water http://www.wisebread.com/taxonomy/term/756/all en-US 7 Soda Alternatives That Won't Bust Your Wallet — Or Your Waistline http://www.wisebread.com/7-soda-alternatives-that-wont-bust-your-wallet-or-your-waistline <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/7-soda-alternatives-that-wont-bust-your-wallet-or-your-waistline" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/lime_flavored_drink_68546813.jpg" alt="Finding healthy and frugal alternatives to soda" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>One thing that is hard to give up is soda &mdash; but for your health, and the health of your wallet, you really should try. Each time you go out to eat, a soda will add about $3 on your bill per person. In 2012, U.S. households spent <a href="http://business.time.com/2012/01/23/how-much-you-spend-each-year-on-coffee-gas-christmas-pets-beer-and-more/">$850 a year on soft drinks</a> alone.</p> <p>As far as health disadvantages, drinking soda regularly can increase belly fat, decrease bone strength, and can increase cavities and gum disease. Soda has been linked to diabetes, obesity, cancer, and high blood pressure. Not only are these health issues scary, but they are also very costly to manage. Don't think that switching to diet will help you out either, since diet soda can be even worse for you with its artificial sweeteners.</p> <p>Kicking your soda habit is the best thing to do for your health and wallet, but that is definitely easier said than done. Here are some frugal ways to satisfy your soda craving without risking your health.</p> <h2>1. Kombucha</h2> <p>If you have never had kombucha, then prepare yourself for a very strong drink. I could not take more than three sips of my first kombucha, but now I actually enjoy certain flavors, like Kevita's Mojita Lime Mint Coconut. Not only can kombucha satisfy your soda craving, but it can also aid in digestion because it is full of healthy bacteria. Kombucha is not the cheapest alternative to soda, unless you make your own. Buy a few when there is a coupon or when there is an <a href="https://ibotta.com/r/jcsgjbv">iBotta</a> offer.</p> <h2>2. Healthier, Homemade Sprite</h2> <p>You can make your own healthier soda by mixing sparkling water, a squeeze of lemon and lime juice, and stevia (or your favorite sweetener) to taste. In my opinion, it tastes very similar to Sprite, but much more refreshing. Obviously if you are drinking soda all day, every day, you will need to allow your taste buds time to adjust.</p> <h2>3. Other Healthy Soda Recipes</h2> <p>If Sprite is not your favorite soda, then here are a few other mixes to try:</p> <ul> <li><strong>Root beer: </strong>Mix sparkling water with a few drops of root beer extract (use organic if you want to avoid chemicals), and sweetener to taste.<br /> &nbsp;</li> <li><strong>Mountain Dew: </strong>Mix two cups of sparkling water with one teaspoon of apple cider vinegar, &frac12; teaspoon of grated ginger, and sweetener to taste. If you enjoy this drink, try increasing the amount of apple cider vinegar over time to increase your health benefits. Apple cider vinegar can help prevent diabetes, lower cholesterol, and give you an extra energy boost.<br /> &nbsp;</li> <li><strong>Cherry-vanilla: </strong>Heat two cups of cherry juice with one vanilla bean (split the bean and scrape out the seeds and pod) and one cup of sweetener of your choice (use less for stevia extract).<br /> &nbsp;</li> <li><strong>Strawberry: </strong>Blend one cup of strawberries with &frac14; cup of honey (or sweetener of your choice). Put two tablespoons of this mixture into a cup and pour sparkling water on top. Use frozen strawberries for a colder drink.</li> </ul> <h2>4. Juice and Seltzer</h2> <p>Another easy alternative to soda is mixing one part juice to two parts seltzer water. Use juices that are 100% juice. Pure pomegranate and cherry juice will give your soda an extra health boost.</p> <h2>5. Flavored Sparkling Water to Go</h2> <p>It is not always convenient to make your own soda, especially if you are traveling. Flavored sparkling water will give you the carbonation and sweetness you are craving. My favorite is the coconut flavored La Croix because when it is really cold, it reminds me of a Coke. Check the labels on sparkling water and make sure that the ingredients are only water and flavoring. Avoid any that have sugar or artificial sweeteners in them.</p> <p>If you need a soda alternative that has caffeine, then the Bai waters are tasty and have as much caffeine as tea. Costco regularly has coupons for Bai water.</p> <h2>6. Green Tea</h2> <p>If you drink soda strictly for caffeine reasons, try going with unsweetened green tea. It will be a big switch on your taste buds at first, but the caffeine from green tea is a little gentler on the system compared to soda and coffee. Green tea is also full of antioxidants and can <a href="http://www.cancer.gov/about-cancer/causes-prevention/risk/diet/tea-fact-sheet">reduce your cancer risk</a>. The easiest way to get green tea on the go is to pop a tea bag into a water bottle and let it sit for about 20&ndash;30 minutes.</p> <h2>7. Spruce Up Your Water</h2> <p>Perhaps you are continually reaching for soda to quench your thirst. Many people will avoid water because they find the taste boring. Try adding fresh cut up fruit or vegetables to make your water have more flavor. Some options to try are cucumbers, strawberries, lemon, lime, oranges, grapefruit, and mint. Mint water can help promote your digestion and reduce inflammation.</p> <h2>Tips to Kick the Soda Habit for Good</h2> <p>When you are trying to kick your soda habit, you don't want to just replace it with another bad habit. For example, if you use five cups of soda to get you through the day, then switching to five cups of coffee is not going to do anything for your budget or health.</p> <p>The best thing to do is to try to change your taste buds and decrease your cravings. For example, if you drink three cups of soda a day, try replacing one cup with just plain water, and the other two cups with one of the healthier alternatives.</p> <p>See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/how-being-healthy-saves-you-money-and-why-bad-health-habits-cost-you?ref=seealso">How Being Healthy Saves You Money (And Why Bad Health Habits Cost You)</a></p> <p>If you are used to having a big cup of soda always at your hand, then put ice water in the same type of cup. You will reach for the water out of habit, and it will take a few days to accept the water as a suitable substitute. Prepare yourself for a few days of withdrawal headaches, knowing that these get worse before they get better.</p> <p><em>What are your favorite alternatives to soda?</em></p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/ashley-eneriz">Ashley Eneriz</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/7-soda-alternatives-that-wont-bust-your-wallet-or-your-waistline">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-2"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/how-to-make-your-own-soda">How to Make Your Own Soda</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/how-water-can-save-you-977-a-year">How Water Can Save You $977 a Year</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/how-much-caffeine-is-in-that">How Much Caffeine is in That?</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/the-6-most-surprisingly-unhealthy-beverages">The 6 Most Surprisingly Unhealthy Beverages</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/2-juices-that-are-surprisingly-bad-for-you-and-5-to-drink-instead">2 Juices That Are Surprisingly Bad for You (and 5 to Drink Instead)</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Food and Drink bad habits drinks healthy alternatives juice recipes seltzer soda tea water Fri, 01 Jul 2016 09:30:30 +0000 Ashley Eneriz 1738703 at http://www.wisebread.com 10 Tricks to Get You Drinking More Water http://www.wisebread.com/10-tricks-to-get-you-drinking-more-water <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/10-tricks-to-get-you-drinking-more-water" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/woman_drinking_water_000038304448.jpg" alt="Woman using tricks to drink more water" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>As we head into the summer months, hydration becomes a huge issue. In fact, up to 75% of Americans are <a href="http://miami.cbslocal.com/2013/07/02/chronic-dehydration-more-common-than-you-think/">chronically dehydrated</a>, getting fewer than the recommended 8 to 10 cups per day. Are you one of them? If so, here are some simple ways to ensure you <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/bottled-or-tap-the-right-choice-for-water-may-surprise-you">drink more H2O</a> on the regular.</p> <h2>1. Drink First Thing</h2> <p>One of the easiest ways to add more water into your day is to grab a glass when you wake up. Establish this habit as part of your everyday routine, and you'll find yourself guzzling more often. I like to start my day with plain water &mdash; no ice &mdash; and a generous squeeze of lemon. Warm water <a href="http://news.health.com/2015/02/24/why-you-should-start-your-day-with-lemon-water/">absorbs into your system</a> more readily and the lemon gives you a boost of antioxidants.</p> <h2>2. Carry a Bottle</h2> <p>Keeping your water close by is another sure way to get you drinking. Bottles come in all materials from <a href="http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B001NCDE52/ref=as_li_tl?ie=UTF8&amp;camp=1789&amp;creative=390957&amp;creativeASIN=B001NCDE52&amp;linkCode=as2&amp;tag=wisbre03-20&amp;linkId=K3FIPKIOH7MFUTWP">BPA-free plastic</a> to <a href="http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B00W8DSLP8/ref=as_li_tl?ie=UTF8&amp;camp=1789&amp;creative=390957&amp;creativeASIN=B00W8DSLP8&amp;linkCode=as2&amp;tag=wisbre03-20&amp;linkId=6MT2GCBNZNZSINB4">glass</a> to <a href="http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B00X6ZC5VS/ref=as_li_tl?ie=UTF8&amp;camp=1789&amp;creative=390957&amp;creativeASIN=B00X6ZC5VS&amp;linkCode=as2&amp;tag=wisbre03-20&amp;linkId=IQ5TCC2ECSDI4K6A">stainless steel</a> and beyond.</p> <h2>3. Use an App</h2> <p>Keeping a mental tally of how many glasses you down in a day can be hard. Use technology to help keep track! You can download <a href="https://itunes.apple.com/us/app/waterlogged-drink-more-water/id352199775?mt=8">Waterlogged</a> for free like over a million people across the globe have done. You'll see charts and have the option to upgrade for reminders. Either way, tracking takes less than a minute out of your day.</p> <h2>4. Sip Before Meals</h2> <p>Try drinking a couple glasses of water before you eat breakfast, lunch, and dinner. You won't just stay hydrated, you might also shed some extra pounds. In a 2010 study published by <em>Obesity</em>, individuals who drank two glasses of water before their meals ate less throughout the day. They <a href="http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1038/oby.2009.235/full">lost more weight</a> over a 12-week period than the control group.</p> <h2>5. Eat It</h2> <p>If you really hate sipping on a glass of water, try eating foods that are drowning in the stuff. Many fruits and veggies boast over <a href="http://www.active.com/health/articles/stay-hydrated-with-high-water-content-foods">90% water content</a>. Snack on watermelon, tomatoes, broccoli, grapefruit, cucumber, and more. You'll be getting more whole foods in your diet to boot.</p> <h2>6. Try Flavoring</h2> <p>There are so many ways you can flavor water &mdash; from store-bought pouches to recipes you'll find online. One of my favorites? This <a href="http://www.sarahtitus.com/2014/09/24/sweet-watermelon-water/">sweet watermelon water</a>. Combine seedless watermelon with water in your blender. Sweeten with Stevia or your favorite substitute. Absolutely delicious.</p> <h2>7. Infuse It</h2> <p>You can also purchase an inexpensive <a href="http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B0023UL86A/ref=as_li_tl?ie=UTF8&amp;camp=1789&amp;creative=390957&amp;creativeASIN=B0023UL86A&amp;linkCode=as2&amp;tag=wisbre03-20&amp;linkId=TAJCY2Y5WRQUXQIG">water infusion pitcher</a> to keep in your fridge. Pop in different fruits and let the flavors mingle. I love using sliced cucumbers to replicate my favorite spa water at home. But anything from citrus to berries to stone fruits will do. You can even refill it a few times without having to replace the fruit (just make sure it's within a couple days).</p> <h2>8. Use Ice Cubes</h2> <p>Put lots of ice into your beverages throughout the day. After all, ice is just frozen water. Right? By cooling down your juice or soda, you'll also sneak several ounces down the hatch without even thinking about it. Who knows, eventually you might skip the other drinks and go straight for the pure stuff.</p> <h2>9. Get a Filter</h2> <p>Sometimes your tap water's taste can be less than appealing. And despite what you might think, <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/bottled-or-tap-the-right-choice-for-water-may-surprise-you">bottled water</a> isn't always the answer. Try using water filters at your tap or filter pitchers in your refrigerator. They can take out many impurities and improve the taste of your tap water. Bottled water can cost up to a whopping <a href="https://www.banthebottle.net/articles/7-bottled-water-myths-busted/">10,000 times more per gallon</a> anyway, so save your pennies.</p> <h2>10. Banish Sugary Beverages</h2> <p>I have a policy at home where I only drink water (or wine). I've decided that I'll save all other drinks for dining out or special occasions. This is a wonderful method to try if you're hooked on soda or other high caloric beverages. You'll drink more healthy water and also trim your waistline with all those calories you'll save.</p> <p><em>How do you get more water in your day?