Water is something that surround us every day, without giving us much thought to how it got to our reach. It’s an incredibly valuable resource that we take for granted and never really stop to think how it is sourced or how it gets to our homes. However, the process of collecting, treating and distributing water bottles has a big impact on our planet. As every other resource we need to survive, we see water available to us in supermarkets, restaurants and coffee shops, in our homes as tap water, although there are places where this water is not suited for drinking or is treated for consumption with products that leave a certain taste in the water, what obligates people to get it elsewhere.
Even though this appears armless and basically normal at the eyes of most people, there are some substantial problems associated with it. The water we buy in our supermarkets, besides its high cost to arrive to the supermarket itself, can be highly damaging to the environment. Let me explain: first a brand of water usually has a place assigned to collect and filter the water they sell to their consumers; then they distribute it to a certain area or country to sell in their usual distribution channels; which leads to costs associated with the transportations and distribution that inadvertently will be supported by the consumer. But this is only a small part of the problem, the higher toll of this is the price tag supported by the environment. When we transport the water bottled in a firm’s warehouse to the place where it will be sold, we are increasing the amount of CO2 released to the atmosphere, needless to say, this will only damage the environment more, increasing the greenhouse effect. But this isn’t the only obvious environmental problem that arises from the way water is sourced, another big problem is the plastic used by companies to contain and distribute the water collected in their sights.
Plastic is one of the worst materials when it comes to natural decomposition, being one of the main problems in our oceans, killing and injuring a large number of species of animals. It can remain in the oceans for 10 to 1000 years and the plastic waste produced all around the world is 275 million metric tons, 8 million of which ends up in the oceans. Being aware of these values and the amount of time plastic takes to decompose, it becomes pretty clear that it’s very important to reduce the plastic waste, improve waste management and also reuse the resources as much as possible. Companies and businesses that are adopting the sourcing of local water are also supporting the reusage of water bottles. Restaurants for example can use glass bottles to serve water and then reuse these bottles and refill them with water that is treated locally. Having filtering water machines available for everyone also stimulates people to have a reusable bottle to fill and refill as they please and these machines don’t use plastic carboys, since they collect water from your water network.
Nowadays, everyone is more and more concerned with saving the planet and supporting sustainability, so having water that is locally sourced is a great step in that direction. This can be applied to a business, providing your employees with a water filtering machine so they can have fresh water available to them without having to go to a store and buy a large amount of water bottles, or can be applied in our homes, where we can have filtered water for everything we need in our daily basis. For businesses, it is very common to see water machines available since a company wants to provide their employees and customers good conditions to work. However, a lot of the times these machines need water carboys to provide water. As mentioned, this isn’t very environmentally friendly and can be avoided by replacing these machines with the ones that take water from the tap and filter it. As for our homes, isn’t it so much easier to have filtered water whenever you want without having to buy and carry around 5 or 6 litre carboys? It may be a little expensive to buy a water purifier, but it will save you money in the long run, it is a very practical way to have water available and it is also the more responsible thing to do.
For all the reasons mentioned above and more, our company stands by benefits of locally sourced and filtered water, so we provide to every employee the opportunity to have locally sourced water in our office. Every employee is encouraged to bring reusable water bottles or reusable cups to refill in a water filtering machine that takes water from the tap, filters the water and then is ready to drink. This helped us dispend from the plastic carboys that have a huge impact on the environment as well as money and gas emissions on their transportation to our office. We do our best to be environmentally friendly and are constantly looking at ways to diminish our ecological footprint. Km zero water usage is only one of the many ways we can improve our lives and the health of our planet. So let’s start there, keep improving the measurements we adopt and finding new ways to innovate and be environmentally friendly.
by Filipa Marinho