's houses because I can't stand how it tastes. I don't mind though, because I've done a lot of study on how our food and water affect our brain function and body. This is especially important for people that are suffering from disorders like Asperger's Syndrome, mood disorders, ADD/ADHD, or just general stress and depression.