</em></p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/ashley-marcin">Ashley Marcin</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/10-tricks-to-get-you-drinking-more-water">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-1"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/hungry-have-a-drink">Hungry? Have a drink.</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/eight-natural-ways-to-make-water-more-flavorful">Eight Natural Ways to Make Water More Flavorful</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/5-foods-that-help-you-fight-fat">5 Foods That Help You Fight Fat</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/is-green-tea-all-its-cracked-up-to-be-its-close">Is Green Tea All It&#039;s Cracked Up to Be? It&#039;s close.</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/make-these-5-diet-moves-now-or-youll-regret-it-in-20-years">Make These 5 Diet Moves Now or You&#039;ll Regret It in 20 Years</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Food and Drink Health and Beauty h2o healthy water weight loss Fri, 22 May 2015 17:00:09 +0000 Ashley Marcin 1429780 at http://www.wisebread.com Bottled or Tap: The Right Choice for Water May Surprise You http://www.wisebread.com/bottled-or-tap-the-right-choice-for-water-may-surprise-you <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/bottled-or-tap-the-right-choice-for-water-may-surprise-you" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/drink-87358427.jpg" alt="drinking water" title="drinking water" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="167" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>Did you know that bottled water sales have more than tripled over the last 10 years? It's true! Annually, this business as a whole pulls in a staggering <a href="http://www.nrdc.org/living/shoppingwise/water-weight-burden-buying-bottled.asp">$11 billion a year</a>. On... water. The most perplexing part: &quot;Tap water [from regulated public versus private sources, for the purpose of this article] and bottled water are <a href="http://www.mayoclinic.org/healthy-living/nutrition-and-healthy-eating/expert-answers/tap-water/faq-20058017">generally comparable</a> in terms of safety.&quot; (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/bottled-water-bottled-hype-part-1?ref=seealso">Bottled Water Hype</a>)</p> <p>So, then, why are so many of us choosing to literally pour our dollars down the drain? Here are some things to consider before you take your next sip.</p> <h2>1. Taste Differences</h2> <p>Well, just because water is safe to drink doesn't necessarily mean it tastes the best. Plus, as discerning consumers, we're all about options.</p> <p>If you drink water from taps across the country, you'll definitely notice a difference. Some spouts are generally taste-neutral while others are laced with a hint of chlorine (sometimes even an overpowering flavor, as chlorination is one popular method <a href="http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Water_chlorination">used to purify</a> water for drinking). From there, the taste may differ depending on mineral content or a number of other factors. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/the-best-eco-friendly-water-bottles?ref=seealso">The Best Eco-Friendly Water Bottles</a>)</p> <p>Thing is, bottled water, too, has its own different production processes. And as a result, bottled water will also produce a range of pleasing or pungent flavors and notes, making it just as difficult to identify in blindfolded taste tests. Looking beyond the pretty packaging, you might not be able to tell your favorite brand from your tap. So, if safety and taste aren't really pulling you in either direction &mdash; the dollars and cents should.</p> <h2>2. Money Matters</h2> <p>How much money are we talking about? One estimate I encountered: Bottled water costs <a href="http://www.banthebottle.net/articles/7-bottled-water-myths-busted/">240 to over 10,000 times</a> more per gallon than tap water. Once you pick your jaw off the floor (I had to!) and let that set in, the choice between the two seems much easier. Plus, if you consider that some bottled waters might actually just be tap water in disguise &mdash; you're being up-charged considerably. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/25-things-to-do-with-reusable-water-bottles?ref=seealso">25 Things To Do With Reusable Water Bottles</a>)</p> <p>That's right: &quot;<a href="http://www.today.com/id/5467759/ns/today-today_food/t/your-bottled-water-coming-faucet/#.U2PkWtxofwI">25%</a> (to as much as <a href="http://www.nrdc.org/water/drinking/bw/exesum.asp">40%</a>) of the bottled waters consumed in the U.S. come from municipal water supplies.&quot; That sounds just plain criminal to me (or, alternatively, like an incredibly lucrative business idea). So far, tap water is winning with regard to safety, taste, and dollars. If you choose to save your pennies by drinking from your own tap, then next question becomes: To filter or not to filter?</p> <h2>3. Trickle Down</h2> <p>Well, that's where this whole issue gets particularly slippery. In an informal study conducted at the offices of Mother Jones, staff members actually voted <a href="http://www.motherjones.com/blue-marble/2009/07/bottled-waters-can-you-taste-difference">San Francisco tap water</a> &mdash; which is sourced from the Hetch Hetchy Reservoir in Yosemite National Park &mdash; straight out of the tap better than its filtered counterpart. However, we can't all enjoy such pristine sources.</p> <p>In fact, a 2009 analysis conducted by the Environmental Working Group found <a href="http://www.eatingwell.com/blogs/health_blog/should_you_filter_your_tap_water">315 pollutants</a>, including freaky stuff like arsenic, hiding in EPA-approved taps across the country. What's even more difficult is that water within the same area can vary in safety from home to home due to pipe age, material, and other pesky factors.</p> <h2>What to Do?</h2> <p>If you're confused, you're in good company. It seems there's no clear-cut answer to what is truly the best choice for our bodies. Though, what we can all agree upon is that bottled water surely comes at a premium and may very well not be worth the added cost.</p> <p>The best advice I've found is to familiarize yourself with <a href="http://www.cdc.gov/healthywater/drinking/public/drinking-water-faq.html">common contaminants</a> and to have your tap water tested. If you choose to filter, there are various techniques, though not one will clear out all possible impurities. Also important: &quot;A home water filter <a href="http://www.webmd.com/women/home-health-and-safety-9/safe-drinking-water?page=3">won't protect you</a> from water that has been declared unsafe&quot; by municipalities during natural disasters like floods. And generally, you can avoid consuming lead from tap water by using &quot;cold tap for drinking, cooking, and making baby formula and to let the water run for a minute before using it.&quot;</p> <p><em>Do you drink bottled water? If not, do you filter your tap water?</em></p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/ashley-marcin">Ashley Marcin</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/bottled-or-tap-the-right-choice-for-water-may-surprise-you">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-1"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/how-water-can-save-you-977-a-year">How Water Can Save You $977 a Year</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/bottled-water-bottled-hype-part-1">Bottled Water, Bottled Hype Part 1</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/bottled-water-bottled-hype-part-2">Bottled Water, Bottled Hype Part 2</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/bottled-water-bottled-hype-part-3">Bottled Water, Bottled Hype Part 3</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/7-soda-alternatives-that-wont-bust-your-wallet-or-your-waistline">7 Soda Alternatives That Won&#039;t Bust Your Wallet — Or Your Waistline</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Food and Drink Green Living bottle water tap water wasting money water Fri, 16 May 2014 08:12:43 +0000 Ashley Marcin 1139415 at http://www.wisebread.com Stuff We Love: A Lifefactory Reusable Glass Water Bottle http://www.wisebread.com/stuff-we-love-a-lifefactory-reusable-glass-water-bottle <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/stuff-we-love-a-lifefactory-reusable-glass-water-bottle" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/drink-2241309-small.jpg" alt="woman drinking water" title="woman drinking water" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="167" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>Since high school I&rsquo;ve carried a water bottle with me just about everywhere. Through my early work years Nalgene was the bottle of choice &mdash; until it was revealed that there was the hormone altering chemical bisphenol A (BPA) in them. At that time I switched to stainless steel reusable bottles, which I loved because I felt that they were the safest option for a chemical free water bottle. While stainless bottles are great, water can get a metallic taste if left in the bottle for too long. So, I made the switch to glass water bottles &mdash; and got a <a href="http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B003BFYZE8/ref=as_li_ss_tl?ie=UTF8&amp;camp=1789&amp;creative=390957&amp;creativeASIN=B003BFYZE8&amp;linkCode=as2&amp;tag=stuffwelove-20" target="_blank">Lifefactory glass bottle</a> about a year ago.</p> <h2>Why I Own a Lifefactory Glass Water Bottle</h2> <p>I own the glass water bottle because I don't want any chemicals in my water. And the best way to avoid chemicals in your water is to use a reusable bottle that doesn&rsquo;t leach chemicals like BPA into it. After using stainless steel water bottles for a while I decided I wanted to try a glass water bottle instead. I looked up reviews on Amazon and the very best rated bottle was the Lifefactory bottle. People were huge fans of the design and silicone sleeve. I have been using it for almost a year now, and it&rsquo;s great.</p> <p><img alt="" src="http://static1.killeraces.com/files/fruganomics/u784/swl-lifefactory.png" style="height:385px; width:605px" /></p> <h2>What's Great About It</h2> <p>There are multiple things that I love about my Lifefactory bottle. First it doesn't contain BPA phthalates or any other chemicals. Second, the silicone cover prevents slipping and prevents it from breaking if I drop it. Third, there are good lid options. And finally, I have great tasting water.</p> <p><strong>It Has an Amazing Non-Slip Silicone Cover</strong></p> <p>I love the silicone slipcover &mdash; it is probably the bottle&rsquo;s greatest feature. When you're carrying the bottle the silicone does a great job of preventing the bottle from slipping from your hand. Even if the bottle does tip over, the silicone protects the bottle from breaking. I have dropped the bottle numerous times, and it has yet to scratch. (Contrast this to my extremely dented stainless steel water bottles.)</p> <p>I use the Lifefactory glass bottle mostly at my office, and I found with other water bottles condensation would build up on the bottle and drip onto my desk and on papers. It created quite a mess. The nonslip silicone cover does a good job of preventing a lot of the condensation buildup.</p> <p><strong>The Caps and Lids Are Amazing</strong></p> <p>Lifeactory now makes multiple lids for their water bottles. I have the flip cap, which has a narrow mouth spout for easy drinking. It is made of silicone with polypropylene. There's a handle, which makes it really easy to carry around. The only challenge with the flip is that it is not completely leakproof. I have never tested it, but based on the structure I would not put the bottle filled with water In my purse with my phone or computer. (It seals pretty well, but it just seems like it could detach easily.) There is also a new straw for the Lifefactory bottle, which I haven't yet tried, but I think this would be a good option for if you take the bottle exercising.</p> <p><strong>It Makes for Great Tasting Water</strong></p> <p>The best reason to switch from a plastic or stainless bottle to a glass bottle is that the water always taste great. What does it taste like? It tastes just how water should taste &mdash; like water.</p> <h2>What It Compares To</h2> <p>The Lifefactory glass water bottle is one of very few glass water bottles currently on the market. Another option I looked at when considering buying a glass bottle was a six-pack of Aquasana glass water bottles. However, these water bottles did not have the silicone sleeve or an easy-to-drink-from spout. Also, the Aquasauna bottles are 18 ounces instead of 22 ounces.</p> <p>There are now two other options similar to the Lifefactory bottle on the market &mdash; the Takeya classic water bottle with the silicone sleeve and Ello glass water bottle. Based on the reviews, it appears that people prefer Lifefactory for better caps and lids, but some people prefer the Takeya&rsquo;s design.</p> <h2>Who It Is Best For</h2> <p>The Lifefactory glass water bottle is best for people who are looking for a reusable water bottle and would keep the bottle primarily in one place. For example, if you're looking to have a water bottle just at your office or just at your house or mostly in your car I would highly recommend the Lifefactory glass water bottle. I would be a little hesitant to carry the glass water bottle with me on a hiking trip because of the added weight.</p> <h2>How It Could Be Better</h2> <p>The only improvement I would make with my Lifefactory bottle is if I could have both the flip cap for easy drinking but a regular lid for storage if I wanted to take my bottle from place to place and ensure that it wouldn't leak.</p> <h2>Bottom Line Recommendation</h2> <p>The Lifefactory glass water bottle is best for anyone looking for a safe and healthy water bottle that is unlikely to break and is easy to drink from.