Pays to be hydrated?

The cost of bottled water versus milk

Which do you think cost more?

A post from out intern, Jennifer Chamberlin.

This blog was inspired by the cost of a 16.9 oz. water bottle. You can purchase water in many different sizes and quantities but at my second job the store sells 16.9 oz. bottles. I have been amazed as to how many single small bottles of water are sold individually. I was curious to investigate a little further…

I first looked into how much thirstier American’s have become in the past 25 years. After doing a little research, I found some shocking information. On average American’s are 34% thirstier since 1980 to 2005. This is a broad category of tea, milk, coffee, bottled water, carbonated drinks and juices.

Breaking down each of those drinks individually, on the low end there has only been a 2% increase in Milk consumption over those 25 years. On the high end, a 92% increase of bottled water consumption, 92%! What is so striking to me is the ingredients of both beverages have not changed in 25 years, only their packaging and marketing…

Lets break down the cost of a 16.9 oz. water bottle against its unpopular friend milk and a Brita filter. A Brita and the plastic bottle have the exact same product; the only difference is the packing of the bottled water.

Plush priced Water Bottle: At $1.30 for my 16.9 oz. bottle of water that comes to roughly over 7 cents an oz. There are 128 oz. in a gallon, at this rate I am essentially paying $9.82 for a gallon of water.  There are just less than eight 16.9 oz. bottles of water in a gallon.

Last pick in gym class, Milk: The average cost of a gallon of milk in July 2012 is $3.40. Comparing milk to the bottle of water, bottled water is 62% more expensive per oz.

Cost effective friend, The Brita: The cost of a Brita is $32, it is recommended to replace your Brita every 40 gallons of water. That is 5,120 oz. of filtered water for $32, or less than 1 cent per oz. OR a mere .80 cents per gallon.

Breakdown by the gallon:

1 gallon of bottled water (8 bottles): $10.40
1 Gallon of Milk: $3.40
1 Gallon of Brita Water: .80 cents

Here we can see that the cost of a plastic water bottle is much greater. What is even higher is the social cost of transportation, packaging, and disposal of the plastic 16.9 oz. water bottle.

There is a lot of buzz and information about drinking eight 8 oz. of water a day.. That is 64 oz. a day, 448 oz. a week, which comes to 3.5 gallons a week. If you are drinking from a Brita filter this comes to $2.80 a week to stay hydrated. If you only drank 16.9 oz. bottles of water for a week and kept hydrated at the recommended rate it would cost you $36.40 a week.

Yes, there are some ifs, and’s, and but’s to this argument but I wanted to examine how easily we can forget that the purchase of small water bottles really takes a toll on your pocket, not to mention the social cost of plastic water bottles on the environment!

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