One thing I love about Costco is their book table. Usually I make a list of books I want to read and then put them on hold at the library. But last week I saw Go Green, Live Rich by David Bach lying there and I had to pick it up. It says it has 50 simple ways to save the Earth (and get rich trying). How can you say no to that?

What’s kinda sad is that my first thought was “Wow, I could get a ton of posts out of this book.” So that’s my plan. I have a series of posts (8 to be exact) that were inspired by this neat little book. I’m also going to be giving the book away at the end of the series. You can enter to win by leaving a comment on Green Living days. Each comment will get you another entry. You will have lots of chances to win.

So starting today, and continuing every Tuesday until I have nothing else to say on the matter, come back and let me know your thoughts on going green.

Ok, so let’s get started.

Bottled Water.

The very first thing David Bach suggests in the quest for green riches is to stop drinking bottled water. This topic is pretty close to my heart. Before I moved to Phoenix I never drank a bottle of water, but around here it is necessary for life. When it’s 115 degrees in the shade (and there is very little shade) you need water. And lots of it. It’s not safe to go outside without some water with you. So around here it’s an unavoidable fact. David Bach states that the energy it takes to produce the bottles could power 100,000 cars for a year. Not to mention the impact of transporting 1 billion water bottles per week. While the thought of all that is enough to make me cringe the fact remains that if they took away bottled water people would die. Around here anyways. But that doesn’t mean we can’t reduce what we use.

Mr. Bach gives costs that are staggering enough to almost make me switch to tap. He says that if you drink 8 cups a day of bottled water (which is 4 bottles a day) then you are spending $2,500 a year on bottled water. The same amount of tap water would cost $1. While those are impressive numbers I think they are a tad exaggerated. Even I don’t drink 4 bottles a day, and I certainly don’t spend $1.70 per bottle.

As a family we go through about 24 bottles a week and pay about $4.00 for those 24 bottles. We also use about 2 gallons of water a week, at about 60 cents each. So that is $270 dollars a year for bottled water. Still significantly more than tap but not quite as impressive. So why don’t we switch to tap? Because our tap water is nasty, that’s why. It takes like your sucking on a dirty penny.

So why not use a filter and skip the bottled water altogether? Good question. I only recently gave any thought at all to filtering our own water. When we got our new fridge one of the things I liked about it is that the filter is cheap and easy to change. We have been drinking water right out of the fridge door for the past few weeks and it has greatly reduced the amount of bottled water we use. (My estimates above for our water usage were without the new fridge. I don’t really know yet what we drink now, if I had to guess I would say we use about half as much) Let’s say that you don’t have a fridge that puts filtered water in the door. I found this nifty website that reviews home filters. For what we drink it would cost us about $70 a year to filter the tap water. Not bad at all. Something I would probably look into if I needed it. Even if the cost for the filtered water was the same as bottled, you are still doing the environment a favor by not creating and transporting all those bottles around.

So tell me, do you drink bottled water? Do you hate bottled water? Do think bottled water is for crazy people? I want to know. Leave a comment so you can enter to win the book!

Other posts in this series:

Drive Smarter

Green Credit Cards (at MasterYourCard.com)

Solar Power

Energy Smart