I was at a social event this past weekend and was shocked by the judgment sent my way as I sipped a glass of (wait for it) tap water! Partygoers could not believe that I would stoop as low as to drink from an unrefined source, especially given that I am a self-proclaimed health-nut. I, on the other hand, was equally surprised by how blindly these folks had bought into the marketing of bottled water.

For some, bottled water seems to be associated to economic class. The misconception implies that the rich sip the refined bottled water while the poor settle on tap water. C’mon! Bottled water drinkers have all been fooled into spending their money on a product whose reputation has mostly been built on smoke and mirrors. It is true that some bottled water does come from natural springs, but more often than not consumers are buying bottled municipal water at an outrageously inflated price. In fact, bottled water is most often glorified tap water drawn from pipe mains in cities where water safety is not a concern. Sure, the bottled water may be filtered, dechlorinated and further purified, but then so is tap water. In Canada, tap water is subject to strict regulations, vigorous testing and treatment to ensure public health.

One must also account for the fact that the cost of a commodity like bottled water is not limited to the overpriced liquid. The expenditures associated with producing the container, packaging the water, transporting and distributing the finished product, as well as disposing of the empty bottles – not to mention the environmental impact of the entire industry – should be enough to convince anyone to stick to drinking tap water.

So why not avoid the ongoing cost of replenishing your stock of bottled water by investing in a quality reusable container and filling it with tap water? It makes so much more financial sense.