Would you be able to save nearly €1000 over the course of a year by giving up on buying bottled water, and sticking to tap water? You’d be helping your pocket, as well as helping out the environment. Previously, I did a similar analysis asking “What’s your normal coffee buying routine at work?” which could you a further €1400 each year.
The price of bottled water varies widely, from a few cents to a couple of euro per litre. For illustration purposes here, I’m using a well known sparkling water brand 500ml bottle which you’ll find in any shop in the country. The same 500ml of sparkling water, but from a different brand (imported) could cost you as “little” as €1.19.
But 6 500ml bottles of sparkling water in Lidl would set you back €1.69 total. Strangely enough, 6 500ml bottles of sparkling water, no matter where you buy the pack in my recent experience, will cost you €1.69. Grocery competition? Where?
But it’s not just the cost to you or I that’s of interest in buying bottled water as frequently as this. There is the economic cost of shipping water from region to region, or even from country to country. Though, getting a glass of water from our tap these days isn’t cheap – we only need to see the costs incurred by Irish Water when it comes to fixing pipes.
There is also the cost to the environment through all the plastic used to bottle water. “Plastic water bottles can take over 1,000 years to bio-degrade and if incinerated, they produce toxic fumes. It is estimated that over 80% of all single-use water bottles used in the U.S. simply become “litter”.” Furthermore, “it is estimated that actually 3 liters of water is used to package 1 liter of bottled water”.
There are obviously some simple alternatives to buying water in plastic bottles. Well, you could buy one, and then reuse it which would save you a lot of money. Never one to advise spending money in an effort to save money, but you could purchase one of those high-quality reusable water bottles you see people using these days. While these bottles aren’t cheap, if you look after the bottle and keep it clean and hygienic, it should last you a long time. Or just use a glass.
And when you’re out, assuming it’s not one of the places starting to charge for it, don’t be shy to just ask for the house tap water.