</p> <p><strong>Where to Get Yours</strong></p> <ul> <li>Amazon <a href="http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B003BFYZE8/ref=as_li_ss_tl?ie=UTF8&amp;camp=1789&amp;creative=390957&amp;creativeASIN=B003BFYZE8&amp;linkCode=as2&amp;tag=stuffwelove-20" target="_blank">carries the Lifefactory bottle for about $21</a>.</li> <li>Diapers.com is currently offering a great deal <a href="http://www.diapers.com/p/lifefactory-glass-bottle-w-sleeve-16oz-rasberry-170205">on select colors for just $16</a>.</li> <li>Williams-Sonoma <a href="http://www.williams-sonoma.com/products/4218095/">currently has the bottle for $20</a>.</li> </ul> <p><strong><a href="http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B003BFYZE8/ref=as_li_ss_tl?ie=UTF8&amp;camp=1789&amp;creative=390957&amp;creativeASIN=B003BFYZE8&amp;linkCode=as2&amp;tag=stuffwelove-20" target="_blank">Get Yours Today!</a></strong></p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/elizabeth-lang">Elizabeth Lang</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/stuff-we-love-a-lifefactory-reusable-glass-water-bottle">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-2"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/want-stylish-shoes-that-last-for-years-try-frye">Want Stylish Shoes That Last for Years? Try Frye</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/stuff-we-love-49-different-looks-from-one-pair-of-mohop-sandals">Stuff We Love: 49 Different Looks From One Pair of Mohop Sandals</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/stuff-we-love-make-delicious-ice-cream-with-the-lello-gelato-junior">Stuff We Love: Make Delicious Ice Cream With the Lello Gelato Junior</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/no-pulling-dogs-walk-easy-with-the-easy-walk-harness">No Pulling! Dogs Walk Easy With the Easy Walk Harness</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/stuff-we-love-go-scootababy-for-an-easy-comfortable-baby-carrier">Stuff We Love: Go Scootababy for an Easy, Comfortable Baby Carrier</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Shopping buying guide product reviews reusable bottle stuff we love water water bottle Tue, 15 Oct 2013 10:00:04 +0000 Elizabeth Lang 1022982 at http://www.wisebread.com Best Money Tips: Slash Your Water Bill http://www.wisebread.com/best-money-tips-slash-your-water-bill <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/best-money-tips-slash-your-water-bill" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/chores-5296840-small.jpg" alt="water" title="water" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="167" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>Welcome to Wise Bread's <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/topic/best-money-tips">Best Money Tips</a> Roundup! Today we found some stellar articles on ways to slash your water bill, saving at the farmer's market, and ways to make money.</p> <h2>Top 5 Articles</h2> <p><a href="http://www.moneytalksnews.com/2013/07/16/17-ways-to-slash-your-water-bill/">17 Ways to Slash Your Water Bill</a> &mdash; Installing a low-flow shower head and planting drought resistant plants can help you slash your water bill. [Money Talks News]</p> <p><a href="http://www.savvysugar.com/How-Save-Money-Farmers-Market-24036008">7 Insider Tips to Saving Money at the Farmer's Market</a> &mdash; If you want to save money at the farmer's market, avoid the morning rush. [PopSugar Smart Living]</p> <p><a href="http://www.moolanomy.com/6416/8-easy-ways-anyone-can-make-money/">8 Easy Ways Anyone Can Make Money</a> &mdash; If you want to make money, review books or become a virtual assistant. [Moolanomy]</p> <p><a href="http://www.kiplinger.com/article/spending/T063-C011-S001-7-ways-to-cut-the-cost-of-cable-tv.html">7 Ways to Cut the Cost of Cable</a> &mdash; To save money on cable, turn off your cable equipment when it's not in use. [Kiplinger]</p> <p><a href="http://www.stockmonkeys.com/how-to-reduce-stress-when-buying-a-home-AJ2AKZQ8/">How to Reduce Stress When Buying a Home</a> &mdash; Getting pre-approved for a mortgage loan can help reduce your stress levels when you buy a house. [StockMonkeys]</p> <h2>Other Essential Reading</h2> <p><a href="http://www.freemoneyfinance.com/2005/10/5_steps_to_gett.html">5 Steps to Getting that Raise</a> &mdash; Are you hoping to get a raise? Rehearse what you want to say before you talk to your boss. [Free Money Finance]</p> <p><a href="http://money.msn.com/saving-money-tips/post&mdash;save-up-to-50percent-on-fresh-produce?ref=bfv">Save up to 50% on fresh produce</a> &mdash; If you want to save up to 50% on your produce, pick it yourself! [MSN Money]</p> <p><a href="http://parentingsquad.com/7-memorable-and-low-cost-ways-to-commemorate-your-childs-birthday">7 Memorable and Low-Cost Ways to Commemorate Your Child's Birthday</a> &mdash; To commemorate your child's birthday, scrapbook or create a slideshow. [Parenting Squad]</p> <p><a href="http://www.creditsesame.com/blog/being-a-responsible-authorized-user/">4 Tips for Being a Responsible Authorized User</a> &mdash; Be a responsible authorized user by monitoring your spending. [Credit Sesame]</p> <p><a href="http://www.bargaineering.com/articles/beware-real-estate-agent-buyer-contracts.html">Beware Real Estate Agent Buying Contracts</a> &mdash; Interviewing your real estate agent will enable you to make sure you don't sign a contract with someone who doesn't like your strategy. [Bargaineering]</p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/ashley-jacobs">Ashley Jacobs</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/best-money-tips-slash-your-water-bill">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-1"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/3-great-home-gadgets-that-can-save-you-real-money">3 Great Home Gadgets That Can Save You Real Money</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/the-5-best-air-fresheners">The 5 Best Air Fresheners</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/the-5-best-allergen-sprays">The 5 Best Allergen Sprays</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/flashback-friday-our-61-best-home-improvement-hacks-ever">Flashback Friday: Our 61 Best Home Improvement Hacks Ever</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/the-5-most-dangerous-things-hiding-in-your-home-right-now">The 5 Most Dangerous Things Hiding in Your Home Right Now</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Home best money tips home saving water water bill Mon, 22 Jul 2013 10:00:31 +0000 Ashley Jacobs 980742 at http://www.wisebread.com Best Money Tips: Steps to Living a Life You Love http://www.wisebread.com/best-money-tips-steps-to-living-a-life-you-love <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/best-money-tips-steps-to-living-a-life-you-love" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/woman-942667-small.jpg" alt="woman" title="woman" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="167" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>Welcome to Wise Bread's <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/topic/best-money-tips">Best Money Tips</a> Roundup! Today we found some fantastic articles on living a life you love, conserving bathroom water, and carving more time out of your day.</p> <h2>Top 5 Articles</h2> <p><a href="http://www.marcandangel.com/2013/05/26/26-steps-to-living-a-life-you-love/">26 Steps to Living a Life You Love</a> &mdash; To live a life you love, define your values and get rid of clutter. [Marc and Angel Hack Life]</p> <p><a href="http://lenpenzo.com/blog/id19540-stop-pouring-money-down-the-drain-9-ways-to-conserve-bathroom-water.html">Stop Pouring Money Down the Drain: 9 Ways to Conserve Bathroom Water</a> &mdash; Conserve your bathroom water by displacing space in your toilet tank. [Len Penzo dot Com]</p> <p><a href="http://timemanagementninja.com/2013/05/10-tips-to-help-you-carve-more-time-out-of-your-day/">10 Tips to Help You Carve More Time Out of Your Day</a> &mdash; If you want to have more time in your day, try getting up earlier and preparing for your day. [Time Management Ninja]</p> <p><a href="http://lifehacker.com/how-to-skip-the-sleaze-and-build-a-real-professional-ne-510256651">How to Skip the Sleaze and Build a Real Professional Network</a> &mdash; Are you trying to build your professional network? Attend after work events and offer your help when you can give it. [LifeHacker]</p> <p><a href="http://financialhighway.com/do-you-think-like-a-rich-person/">Do You Think LIke a Rich Person?</a> &mdash; Rich people tend to take action as opposed to waiting for events to favor them. [Financial Highway]</p> <h2>Other Essential Reading</h2> <p><a href="http://frugalzeitgeist.com/cheap-diy-for-the-home/">Cheap DIY for the Home</a> &mdash; To make sure your DIY home projects stay cheap, get better at using tools and learn the skills needed to DIY. [Frugal Zeigeist]</p> <p><a href="http://www.20sfinances.com/2013/05/29/tricks-i-used-to-save-money-in-college/">Tricks I Used to Save Money in College</a> &mdash; Avoiding ATMs is a good way to save money in college. [20's Finances]</p> <p><a href="http://www.consumerismcommentary.com/choosing-to-stay-home-with-children/">Choosing to Stay Home With Children</a> &mdash; When deciding what parent should stay home with the children, take into consideration what support you have. [Consumerism Commentary]</p> <p><a href="http://www.savvysugar.com/How-Better-Listener-1628931">6 Smart Tips For Being a Better Listener</a> &mdash; If you want to be a better listener, don't interrupt people. [PopSugar Smart Living]</p> <p><a href="http://parentingsquad.com/13-things-college-bound-students-should-consider-before-the-first-day-of-class">13 Things College-Bound Students Should Consider Before the First Day of Class</a> &mdash; Future college students should look into campus clubs and create a budget before school starts. [Parenting Squad]</p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/ashley-jacobs">Ashley Jacobs</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/best-money-tips-steps-to-living-a-life-you-love">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-2"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/10-really-easy-ways-to-unclog-drains">10 Really Easy Ways to Unclog Drains</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/14-ways-to-retire-early">14 Ways to Retire Early</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/how-baking-soda-took-my-bathroom-from-yuck-to-yes">How Baking Soda Took My Bathroom from “Yuck” to Yes!</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/six-ways-to-stay-warm-and-reduce-the-heating-bill">Six Ways to Stay Warm and Reduce the Heating Bill</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/use-only-what-you-need">Use only what you need</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> General Tips bathroom best money tips conserve saving water Thu, 30 May 2013 10:00:31 +0000 Ashley Jacobs 976305 at http://www.wisebread.com How Water Can Save You $977 a Year http://www.wisebread.com/how-water-can-save-you-977-a-year <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/how-water-can-save-you-977-a-year" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/4162309645_313013153e.jpg" alt="glass of water" title="glass of water" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>Most of us eat out at least once a week. In fact, renowned culinary experts Zagat recently announced that although we are dining out less as a nation (due to the poor economy) we are <a href="http://www.prnewswire.com/news-releases/zagats-2011-americas-top-restaurants-guide-reveals-that-the-weak-economy-continues-to-cut-into-dining-habits-105837223.html">still eating out an average of 3.1 times per week</a>. That's the average of course, some of us are eating out daily. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/a-cheapskates-guide-to-eating-out">A Cheapskate's Guide to Eating Out</a>)</p> <p>And when we eat out, be it at a fast food restaurant or something more refined, we drink soda. Oh, how we drink soda. As a nation, we can't get enough of it. <a href="http://www.drozfans.com/dr-ozs-advice/dr-oz-28-day-national-challenge-soda-soft-drinks/">According to Dr. Oz</a>:</p> <blockquote><p>53 million Americans drink at least one soda a day, and we spent $70 billion last year on soda.</p> </blockquote> <p>That got me thinking. How much would we save, on average, if we substituted tap water (not bottled, please) for soda every time we ate out. Every restaurant, fast food or otherwise, has given me free water with my meal when I ask for it. And remember, I'm not talking about substituting every single soda we drink &mdash; just the ones that accompany the meals we eat away from home.</p> <p>First, let's review the numbers we're dealing with.</p> <p>We already know that we eat out 3.1 times per week. Now take the average family size, which according to <a href="http://factfinder.census.gov/servlet/ACSSAFFFacts">2009 US Census data is 3.19 people</a>. And, as we're playing with averages, what's the median cost of a soda?</p> <p>Well, the cost of soda is obviously going to change depending on where you live and where you eat. A glass of soda at a high end restaurant in New York is not going to be the meager $1 McDonald's charges (although that's still a huge mark-up). I've paid almost $5 for a glass of Coke in a trendy gastro-pub. But I did some digging and found out that there is generally a recommended price for a 20oz soda with free refills. That <a href="http://www.foodservice.com/articles/food-cost/Costing-Out-Soda-Free-Refills-in-Foodservice-How-to-Price-Soda/">price is $1.75 plus tax</a>. So, let's round that up to $1.90.</p> <p>Here's the math:</p> <ul> <li>We eat out 3.1 times per week.</li> <li>3.19 people make up the average family.</li> <li>With 52 weeks in a year, that makes roughly 514 glasses of soda every year for an average family.</li> <li><strong>514 x $1.90 = $977!</strong></li> </ul> <p><strong>What could you do with an extra $977 a year?</strong></p> <p>Right now, you could buy a really nice laptop, a whole new wardrobe, or it could go towards a vacation for your family. And all for substituting water for soda <em>only</em> when you eat out. It's not like you're giving it up entirely. Think it over.</p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/paul-michael">Paul Michael</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/how-water-can-save-you-977-a-year">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-2"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/7-soda-alternatives-that-wont-bust-your-wallet-or-your-waistline">7 Soda Alternatives That Won&#039;t Bust Your Wallet — Or Your Waistline</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/6-secrets-restaurants-dont-want-you-to-know">6 Secrets Restaurants Don&#039;t Want You to Know</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/why-is-gasoline-so-cheap-a-cost-comparison-of-40-common-household-liquids">Why is Gasoline So Cheap? A Cost Comparison of 40 Common Household Liquids</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/how-to-stop-the-takeout-meal-cycle-and-save">How to Stop the Takeout Meal Cycle and Save</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/five-more-tips-for-eating-in-restaurants-and-sticking-to-a-budget">Five More Tips For Eating In Restaurants And Sticking To A Budget</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Budgeting Food and Drink General Tips cost of eating out cost of soda eating out restaurants soda substitute tap water water Tue, 29 Mar 2011 11:00:06 +0000 Paul Michael 513977 at http://www.wisebread.com 5 Ways to Save Water, Energy, Money, and the World in One Afternoon http://www.wisebread.com/5-ways-to-save-water-energy-money-the-world-in-one-afternoon <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/5-ways-to-save-water-energy-money-the-world-in-one-afternoon" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/3418603442_e9e5b9487d_z.jpg" alt="faucet leak" title="faucet leak" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="167" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>Ambitious title for sure, but not that far off when you look at the facts surrounding freshwater. According to <a href="http://water.org/">water.org</a>, 884 million people (one in eight in the world) lack access to a safe water supply. Less than 1% of the world's fresh water (or about 0.007% of all water on earth) is readily accessible for direct human use. Furthermore, an American taking a five-minute shower uses more water than the typical person living in a developing country slum uses in a whole day.</p> <p>All environmental guilt issues aside, saving water is not only good for the planet, it can be a highly efficient way to cut your water and energy bills (energy to heat the water). Here are the top 5 ways that you can cut your water use today. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/7-ways-to-lower-water-heater-costs">7 Ways to Lower Water Heater Costs</a>)</p> <h3>1. Install a Low Flow Showerhead</h3> <p>If you take anything at all from this post, let it be this: get a low flow shower head TODAY. One 10-minute shower with an older shower head uses 55 gallons (5.5 gallons per minute) on average. Most shower heads made before 1992 have a 5.5 gpm flow. The newer, high efficiency Energy Star models use less than half that (2.5 gpm).</p> <p>Energy star showerheads will run you about $35, on average. It only takes two minutes to take off an old showerhead and put a new one. That two minutes and $35 investment would save a family of four 27,500 gallons of water and about $260 in energy costs per year (not to mention the water costs).</p> <p>That's right, a $35 investment would net you $225 in year one and $260 every year thereafter. That's a 640% return on investment within just one year! Plus the residual effect of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/25-ways-to-feel-better-fast">feeling better about yourself</a> for saving water.</p> <h3>2. Reconsider Hand Dish Washing</h3> <p>If you've switched to hand dish washing from a dishwasher, you may be doing more harm than good. Today's energy efficient dishwashers can do the job on just a few gallons of water. An energy efficient dishwasher can save you at least $30 per year on energy alone (vs. heated dish water) and roughly the same in water costs.</p> <p>There are actually 11 dishwashers on the market right now that use less than 2 gallons per cycle! How many of us use more than that hand washing dishes? I'm guilty. Bosch has the most efficient dishwashers. Check out the <a href="http://www.energystar.gov/index.cfm?fuseaction=dishwash.search_products_submit">Energy Star dishwasher site</a> to sort by water and energy usage per cycle.</p> <h3>3. Fix that Leaky Faucet</h3> <p>A leaky faucet can waste 2,500 gallons of water per year. If it's hot water, this could cost you $39 annually. Even if it's not hot water, 2,500 gallons is a whole lot of wasted water to have on your conscience. Here's an <a href="http://www.ehow.com/video_15854_fix-leaky-faucet.html">eHow video</a> on how to fix a leaky faucet.</p> <h3>4. Dig Out the Grass</h3> <p>I live in Michigan, which has a humid and moderate climate, and my grass is green for about 2 months out of the year unless it is watered constantly. In more arid climates, the efficiency is likely worse. That's why when we re-landscaped last year, we ripped out two-thirds of the grass in our front yard and put in a garden.</p> <p>It takes a ton of water to keep your grass green, not to mention the inevitable sidewalk and driveway runoff that keeps nothing green. The irony is that constantly watering your grass can do it more harm than good. Grass goes brown in hot weather for a reason &mdash; it is going dormant to protect itself from the sun.</p> <p>There are plenty of ground coverings that look great without requiring much, if any, water. Depending on your climate, take a serious look at sedum, pachysandra, myrtle, creeping lily turf, or good ole' wood chips, rocks, and ornamental grasses. They tend to look much better than dormant, dead, or weed-ridden grass.</p> <h3>5. Fix Your Leaky Toilet and Make Sure It Has a 1.6 gpf</h3> <p>Your toilet might be leaking, and you don't even know it. If you hear any noises when not in use or have to jiggle the handle, you most likely have a leak. Not sure? Put dye tablets in your tank and wait an hour. If you see any dye in the bowl, you have a silent leak on your hands. It's usually an easy fix to take care of.</p> <p>Better yet, why not replace your old toilet? It can be done for about $100. Back in 1994, the U.S. government mandated that toilets use no more than 1.6 gallons per flush (gpf) vs. the standard 7 gpf. That's a huge difference!</p> <p>The average person flushes a toilet 2,500 times per year. That equals 17,500 gallons of water with a pre-1994 toilet, but only 4,000 with a low-flow toilet. That's a savings of about $60 annually. If you have a remnant pre-1994 toilet that is anything above 1.6 gpf, you are flushing your money down the crapper.</p> <h3>Interested in More?</h3> <p>Check out G.E.'s <a href="http://20somethingfinance.com/category/live-well/green-matters-eco-friendly-savings/">Green Matters</a> category on <a href="http://20somethingfinance.com/">20somethingfinance.com</a>, where he discusses the economics of a motor scooter vs. a car, electric vehicles, energy savings, and how to fund your retirement through commuting.</p> <div class="field field-type-text field-field-guestpost-blurb"> <div class="field-label">Guest Post Blurb:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <p>This is a guest post by G.E. Miller. G.E. is the creator of <a href="http://20somethingfinance.com">20 Something Finance</a>, a personal finance blog that focuses on lifestyle, career, investing, and other money topics geared towards young professionals.</p> </div> </div> </div> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/ge-miller">G.E. Miller</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/5-ways-to-save-water-energy-money-the-world-in-one-afternoon">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-3"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/shrink-your-utility-bill-by-plugging-these-surprising-home-energy-leaks">Shrink Your Utility Bill by Plugging These Surprising Home Energy Leaks</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/living-without-air-conditioning-can-save-big-bucks-this-summer">Living Without Air-Conditioning Can Save Big Bucks This Summer</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/book-review-game-over">Book review: Game Over</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/how-to-conserve-water-by-harvesting-rain-or-snow">How to Conserve Water by Harvesting Rain or Snow</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/do-you-really-need-soft-water">Do You Really Need “Soft” Water?</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Green Living energy Household tips water Mon, 22 Feb 2010 15:00:06 +0000 G.E. Miller 5394 at http://www.wisebread.com How to Conserve Water by Harvesting Rain or Snow http://www.wisebread.com/how-to-conserve-water-by-harvesting-rain-or-snow <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/how-to-conserve-water-by-harvesting-rain-or-snow" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/rain.jpg" alt="Rain" title="Luck of summer rain" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="250" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>When I was young many families in my town in China had a large jug or tank in the courtyard that collected rain water.&nbsp; In my family the water is usually used to water plants or raise goldfish.&nbsp; Some families also used the water to wash their clothes or toilets. In some areas the water is also used for drinking after boiling or other treatment.&nbsp; Recently rainwater harvesting is becoming more popular in America and states such as Arizona and New Mexico are adopting laws that <a href="http://www.google.com/hostednews/ap/article/ALeqM5hK53Xv7zL1JzOH4-eCD_VXkX-T3AD998CNMG0">mandate rainwater harvesting</a> for new buildings.&nbsp; Here are some tips on how you can harvest rain or snow and conserve water. </p> <p>The simplest way to collect rainwater is to just put large containers outside on the roof or in the yard.&nbsp; This is basically what we did in China.&nbsp; However, you would need a large surface area to collect enough usable water.&nbsp; Another simple method to collect rainwater is to use some rain barrels.&nbsp; These large barrels with a spigot are commercially available.&nbsp; They collect the rain water that come from a roof's rain gutter or downspout and multiple barrels can be linked for more water storage.&nbsp; If you are the do-it-yourself type, here is a great video from HGTV on <a href="http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MGFDlkJOdaM">how to make your own rain barrel.</a>&nbsp; </p> <p>In areas with snow, it is possible to harvest quite a bit of water every winter by simply saving snow in large tanks or barrels.&nbsp; Once the snow melts you will have a good amount of water stored up.&nbsp; This is fairly simple to do as long as you have space for the containers.&nbsp; If you have to shovel snow out of your driveway anyway then it does not hurt to save some of it for later use.</p> <p>If you do start to collect rain or snow as a water supply then you should have some covering on these large containers so that pets and kids will not fall into them. Also, you should check with your locality to see the legality of collecting and using rainwater.&nbsp; Apparently in Utah and Washington State, it is illegal to collect water from the roof unless the owner of the roof also owns the water rights on the ground.&nbsp; In Colorado <a href="http://www.nytimes.com/2009/06/29/us/29rain.html ">rainwater collection was just recently legalized</a>.&nbsp; In Portland you would need a <a href="http://www.portlandonline.com/bps/index.cfm?c=ecbbd&amp;a=bbehfa">permit for the indoor use of rainwater</a>.</p> <p>Generally, you should not drink the water you collect because there are various forms of pollution and dirt as rain falls onto various surfaces.&nbsp; It is possible to set up a treatment system that cleanses the water to make it drinkable, but the systems could be costly.&nbsp; The most economic use of collected water is probably gardening since plants thrive on rain anyway.&nbsp; The collected water can also used for the following purposes:</p> <ul> <li>&nbsp;Washing vehicles or buildings</li> <li>&nbsp;Flushing or washing toilets</li> <li>&nbsp;Mopping the floor</li> <li>&nbsp;Laundry</li> <li>&nbsp;Recharge the aquifer by redirecting water from storm drains</li> </ul> <p>Drinkable water is actually a very precious resource and Americans often waste it because it just does not seem very expensive. Having your own rainwater supply will probably not cut your water bills significantly unless you invest in a full treatment system and <a href="http://sites.google.com/site/suffolkearthship/rainwater-well-water-usage-rates-oh-my">stop using municipal water all together</a>.&nbsp; Even if you do not go to that extreme, using stored rainwater is great for the environment and would definitely help in times of drought when water usage restrictions are in place.