The decisions we make about drinking water go far beyond water—they’re also about our planet and future generations.
This section looks at some of the traditional sources of drinking water and their environmental impact. For perspective, we’ll compare these with the Skywell.
A mass-market nightmare
Plastic bottles—both the 5-gallon containers delivered by truck, and small, single-serve, disposable bottles—are part of our popular culture. They are a modern convenience that has provided us with access to drinking water nearly anywhere we go.
However, the price we are paying for the convenience of bottled water, as well as other common drinking water sources, is the sustainability of our planet.
Fossil fuel usage
- The production of bottled water in the United States alone consumes approximately 900,000 tons of plastic annually—the equivalent of more than 17 million barrels of oil.
- Shipping this water to its final destination requires additional fossil fuels. The National Geographic estimates that 40,000 18-wheelers are required to deliver our bottled water every week. Many popular brands of drinking water are even shipped to the United States from abroad via gas guzzling cargo ships.
Trash and pollution
- Needless to say, the trucks and ships carrying these bottles also emit exhaust fumes, damaging our air and oceans.
- Of the approximately 30 billion plastic water bottles sold annually in the United States, less than 20% are recycled. This leaves billions of plastic bottles in our landfills, beaches, waterways, and public spaces. In the hundreds of years it takes for this plastic to decompose, it is steadily poisoning our plant and animal life.
- In addition to the exhaust fumes emitted from trucks and cargo ships along the supply chain, the process of bottling water in production factories releases roughly 2.5 million tons of carbon dioxide into the atmosphere each year.
- In connection with the 4 billion gallons of drinking water bottled in the United States each year, an additional 8 billion gallons of fresh water are required for the bottling process.
- Tap-water filtration systems require three to four gallons of water for each usable gallon produced. As water is passed through a filtration membrane at high pressure in an effort to remove chemicals, pathogens, and metals, approximately two thirds of that water is discharged directly into your sewer.
The Skywell: Big advantages, small footprint.
The Skywell radically transforms the traditional drinking water model by avoiding the heavy environmental costs of producing, warehousing, shipping, and disposing of billions of plastic bottles worldwide. The only container you need with the Skywell is...your water glass.
To be fair, the Skywell has its own impact on the environment. New Skywells must be warehoused and then delivered by van to our customers. The Skywell requires electricity to capture, filter, and then heat or cool the water, but when compared to the alternative, the amount is negligible.
Though no method is perfect, the Skywell's environmental footprint is noticeably lower than those that depend on production and transporation of plastic containers. Environmentally, it is a remarkably effective option for sourcing your high-quality drinking water.
We can't snap our fingers and make billions of discarded plastic bottles disappear. Nor will it be easy to change ingrained consumer behavior overnight. However, collectively we can immediately decide to put an end to our senseless reliance on traditional drinking water sources - ensuring that future generations manage this fragile resource with respect and compassion for the planet.
To learn more about drinking water and the environment, here are some additional resources: