Think you know H20?

 “Hold on, let me just grab a water”.

How many times have you heard your girlfriends say this- whether before the gym, class or a night out (when the previous contents are usually dumped down the drain).  As UMass Amherst students, we can buy a bottle of water virtually anywhere we are on campus- it may even be “UMass Water” with our school logo. Since many of us are trying to avoid sugary drinks and sodas, a convenient bottle of water seems like the “smart” way to go. From an environmental standpoint, that couldn’t be further from the truth.

Some quick facts:

  • It takes an average of 450 years for a PET water bottle to biodegrade
  • The average American consumes 167 bottles of water a year
  • Bottling and shipping water is the least energy efficient method ever used to supply water
  • 38 million plastic bottles go to the dump per year in America from bottled water (not including soda)


While all of these statistics are staring us in the face, the bottled water trend does not seem to be going anywhere. Many people have been lead to believe that the water itself that is contained inside a plastic bottle is actually superior to the stuff that comes out of your tap. In fact, there are fewer regulations on bottled water than are employed to make sure that public water sources are safe for drinking. Chances are that your perception of bottled water as tasting better is all in your head.

At UMass, there is a growing affinity for changes to benefit the environment on an administrative level. Student groups are mirroring these sentiments by staging efforts to educate their peers about this commonly accepted commodity. The undergraduate Chapter of NetImpact will be hosting a screening of the documentary “Tapped” on February 22nd . The film aims to expose industrial deception and gain expert insights concerning the truths behind bottled water.
Before you make your personal decision to denounce Poland Spring forever, consider watching the documentary yourself and maybe do some of your own research. I bet you’ll be tossing that plastic bottle in the recycling and opting for a more sustainable way to stay hydrated.

Click here to watch the “Tapped”  trailer.