&nbsp; <br /> <strong><br /> More resources:</strong></p> <p><a href="http://www.twdb.state.tx.us/publications/reports/RainwaterHarvestingManual_3rdedition.pdf">The Texas Manual on Rainwater Harvesting</a><br /> <a href="http://www.tceq.state.tx.us/files/gi-366.pdf_4445350.pdf"><br /> Harvesting, Storing, and Treating Rainwater for Domestic Indoor Use</a></p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/xin-lu">Xin Lu</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/how-to-conserve-water-by-harvesting-rain-or-snow">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-4"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/5-ways-to-save-water-energy-money-the-world-in-one-afternoon">5 Ways to Save Water, Energy, Money, and the World in One Afternoon</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/50-ways-to-save-water">50+ Ways to Save Water</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/bottled-water-bottled-hype-part-2">Bottled Water, Bottled Hype Part 2</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/bottled-water-bottled-hype-part-3">Bottled Water, Bottled Hype Part 3</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/how-to-shower-less-and-still-feel-clean">How to Shower Less (and Still Feel Clean)</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Green Living Rain snow water water conservation Mon, 03 Aug 2009 13:00:20 +0000 Xin Lu 3454 at http://www.wisebread.com Hungry? Have a drink. http://www.wisebread.com/hungry-have-a-drink <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/hungry-have-a-drink" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/1268879762.jpg" alt="Thirst" title="Thirst" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="165" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>The chances are, you&#39;re dehydrated right now. In fact, over 75% of the American population is deyhdrated, and worse still, over 80% know they are. No big deal? Well, it is actually. Lack of hydration can lead to all kinds of problems, including obesity, fatigue and a much higher risk of certain cancers. So grab a glass or three of water and read on.</p> <p>One of the biggest reasons for some of my own weight gain when I first got to America was dehydration. I came from a very humid climate to a very dry one. And because my thirst mechanism (that sensation that tells you when to drink) was so weak, I was often mistaking my thirst for hunger. A quick snack later and I felt satisfied. But all I had done was increase my salt and fat intake and that just made me thirstier. Which made me hungrier. And thus, the cycle began. What&#39;s more, by the time we feel thirsty we are already dehydrated. And by the time we&#39;ve reached the ripe old age of 30, thirst sensations in the mouth decrease significantly. </p> <p><img src="http://healthcarehacks.com/files/fruganomics/u17/966608_drinking___.jpg" alt="water" title="water" width="300" height="253" /> </p> <p>According to many sources I checked, including the American Medical Association, roughly one in three Americans mistake thirst for hunger. And that&#39;s just the beginning of the story. As human beings are composed mainly of water (blood is 92% water, brain is 72%, lungs are 90%), we depend on it for our vital health and bodily functions. </p> <p>A good rule of thumb is to halve your weight and drink that as ounces. So, as a 200lb person I should drink around 100 ounces daily. That&#39;s roughly one 6oz glass every hour from 7am to 11pm, my average day. It&#39;s just a rough guide, but you should at least drink 64 ounces of water every day if you can. </p> <p>Here&#39;s a laundry list of facts I found about that most precious H20.</p> <ul> <li>Dehydration is a major contributor to many diseases; conversely good hydration reduces the risk of disease.</li> <li>Chronic dehydration causes: asthma, arthritis, kidney stones, gall stones, hypertension, cardio vascular diseases, weight gain, migraines, loss of muscle tone and digestive complications.</li> <li>Most adults loose between two and three quarts of water a day without exercising. </li> <li>One quart of water is lost during a night’s sleep.</li> <li>Caffeinated drink cause the body to discharge water.</li> <li>Water prevents DNA damage and makes its repair mechanism more efficient. It also increases the efficiency of the immune system in bone marrow, including its efficiency against cancer.</li> <li>Water reduces fatigue, and the incidences of morning sickness in pregnancy. It also helps reduce stress, anxiety, depression and constipation.</li> <li>Lack of water is the #1 reason for daytime fatigue and performance reduction.</li> <li>Just a 2% drop in body fluid causes a 20% reduction in mental and physical performance.</li> <li>Drinking water is crucial for weight loss programs.</li> <li>Even mild dehydration can slow metabolism as much as 3%.</li> <li>On a diet? 1 glass of water shuts down midnight hunger.</li> <li>Water makes skin smooth, helps decrease the effects of aging, and gives luster and shine to the eyes.</li> <li>Dehydration prevents sex hormone production, a primary cause of impotence and loss of libido.</li> <li>Water helps prevent memory loss as we age. </li> </ul> <p>Now, before you all rush to the store for bottles of spring water, here&#39;s a suggestion. Actually, a plea. The water coming from your faucet is perfectly fine and is considerably less harmful to the environment than the stuff you get in handy plastic bottles. We&#39;re experiencing an oil shortage, and millions of bottles end up in land fills daily. So, stick to tap water. If you can&#39;t handle the taste, a simple water filter can end that, and they&#39;re cheap. Much cheaper than the impact to your wallet, and the environment, from bottled water.</p> <p>Allow me also to explain what this article has to do with &#39;living large on a small budget&#39;, before I&#39;m inevitably asked that question. If, by simply drinking humble tap water, you can avoid obesity and other serious medical problems, memory loss, fatigue and improve overall job performace...well, I think that&#39;s living pretty large indeed. </p> <p>Time for a refill I think.</p> <p><em>A selection of sources (as requested, you will notice such names as the MayoClinic, the EPA and CNN).</em></p> <p><em><a href="http://www.allaboutwater.org/water-facts.html">http://www.allaboutwater.org/water-facts.html</a> <br /><a href="http://www.water.org/waterpartners.aspx?pgID=916">http://www.water.org/waterpartners.aspx?pgID=916</a> <br /><a href="http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Drinking_water">http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Drinking_water</a> <br /><a href="/www.epa.gov/safewater/sdwa/30th/factsheets/pdfs/fs_30ann_waterfacts_web.pdf">www.epa.gov/safewater/sdwa/30th/factsheets/pdfs/fs_30ann_waterfacts_web.pdf</a> <br /><a href="http://www.bidness.com/esd/h2ofacts.htm">http://www.bidness.com/esd/h2ofacts.htm</a> <br /><a href="http://www.cybercity-online.net/health/water.html">http://www.cybercity-online.net/health/water.html</a> <br /><a href="http://www.drinktap.org/consumerdnn/">http://www.drinktap.org/consumerdnn/</a> <br /><a href="http://www.mayoclinic.com/health/water/NU00283">http://www.mayoclinic.com/health/water/NU00283</a> <br /><a href="http://www.cnn.com/HEALTH/library/NU/00283.html">http://www.cnn.com/HEALTH/library/NU/00283.html</a> <br /><a href="http://www.naturodoc.com/library/nutrition/water.htm">http://www.naturodoc.com/library/nutrition/water.htm</a> <br /><a href="http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2007/08/070811225126.htm">http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2007/08/070811225126.htm</a> <br /> </em></p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/paul-michael">Paul Michael</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/hungry-have-a-drink">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-4"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/10-tricks-to-get-you-drinking-more-water">10 Tricks to Get You Drinking More Water</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/alcohol-is-good-for-your-heart">Alcohol is good for your heart</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/14-dumb-things-holding-you-back-from-losing-weight">14 Dumb Things Holding You Back From Losing Weight</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/6-foods-scientifically-proven-to-increase-your-lifespan">6 Foods Scientifically Proven to Increase Your Lifespan</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/7-ways-to-eat-more-slowly-and-lose-more-weight">7 Ways to Eat More Slowly — and Lose More Weight</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Food and Drink General Tips Health and Beauty Lifestyle dehydration Health water weight loss well-being Mon, 14 Apr 2008 23:07:26 +0000 Paul Michael 1973 at http://www.wisebread.com Eight Natural Ways to Make Water More Flavorful http://www.wisebread.com/eight-natural-ways-to-make-water-more-flavorful <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/eight-natural-ways-to-make-water-more-flavorful" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/water_0.jpg" alt="" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="188" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>In a<a href="/why-is-gasoline-so-cheap-a-cost-comparison-of-40-common-household-liquids" target="_blank"> previous article about gasoline prices</a> I noted that many packaged drinks are quite expensive and the cheapest drink out there is water. The main reason that people don&#39;t drink water is that it is tasteless and not very &quot;fun&quot; to drink. On the other hand, water is definitely more healthy than sodas so now there is a entire category of packaged drinks such as VitaminWater that is basically bottled water with coloring,vitamins,and flavor. Instead of buying these drinks, there are many things you can add to water add home to make it more exciting to drink.</p> <p><strong>1. Salt</strong> - I am sure you have heard of the term &quot;electrolytes&quot; in the marketing for energy drinks. Actually electrolytes are just ions that can be found in common table salt. Adding a little bit of salt to water helps your body absorb the liquid more quickly. As long as you don&#39;t go overboard with the salt the water should be very quenching and it would be great for workouts since the body loses salt through sweat.</p> <p><strong> 2. Ginger</strong> - If you like spices, ginger is a great way to add a &quot;zing&quot; to your water. If it is added to boiling water it is also a great way to clear your throat and sinuses during a cold.</p> <p><strong>3. Citrus</strong> - My husband&#39;s family members often freeze a small citrus fruit called <a href="http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Calamondin" target="_blank">kalamansi</a> in ice cube trays and then put the ice cubes in water for flavor. The same can be done with other citrus fruits and the water produced would be infused with vitamin C.</p> <p><strong>4. Herbs</strong> - Mint, lemongrass, and parsley are great for adding aroma and a hint of green to your water. If you want to release the flavor you can crush the plants a little bit before putting them into your water.</p> <p><strong>5. Cucumber</strong> - I saw this at a spa I went to in Hawaii. A water dispenser was half filled up with cucumber slices, and the water dispensed tasted very refreshing and smelled a bit like cucumber.</p> <p><strong>6. Wine</strong> - A favorite of mine to add to water is plum wine or umeshu. It is a very sweet Japanese liquere made from green plums so I drink it with a lot of water. The distinct sweet flavor still comes through when there is one part umeshu in ten parts water. I am sure the same can be done with other syrupy liqueres.</p> <p><strong>7. Berries</strong> - Blueberries and strawberries have distinct flavors that could be soaked up by water. All you have to do is cut or crush a few of the berries into your water.</p> <p><strong>8. Vinegar</strong> - Adding vinegar to water is similar to adding citrus. You will get sour water that has vitamin C. When I was a kid I liked adding apple vinegar to water and then drinking it. I do not recommend mixing in balsamic vinegar since it has oil, but any clear vinegar is good for flavoring your water.</p> <p>Of course any of these things could also be added to soda water if you want to make your own lightly flavored soda. The possibilities are really endless since you can mix and match the ingredients any way you want. What do you think? Do you prefer flavored waters over plain tap? What do you do to make your water more palatable?</p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/xin-lu">Xin Lu</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/eight-natural-ways-to-make-water-more-flavorful">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-2"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/how-to-make-your-own-soda-tidy-a-room-in-three-minutes-cure-a-hangover-and-become-a-movie-extra-phew">How To Make Your Own Soda, Tidy A Room In Three Minutes, Cure A Hangover And Become A Movie Extra. Phew!</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/why-is-gasoline-so-cheap-a-cost-comparison-of-40-common-household-liquids">Why is Gasoline So Cheap? A Cost Comparison of 40 Common Household Liquids</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/search-online-for-a-fix-before-you-toss-that-broken-gadget">Search Online for a Fix before You Toss that Broken Gadget</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/8-fun-and-frugal-things-to-do-with-origami">8 Fun and Frugal Things to Do with Origami</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/how-to-make-moonshine">How to Make Moonshine</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Personal Finance Frugal Living DIY Food and Drink Health and Beauty beverages DIY drink flavorings natural water Thu, 03 Apr 2008 20:54:35 +0000 Xin Lu 1974 at http://www.wisebread.com Covert transaction legal, life-saving: getting free drinks at the amusement park http://www.wisebread.com/covert-transaction-legal-life-saving-getting-free-drinks-at-the-amusement-park-0 <p><img width="405" height="281" src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/wisebread_imce/amusement_park_summer.jpg" alt="Amusement park in the summer" title="Amusement Park in the Summer" /></p> <p>Summer&rsquo;s coming, and nice weather and vacation days may land you in an amusement park very soon. I&rsquo;ve come to accept the high cost of admission but still grumble at the food and drink prices. Tired, thirsty, hungry, and captive audiences are ripe, it seems, for gouging. Perhaps the rationale is that if you can afford the ticket price, you can afford a $3.00 hot dog and a $2.00 cola.