We’re midstream into our annual Wichita River Festival, which has us thinking not just about the health and well-being of the river that flows through our downtown – but also about all the bottled water consumed by its side.

If you haven’t kicked the bottled-water habit, we hope you’ll consider drinking filtered tap water instead. Concerned about portability? Get yourself one of the great stainless-steel bottles now on the market. Then don’t leave home without it. Bad for your bod

  • Toxic chemicals can leach out from the plastic bottle from the heat while stored in the warehouse, during transportation in the truck or your car, or sitting in the sun poolside.

A price too great to pay

  • Worldwide, we spend $100 billion on bottled water every year. It would cost way less to provide every person with safe, sanitary drinking water. It would also save us the roughly 17 million barrels of oil needed to produce those plastic bottles. That’s enough to fuel 100,000 cars for a full year. By the way, the cost of gas averages about 2 cents an ounce. The cost of bottled water: 5 cents an ounce.

Trashing our environment

  • Production, packaging, transportation and disposal all contribute to the problem. We add 2.5 million tons of carbon dioxide to the atmosphere just in the manufacture of all those plastic bottles. And when we’ve drunk them dry – they end up as garbage – laying by the road, filling up landfills, floating in rivers. Oh, and creating a circulating trash patch in the Pacific that’s twice the size of Texas.

No better for you

  • The vast majority of bottled water doesn’t cross state lines, which makes it exempt from FDA oversight. The EPA, however, keeps a watchful eye on municipal water. Drinking water straight out of the tap is probably just as safe as the stuff you buy in a bottle. Looks like this emperor has no clothes.