</p> <p>In the interest of frugality and safety (I assume all of you need hydration and some of you may also bring along children who also need fluids), I will pass along a tip that I received from a waitress when my family and I were visiting Williamsburg. She rightly divined that my husband, my sons, and I had come to visit Busch Gardens and advised us that free water inside the park was always available. Apparently, it is a rule (law?) that patrons who ask (for water) shall receive. I suppose it could be bad for business if a visitor fainted from dehydration just because he or she didn&rsquo;t bring some extra cash or had spent it on souvenirs.</p> <p>At any rate, the waitress was right and you can get free water at Busch Gardens. In hindsight, we should have tipped her even more than the typical 20%.</p> <p style="margin: 0in 0in 0pt;" class="MsoNormal">Since then, I have tested my don&rsquo;t-let-the-customers-get-dehydrated-or-we-will-look-exceedingly-greedy theory at one of the large water parks in North Carolina. The kid behind the ice cream counter wanted to hide the transaction but, yes, he did pass me a cup of free water (tap, not bottled) that quenched my thirst.</p> <p>Try it sometime and let me know what happens.</p> <p><em>Photo by <a href="http://flickr.com/photos/luchilu/485803340/">Luza</a>.</em></p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/julie-rains">Julie Rains</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/covert-transaction-legal-life-saving-getting-free-drinks-at-the-amusement-park-0">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-3"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/7-soda-alternatives-that-wont-bust-your-wallet-or-your-waistline">7 Soda Alternatives That Won&#039;t Bust Your Wallet — Or Your Waistline</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/eight-natural-ways-to-make-water-more-flavorful">Eight Natural Ways to Make Water More Flavorful</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/bottled-water-bottled-hype-part-1">Bottled Water, Bottled Hype Part 1</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/how-water-can-save-you-977-a-year">How Water Can Save You $977 a Year</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/bottled-water-bottled-hype-part-2">Bottled Water, Bottled Hype Part 2</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Food and Drink amusement parks Art and Leisure water water parks Thu, 17 May 2007 17:23:39 +0000 Julie Rains 653 at http://www.wisebread.com Bottled Water, Bottled Hype Part 3 http://www.wisebread.com/bottled-water-bottled-hype-part-3 <p><em><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/wisebread_imce/bottle.jpg" alt=" " width="269" height="201" /></em></p> <p><em>This is the third in a three-part series about bottled water. To read the first installment, </em><a href="/bottled-water-bottled-hype-part-1"><em>click here</em></a><em>. To read the second installment, </em><a href="/bottled-water-bottled-hype-part-2"><em>click here</em></a><em>. </em></p> <p>We’ve talked a bit about bottled water. I’m of the opinion that, if you have access to safe tap water (that may taste a little chloriney), then buying bottled water is downright irresponsible. Both from a fiscal and an environmental standpoint.</p> <p>Readers who clearly had no idea, despite repeated assurances to the contrary, that I would be addressing water taste and cleanliness in this series, posted comments to the effect of &quot;My water tastes bad - suck on it.&quot; </p> <p>Point taken. Sort of. I have lived in places in which the water tasted downright awful, so I can sympathize. I&#39;ve lived in places in which the water was not safe to drink, too. But for those of us who have access to clean drinking water that just tastes a little... meh... then I believe we have the responsibility to take advantage of it. It doesn&#39;t take much to make most water taste better. </p> <p>As pointed out in the first thread, the people who often drink only bottled water usually have enough money to do so, and they drink it for health reasons (they belive it&#39;s purifying, or whatever). But bottling and transporting water is polluting, and I&#39;ll bet that half of those bottled-water-only drinkers don&#39;t give it a second thought.</p> <p class="sub-heading"><strong>Are we drinking clean water?</strong></p> <p>As the authors of a <a href="http://www.ext.vt.edu/pubs/housing/356-485/356-485.html">water quality paper from Virginia Tec</a>h noted in 1998:</p> <p class="blockquote">There is no such thing in nature as &quot;pure&quot; water. Nearly all water contains contaminants, even in the absence of pollution-causing activities. Many dissolved minerals, organic compounds, and microorganisms find their way into water supplies as water comes into contact with air and soil. When contaminant levels in water are excessive, they may affect certain household activities and/or be detrimental to human health. </p> <p>There is no doubt that water quality is decreasing all across the world. Chemical pollutants from pesticides from orchards and crop fields, chemicals from manufacturing and refining processes, and the runoff from our streets and highways all contribute to increasingly toxic water. We in the US and Canada are luckier than some other parts of the world, because our local governments conduct extensive testing of our water supplies. This doesn&#39;t mean that dangerous chemicals don&#39;t get through, because they do. And according to the Environmental Protection Agency, <a href="/Because%20of%20water&#39;s%20different%20sources%20and%20the%20different%20ways%20in%20which%20water%20is%20treated,%20the%20taste%20and%20quality%20of%20drinking%20water%20varies%20from%20place%20to%20place.%20Over%2090%20percent%20of%20water%20systems%20meet%20EPA&#39;s%20standards%20for%20tap%20water%20quality.">only 90% of water supplies</a> in the US meet the standards for safe drinking water. </p> <p>Well, you can argue that 90% is high. But what the EPA doesn&#39;t say is how many people live in the areas supplied by the 10% of water supplies that DON&#39;T meet their standards.</p> <p>The <a href="http://www.cdc.gov/nasd/docs/d001201-d001300/d001240/d001240.html">CDC</a> has an excellent list of possible causes of nasty drinking water, and what you should do if you experience the nastiness.</p> <p>Now, this is a real concern. I&#39;m one of those few people who actually drinks a LOT of water every day. I made a vow a while back that I would do whatever I could to keep myself hydrated and keep my kidneys happy, so I drink just short of a gallon of water every day. So trust me, I understand the fears associated with tainted water - I drink so much of it that I would be in a riskier place than a lot of other people should my water be filled with dangerous chemicals.</p> <p class="sub-heading"><strong>Filter? Purify? Huh?</strong></p> <p>The <a href="http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Water_purification">terms</a> that are used to define clean water can be a little confusing. Some people would argue that purifying water means removing the bacteria and other harmful organisms, whereas filtering refers to removing particulate matter. I&#39;d use those terms interchangably. Ironically, water can be &quot;purified&quot; of harmful organisms through adding sodium hypochlorite, a chemical that retards microorganism growth, and a substance that is responsible for the &quot;pool water&quot; taste that many city water supplies experience.</p> <p>For the sake of simplicity, let&#39;s just summarize the following steps that are taken to make your drinking water safe for you to drink. Please note that listing these procedures does not imply that I approve of all of them.</p> <p>Filter: There are several different filtering processes that water goes through between the original supply and your tap. Filtering removes particulate matter.</p> <p>Purification: Purification is the process of destroying or limiting harmful bacteria that can grow in water supplies. It should be noted that harmful bacteria are often present in seemingly natural, spring-fed waters, which is why you aren&#39;t supposed to slurp from any creek you come across while hiking and camping. Purification can also involve boiling.</p> <p>Softening: Adding sodium to the water to counteract naturally occuring salts and other minerals that can clog pipes (<a href="http://home.howstuffworks.com/question99.htm">click here</a> for a good explanation). &quot;Hard&quot; water isn&#39;t bad for you, but it cruds everything up, and leaves nasty deposits in your shower. Hard water can also have a strange taste, but some people believe that it has medical benefits. After all, mineral water is sold as a healthy thing. Calcium, magnesium, zinc... these are minerals that we consume in supplement form for fear of not getting enough!</p> <p>Now, it&#39;s important to note that most bottled water is filtered or purified in some way. As to whether or not bottled water is better than tap water, well, that varies so much that it&#39;s hard to say.</p> <p>Do consider this, though: much bottled water is nothing more than tap water run through a filter. Like the kind of filter you can buy at home. So why pay so much more to have someone else filter it for you when you can do it yourself?</p> <p class="sub-heading"><strong>Testing Your Tap Water</strong></p> <p>Your local governement or water monitoring agency should provide a yearly water quality report. The <a href="http://www.epa.gov/safewater/ccr/whereyoulive.html?OpenView">EPA provides links to these reports</a>, organized by state, then county, on their web site. Not every county is included, so do try a Google search for your area&#39;s water supply report if you can&#39;t find it on the EPA site. It&#39;s never a bad idea to understand your water quality, so give it a look.</p> <p>The aforementioned Virginia water quality paper gives these instructions for testing your tap water.</p> <p class="blockquote">Your local Health Department and Cooperative Extension Offices can provide you with information about water testing labs most accessible to you. The yellow pages of your phone book may also be helpful. Look under the following listings: <em>Laboratories-testing, Water analysis, Water purification</em>, and <em>Water treatment</em> to name a few. Be sure to ask any laboratory you contact for a certification number indicating that it has been approved at the state level. </p> <p>Always contact the water testing laboratory beforehand to obtain proper sample containers and specific instructions on where and how to take the sample, as well as how and when to deliver the sample to the laboratory. After receiving the test results, contact the laboratory if you have any problems interpreting the specifics of the report. Again, you can contact your local Health Department and Cooperative Extension Office for assistance in evaluating the significance of your results, and any actions you should take to solve identified problems. </p> <p>You have the right to know if your tap water is clean or not. These tests may involve a fee, but it shouldn&#39;t be more than $20. </p> <p>Be wary of online tests that you can order from various filtration companies. These companies have a vested interest in telling you that your water simply isn&#39;t pure enough to drink, because then they can sell you expensive filters. </p> <p class="sub-heading"><strong>Home Filtration</strong></p> <p>I filter my water using a Brita filter. I know other people who use a Pur faucet cap on their drinking water. I do this, because even though my ta water is fairly clean, every now and then, I get that chlorine taste. And I hate it.</p> <p>Brita claims that their filtration systems cost roughly $0.18 per gallon, which is a significant improvement over $9.85 per gallon (or $5 per gallor or even $1 per gallon). This, for me, makes more sense than buying my water in plastic bottles.</p> <p class="sub-heading"><strong>Drawbacks</strong></p> <p>There are potential drawbacks* to filtering water using certain methods: you may remove minerals that some people think are really important to consume, and you remove some of the fluoride that many municipalities dump into the water supply to prevent tooth decay. Fluoride is <a href="http://www.encyclopedia.com/doc/1G1-94538639.html">incredibly controversial</a>, and aside from politics, I can&#39;t think of a better way to make some enemies in Seattle than to go to a party and loudly declare your love of all things fluoride. I had always been under the impression that fluoride=dental health, and I&#39;m not sure if I am yet ready to abandon that idea, seeing as how the only time I ever got a cavity is when I lived in an area with a non-fluoridated water supply.</p> <p>But this is something to consider - if you love fluoride, and want to consume it in mass quantities, you won&#39;t get it once you filter your water, and will have to get it from the dentist. If you hate it, and think it&#39;s evil - well, you can filter your tap water without guilt!</p> <p>Not every type of filtration will remove fluoride. Click <a href="http://chemistry.about.com/od/chemistryhowtoguide/a/removefluoride.htm">here for a list of filtration systems</a> organized by fluoride-removal capabilities. Some readers have pointed out that Brita and Pur filters <strong>do not remove fluoride</strong>, and this is true.</p> <p class="sub-heading"><strong>It&#39;s the plastic, stupid</strong></p> <p>&quot;But Andrea, you fool&quot; you are saying to your computer monitor, &quot;Aren&#39;t water filters made of plastic, at least in part? Aren&#39;t you decrying the pollution created by plastic?&quot;</p> <p>&quot;Yes,&quot; I am forced to reply sadly. &quot;Yes, they are.&quot;</p> <p>I usually throw away my Brita filters, as there doesn&#39;t seem to be a way to recycle them here in Seattle. And I regret throwing them away, since I hate to throw away plastic (although I do use them for twice as long as is recommended by Brita; I used them until I can taste the chlorine flavor in my filtered water, then change them out). So I throw away roughly 4 Brita filters per year. Compared to the number of plastic bottles that I would use daily if I drank the same amount of water from bottles (8 per day, if drinking from 16 ounce bottles), that&#39;s a paltry amount of plastic.</p> <p>It&#39;s not the ultimate solution, but it&#39;s an easy one for me to live with. And I would love it of Brita could provide filters using less plastic (maybe they will in the future) or if I could recycle them. I don&#39;t think that our planet will ever be, or should ever be, completely free of plastics, because they are a very valuable material. But reducing their use is going to be crucial for the environment, and our own health, in the long run.</p> <p>I realize that there are a myriad of solutions to the water problem. I appreciate reader feedback - what do you do to get good drinking water? If you use home filtration methods, what kind do you use?</p> <p><em>*In my first round of writing, I didn&#39;t do an adequate job of mentioning that not all filtration removes fluoride from the water. I&#39;ve since corrected the sentence to point out the discrepancy. I did not mean to initially imply that Brita and Pur filters removed fluoride from the water. Although I certainly have heard some people claim that, it doesn&#39;t seem to be the case.</em></p> <p><em>This is the third in a three-part series about bottled water. To read the first installment, </em><a href="/bottled-water-bottled-hype-part-1"><em>click here</em></a><em>. To read the second installment, </em><a href="/bottled-water-bottled-hype-part-2"><em>click here</em></a><em>. </em></p> <p><em>Picture by <a href="http://www.morguefile.com/forum/profile.php?username=cohdra">Jane M. Sawyer</a>)</em></p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/andrea-karim">Andrea Karim</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/bottled-water-bottled-hype-part-3">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-5"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/bottled-or-tap-the-right-choice-for-water-may-surprise-you">Bottled or Tap: The Right Choice for Water May Surprise You</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/bottled-water-bottled-hype-part-1">Bottled Water, Bottled Hype Part 1</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/bottled-water-bottled-hype-part-2">Bottled Water, Bottled Hype Part 2</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/save-the-tomatoes-autumn-tips-to-prolong-the-growing-season">Save the Tomatoes! Autumn Tips to Prolong the Growing Season</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/how-to-raise-backyard-chickens">How to Raise Backyard Chickens</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Food and Drink Green Living chlorine filter filtration fluoride purification purified softener supply testing water Fri, 20 Apr 2007 20:00:55 +0000 Andrea Karim 538 at http://www.wisebread.com Bottled Water, Bottled Hype Part 2 http://www.wisebread.com/bottled-water-bottled-hype-part-2 <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/bottled-water-bottled-hype-part-2" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/plastic bottle.jpg" alt="" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="179" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p><em>This is the second in a three-part series about bottled water. To read the first installment, <a href="/bottled-water-bottled-hype-part-1"><em>click here</em></a><em>. To read the third installment, </em><a href="/bottled-water-bottled-hype-part-3"><em>click here</em></a><em>.</em></em></p> <p>Bottled water companies do an excellent job of marketing their product. Don&#39;t think I haven&#39;t fallen for it a time or two. I have. I do occasionally buy bottled water, and of course, there are times when water in a bottle is your only option. If I have a choice between a bottle of Coca Cola and a bottle of water, I&#39;ll go for the water (and recycle the bottle, if at all possible). And there <strong>are</strong> places, even in the US, in which the tap water is darn near undrinkable straight out of the tap. Recalling the taste of the tap water in my Brooklyn apartment still sends a little shudder down my spine.</p> <p>In any case, seeing as how I live in a glass house with my occasional bottle of Evian, I&#39;m <strong>not throwing stones at people</strong> who choose to drink bottled water every now and then (despite what some slightly <em>challenged</em> readers might think), even if bottled-water drinkers have access to clean and tasty tap water. But what about people who ONLY drink bottled water, even with access to clean municipal water? Why do they do it? </p> <h4>Isn&#39;t It Ironic? Don&#39;t You Think?</h4> <p>I&#39;d argue that they&#39;re probably health-conscious people who have bought into an idea sold by the water bottling companies - that their clean, pure water cleanses your body and flushes out toxins. The irony of this is that<strong> people who are concerned about environmental toxins in their systems are only helping to perpetuate the pollution and enviromental degradation</strong> by buying bottled water, the production of which just makes everything worse off in the long run.</p> <p>Or, in the case of my friend, some water drinkers are absolutely convinced that their tap water must be dirty.</p> <p>Now, we all fall under the spell of marketing campaigns that sell us an image as well as a product (if I drink this beer, chicks in bikinis will dig me; if I wear this lipstick, I&#39;m irresistible to men - and it won&#39;t kiss off on their collars!), but in this case, we&#39;re paying good money for something that we can get for so much cheaper. At least with things like deodorant or snazzy cars or jewelry, we are making purchases of good that we couldn&#39;t easily create or access on our own. I don&#39;t have the resources to make my own Chanel lipstick from scratch.</p> <h4>Creating Demand</h4> <p>Companies that bottle and sell water make all kinds of claims about the health benefits of drinking their products. A couple of great examples are Fiji Water, from the Fiji Islands, and Evian, which hails from France.</p> <p>From <a href="http://www.sfgate.com/cgi-bin/article.cgi?f=/c/a/2007/01/21/BUGE7NL8RA1.DTL">SF Gate.com</a>: </p> <p class="blockquote">The Web site for Fiji Water (fijiwater.com) says the water &quot;is drawn from an artesian aquifer, located at the very edge of a primitive rainforest, hundreds of miles away from the nearest continent.&quot; That distance, it adds, &quot;is part of what makes us so much more pure and so much healthier than other bottled waters.&quot; </p> <p>Grace Jeon, Fiji Water&#39;s vice president of marketing, said Fiji Water has a naturally high level of silica, which she said &quot;helps strengthen your hair, skin and nails.&quot;</p> <p>David Schardt, senior nutritionist at Washington&#39;s Center for Science in the Public Interest, said it appears that Fiji Water is taking liberties with the purported health benefits of silica. </p> <p>&quot;There are no studies showing that the silica in Fiji Water has any demonstrable effect on the human body,&quot; he said. </p> <p>Fiji Water has done an amazing job, under the tutelage of some <a href="http://www.sfgate.com/cgi-bin/article.cgi?f=/c/a/2007/01/21/BUGE7NL8RA1.DTL">very smart owners</a>, becoming a premier designer water. Fiji water is so coveted that Sarah Silverman has spoofed it as something that a diva demands. And how can we resist? A <a href="http://artvoice.com/issues/v6n6/bottled_insanity">remote, tropical location</a>? Palm trees and frangipani? I can smell the coconut suntan lotion from here.</p> <p>Because of its remote location, Fiji Water remains probably the most inefficient form of hydration. The <a href="http://www.treehugger.com/files/2007/02/pablo_calculate.php">production of one bottle of water</a> requires 7 times the amount of water that is IN the bottle.</p> <p>Evian was the Queen of Bottled Water until Fiji cam along and started touting it&#39;s benefits. Evian claims to be bottled in the French Alps (how much purer can you get than that?) and their main web page reads simply &quot;evian detox&quot;. Evian&#39;s iconic white-capped mountains definitely speak of pure, clean and fresh water.</p> <p>Evian also has a really bizarre, almost Evangelically-virgin-y-sounding &quot;<a href="http://www.detoxwithevian.co.uk/index.cfm">Purity Pact</a>&quot; that you can sign up for - test your purity, and vow not to drink anything but Evian! This is for the UK site, probably the &quot;<a href="http://www.puritytest.net/">Purity Test</a>&quot; that you can take online would cause most younger Americans to snicker. Loudly. </p> <p>Dasani is one of the most affordable bottled waters available in the US, at about $1 per 18-ounce bottle. Owned and bottled by the Coca Cola Company, <a href="http://www.commondreams.org/headlines04/0304-04.htm">Dasani is just tap water</a>. Filtered tap water, but tap water nonetheless.</p> <p class="blockquote">This is the essence of brand equity, and it&#39;s why consumers are happy to pay over the odds for Welsh TyNant water in Cyprus, or French Evian in the Peruvian Andes. It&#39;s also why the &quot;water sommelier&quot; has become a feature of upmarket U.S. restaurants. </p> <p>&quot;Branding does matter, even for a mundane product like water,&quot; Frits van Dijk, chief executive of Nestle Waters, said last year. </p> <p>&quot;We produce value-added waters. Marketing and R&amp;D all have to be financed somehow and that&#39;s why you&#39;ll never see Nestle in the very low price market. It&#39;s not our territory.&quot; </p> <p>There you have it. Value-added waters. And by &quot;value&quot;, they mean &quot;this water costs us next to nothing to bring to market, but you&#39;ll pay through the nose for it&quot;. Think about it - the mark-up on something like a can or bottle of Coke is pretty steep. Production costs, even factoring bottling and transportation costs, are minimal, so Coca Cola makes great profits on every bottle that we purchase. But compared to bottled tap water that has been run through a filter, a bottle of Coke is <strong>expensive</strong> to manufacture. </p> <p>By the way, Dasani gets an interestingly mixed review regarding its taste at <a href="http://www.bevnet.com/reviews/dasani/">The BevNET.com</a>.</p> <p class="blockquote">This water, which has a slightly grainy appearance, actually has a somewhat pleasant taste. Unlike many other bottled waters which taste like plastic, Dasani has a clean and pure flavor that we found to be quite refreshing. Overall, a fairly decent bottled water with a pleasant taste.</p> <p>I&#39;m afraid I have no idea what to make of &quot;grainy appearance&quot;. Are they talking about the bottle? The water is grainy? Would that be the opposite of silky (which is how Fiji Water describes their drinking experience)?</p> <p>Designer water is an increasingly popular thing, but it can be easy to be mislead about the source of the water. There are sites set up that are <a href="http://www.finewaters.com/">dedicated</a> to telling you what waters taste the best. I once stayed in a hipster hotel in Portland, OR, that provided a couple of $8 bottles of water in each room. Glass bottles, snazzy caps, lovely packaging. The name included an umlat, to indicate just how exotic it was. But like exotically-named <a href="http://www.hearhear.us/articles/2006/07/26/haagen-dazs-aztec">Häagen-Dazs</a> ice cream, it was all about appearances: it was tap water (you had to read the fine print to figure that out).</p> <p>Now, again, I&#39;m not saying it&#39;s a sin to buy a bottle of Dasani or even Evian if you are thirsty and need water and find yourself somewhere without access to good, healthy, tasty water. But to do so every day, to purchase these products in lieu of being prepared and providing your own bottle of clean tap water, filtered or not... well, I&#39;m not going to call it a sin, but is it a responsible choice?</p> <h4>What About Taste?</h4> <p>My best friend is a great guy. He doesn&#39;t waste stuff. I&#39;ve got him recycling. He doesn&#39;t blow money on useless crap. He&#39;s frugal. He also, until last week, would buy flats of bottled water at Costco every couple of weeks, because he believes that the water from his tap is bad.</p> <p>Seattle has some pretty safe tap water. It isn&#39;t as tasty as the stuff I grew up with (yummy, rural well water that was so ridiculously pure that it even tasted slightly sweet), but it isn&#39;t bad, either. It&#39;s certainly better than the water I have tasted in other larger cities.</p> <p>I&#39;m very sensitive to smells and tastes, and I can smell the tiniest amount of chlorine in a glass of wafter. Even then, our tap water is pretty good. But I still filter it, which is a habit that I developed when I lived on the East Coast.</p> <p>I know a lot of people who have come to the conclusion that our tap water is dirty or unsafe or full of chemicals. But I&#39;ve actually noticed that these people (they include two coworkers, the aforementioned best friend, three family members, and a couple fo good friends) will drink the tap water served in restaurants without a complaint. Sure, maybe they don&#39;t want to pay $6 for a bottle of Evian and are just drinking the water out of a sense of frugality. Or maybe they assume that swanky restaurants serve really good tap water. Whatever the case is, I&#39;d bet my Brita filter that most of these people wouldn&#39;t be able to tell the difference in a blind taste test between tap water and bottled water.</p> <p>ABC&#39;s 20/20 claims that their unscientific blind taste test found that participants <a href="http://abcnews.go.com/2020/Health/story?id=728070&amp;page=1">couldn&#39;t tell the difference</a> between tap and bottled water. According to the Mr. Mustachio himself, John Stossel:</p> <p class="blockquote">In our test of bottled waters, Kmart&#39;s American Fare — the cheapest brand — won. Big-seller Aquafina came in second. Iceland Spring tied the ordinary tap water for third place. Fifth place went to Poland Spring, and in last place, by far, with almost half the testers saying it tasted bad, was the most expensive water — the fancy French stuff, Evian. </p> <p>But let&#39;s just assume you can tell the difference - are you certain that your bottled water is any more pure than the tap water? Since many bottled waters actually come from the tap, how can you be certain that you are taking a real purity pledge when you pay through the nose for bottled water?</p> <h4>What about chemicals? Isn&#39;t bottled water safer?</h4> <p>Many Americans claim to drink bottled water because they feel like tap water is unsafe to drink. And according to the FDA, it&#39;s true that bottled water has stricter rules on the allowable levels of some dangerous chemicals, such as lead:</p> <p class="blockquote">&quot;Generally, over the years, the FDA has adopted EPA standards for tap water as standards for bottled water,&quot; Kim says. As a result, standards for contaminants in tap water and bottled water are very similar.</p> <p>However, in some instances, standards for bottled water are different than for tap water. Kim cites lead as an example. Because lead can leach from pipes as water travels from water utilities to home faucets, the EPA set an action level of 15 parts per billion (ppb) in tap water. This means that when lead levels are above 15 ppb in tap water that reaches home faucets, water utilities must treat the water to reduce the lead levels to below 15 ppb. In bottled water, where lead pipes are not used, the lead limit is set at 5 ppb. Based on FDA survey information, bottlers can readily produce bottled water products with lead levels below 5 ppb. This action was consistent with the FDA&#39;s goal of reducing consumers&#39; exposure to lead in drinking water to the extent practicable.</p> <p>That seems fairly reassuring, especially to people who are worried about exposure to <a href="http://www.epa.gov/safewater/lead/lead1.html">lead poisoning</a>. And in older buildings, lead in the water can be a serious problem, but it is usually mitigated by simply running the water for twenty minutes or so. Interestingly, the FDA doesn&#39;t say anything about how the regulate the bottled water industry, or whether or not they inspect the bottling plants, or how the verify that the water sold comes from the advertised destination.</p> <p>According to the <a href="http://www.nrdc.org/water/drinking/bw/chap4.asp">Natural Resources Defense Council</a>:</p> <p class="blockquote">Gaping holes remain in the regulatory fabric for bottled water, and FDA and state resources dedicated to bottled water protection and enforcement generally are thin to nonexistent. For example, FDA&#39;s head bottled water regulator estimates that FDA has just <em>one half</em> of a person (full-time equivalent or FTE) per year dedicated to bottled water regulation. <a href="http://www.nrdc.org/water/drinking/bw/chap4.asp#note114"><font size="1"><sup>[114]</sup></font></a> Similarly, bottled water compliance is a low priority for FDA, so specific figures are not kept for resources dedicated to ensuring it meets standards; the compliance office estimated in 1998 that a likely total of &quot;less than one&quot; FDA staff person (FTE) is dedicated to bottled water compliance. <a href="http://www.nrdc.org/water/drinking/bw/chap4.asp#note115"><font size="1"><sup>[115]</sup></font></a></p> <p>The NDRC report, which I highly recommend as some good, tree-huggin&#39; readin&#39;, states very clearly that they are not suggesting that bottled water is any less pure than tap water, and state that they have documented tap water contamination in the past. But they also point out that water bottled and sold in the same state is NOT subject to the FDA regulations, as flimsy as those regulations are. </p> <p><a href="http://www.commondreams.org/headlines06/0205-01.htm">According to the Earth Policy Institute</a>, &quot;[t]he U.S. Environmental Protection Agency sets more stringent quality standards for tap water than does the Food and Drug Administration for the bottled stuff....&quot;</p> <p>Dasani is just filtered tap water, like we mentioned. Sure, it might be purer than the water from your tap, but is that worth the cost when you could just filter it yourself?</p> <h4>What about Fiji Water, the <a href="http://money.cnn.com/galleries/2007/biz2/0701/gallery.101dumbest_2007/20.html">purest of the pure</a>?</h4> <p class="blockquote">Los Angeles-based Fiji Water runs magazine ads for its bottled water with the headline &quot;The Label Says Fiji Because It&#39;s Not Bottled in Cleveland.&quot; </p> <p>Cleveland officials retaliate by running tests revealing that Fiji bottled water contains 6.3 micrograms of arsenic per liter, while the city&#39;s tap water has none. </p> <p><em>This is the second in a three-part series about bottled water. To read the first installment, </em><a href="/bottled-water-bottled-hype-part-1"><em>click here</em></a><em>. To read the third installment, </em><a href="/bottled-water-bottled-hype-part-3"><em>click here</em></a><em>.</em></p> <p>(Photo by <a href="http://www.recyclethis.co.uk/">How Can I Recycle This?</a>)</p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/andrea-karim">Andrea Karim</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/bottled-water-bottled-hype-part-2">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-6"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/bottled-water-bottled-hype-part-1">Bottled Water, Bottled Hype Part 1</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/bottled-water-bottled-hype-part-3">Bottled Water, Bottled Hype Part 3</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/unbearably-stupid-packaging">Dumbest packaging ever?</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/bottled-or-tap-the-right-choice-for-water-may-surprise-you">Bottled or Tap: The Right Choice for Water May Surprise You</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/save-the-tomatoes-autumn-tips-to-prolong-the-growing-season">Save the Tomatoes! Autumn Tips to Prolong the Growing Season</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Food and Drink Green Living bottled branding chemicals Dasani detox efficient Evian Fiji lead marketing packaging pure water Thu, 19 Apr 2007 18:11:54 +0000 Andrea Karim 527 at http://www.wisebread.com Bottled Water, Bottled Hype Part 1 http://www.wisebread.com/bottled-water-bottled-hype-part-1 <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/bottled-water-bottled-hype-part-1" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/water.jpg" alt="" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="180" height="240" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p><em>This is the first in a three-part series about bottled water. To read the second installment, <a href="/bottled-water-bottled-hype-part-2"><em>click here</em></a><em>. To read the third installment, </em><a href="/bottled-water-bottled-hype-part-3"><em>click here</em></a><em>.</em></em></p> <p>Have you ever stopped to think about just how incredibly odd it is to buy bottled water? I&#39;m only recently coming to understand just how ludicrous the whole thing is.</p> <p>Really, think about it:</p> <ul> <li>America has some of the best civil infrastructure in the world. Most Americans have clean drinking water piped directly into their sinks. Yet, we persist in buying the bottled stuff. </li> <li>Sales of bottled water topped $35 billion in 2003, and have gone up steadily since.</li> <li>Bottled water costs consumers of the Starbucks Ethos brand roughly <a href="http://jeffmatthewsisnotmakingthisup.blogspot.com/2005/09/too-expensiveat-one-third-cost-of.html">$9.85 per gallon</a>, just a tad more than gasoline. Oh, wait - yes, that&#39;s triple the cost of gasoline. Now, not everyone buys Ethos-brand bottled water, and you can get a purified gallon of water at the supermarket for roughly a dollar. That&#39;s still a dollar too much.</li> </ul> <h4>Time for a Metaphor </h4> <p>Let&#39;s imagine that there&#39;s a guy who lives in France, we&#39;ll call him Pepe, who generates really green electricity from his windfarm. He can ship the power in the form of HUGE batteries, from France. You can then go the store, buy a huge battery, hook the battery up to your house, and voila!- you are able to use it to power your lights. Great! When you are finished, you just throw the battery away and buy another one at the store. Sure, you could just use the electricity that is wired into your home, but green power is better, right? </p> <p>Well, when we buy bottled water, especially bottled water from overseas (like Fiji), that&#39;s exactly what we are doing. We&#39;re deciding against something that we have immediate access to, something that pours freely into our sinks at the twist of a handle. But instead, many of us prefer to purchase water. Water, which is sort of ubiquitous, now arrives in plastic bottles, bottles that are polluting to create and polluting to get rid of. </p> <p>Fossil fuels are burned moving the water across the ocean (in what I like to call &quot;an ironic twist&quot;), and then a diesel-burning truck brings the water to your grocery store, which you drive to in your gas-burning car. </p> <p>Where you buy it. And drink it. And throw away the bottle.</p> <h4>Environmental Impact</h4> <p>The environmental impact that the bottled water craze is having on our planet is <a href="http://www.counterpunch.org/lack07252006.html">staggering</a>:</p> <p>Bottled water is responsible for an enormous increase in world production of plastic bottles. Surging sales of bottled water coincided with and may help account for a 56 per cent increase in U.S. plastic resin manufacture in the U.S.A. between 1995 and 2001 (from 32 million tons to over 50 million tons annually). Consuming critical supplies of petroleum and natural gas, plastic bottle factories create and release toxic wastes, including benzine, xylene, and oxides of ethylene into the environment.</p> <p>Drinking bottled water actually increases the price of gasoline, because the manufacturing of the bottles and the transportation of the water simply increases demand for oil. I&#39;m not going to say that if you drink Evian, the terrorists have won, but keep in mind that when you buy bottled water, <strong>you&#39;re not just consuming bottled water</strong>. You&#39;re consuming (and paying for) all of the chemicals that went into producing that bottle that the water arrived in, as well as the gas and oil consumed in bringing the water to you.</p> <p>It&#39;s shockingly inefficient. It&#39;s also ridiculously <a href="http://seattlepi.nwsource.com/specials/brokenpromises/288097_plastic10.asp">bad for our planet</a>:</p> <p class="blockquote">&quot;About 300 billion pounds of plastic are produced each year, said Charles Moore, founder of the Algalita Marine Research Foundation. That&#39;s 1,000 pounds for every American. </p> <p>&quot;And massive amounts of it are washing into the sea. </p> <p>&quot;Swirling in the Pacific Ocean is an area of man-made trash the size of Texas. A few years ago Moore towed a fine mesh net like a giant cheesecloth through the area -- dubbed the &quot;great garbage patch.&quot; The haul contained six times more plastic than plankton.&quot; </p> <p>Read that full article in the Seattle PI - I guarantee that it will make you think carefully about throwing away plastic. One thing that I didn&#39;t know was how plastic is capable of degrading. I had always been told that a plastic bottle now is a plastic bottle 2000 years from now - but plastic does break down into smaller pieces, and it&#39;s everywhere.</p> <p class="blockquote">The trouble is that there&#39;s no effective way to remove the plastic pollution, whether it&#39;s in chunks or microscopic bits. Researchers say the solution is keeping it out of the water in the first place. And there&#39;s good reason to do so: it&#39;s on our dinner plates. </p> <p><em>This is the first in a three-part series about bottled water. To read the second installment, </em><a href="/bottled-water-bottled-hype-part-2"><em>click here</em></a><em>. To read the third installment, </em><a href="/bottled-water-bottled-hype-part-3"><em>click here</em></a><em>.</em></p> <p>(<em>Photo by shutterbug hottie </em><a href="http://www.flickr.com/people/11147789@N00/"><em>shrff14</em></a>)</p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/andrea-karim">Andrea Karim</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/bottled-water-bottled-hype-part-1">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-5"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/bottled-water-bottled-hype-part-2">Bottled Water, Bottled Hype Part 2</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/bottled-water-bottled-hype-part-3">Bottled Water, Bottled Hype Part 3</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/bottled-or-tap-the-right-choice-for-water-may-surprise-you">Bottled or Tap: The Right Choice for Water May Surprise You</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/7-soda-alternatives-that-wont-bust-your-wallet-or-your-waistline">7 Soda Alternatives That Won&#039;t Bust Your Wallet — Or Your Waistline</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/affordable-sustainable-seafood-choices-for-your-table">Affordable Sustainable Seafood Choices for Your Table</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Food and Drink Green Living bottled environment Evian Fiji plastic transport water Wed, 18 Apr 2007 22:04:19 +0000 Andrea Karim 523 at http://www.wisebread.com