In 2019, WHO published a report titled, “micro-plastics in drinking water.” The report not only pointed out the increase of microplastics in water and food but also the harmful effects they pose to humans. This is one of the main reasons why water filters are of huge importance.
But are water filters eco-friendly?
Water filters are eco-friendly for two main reasons. Firstly, most water filter manufacturers have a mail-in program for recycling used cartridges. Secondly, water filters can help reduce plastic waste. One water filter can replace up to 300 standard 16.9-ounce water bottles. In other words, if we all switched to using water filters instead of buying bottled water, the plastic waste in our landfills would go down drastically.
6 reasons why water filters are eco-friendly
- Reducing plastic waste
If data from National Geographic is anything to go by, at least 1 million beverages in plastic bottles are sold per minute. As if not grim enough, 80% of these (as well as other plastic waste) end up in landfills. One plastic bottle will need at least 1,000 years to decompose so it is in our best interest to reduce our plastic waste as much as is practically possible.
And that is where water filters come in.
A single water filter can replace at least 300 regular 500-milliliter (16.9-ounce) water bottles. Those are a lot of bottles that would have ended up in the landfill. So even if the water filter cartridge wasn’t recycled, it is still an eco-friendly alternative to bottled water. Besides, most water filter manufacturers have partnered with organizations that assist their customers in recycling their used-up cartridges.
- Reduced wastage of water
The earth is made up of 71% of water and as such, most people assume that we have an unlimited supply of water. But what most people don’t realize that 97% of all water on earth is salty water – that leaves us with only 3%. And then the stats get even grimmer because even though 3% of the water is freshwater, only 0.5% is available for drinking. That’s because the remaining 2.5% is in ice glaciers, the atmosphere, or the soil.
Water conservation is therefore of utmost importance. Water is a limited resource and it is our responsibility to use it well. One easy way of conserving water is by using water filters. Through water filtration, water that would have otherwise been declared unsafe for consumption can be purified and used not only for drinking but for food preparation as well. With advanced filters, one can even recycle some of the household water to reduce wastage.
- Lowers carbon footprint
The recent COVID-19 epidemic led to panic buying of basic commodities which included water. If you stocked up on lots of bottled water, you left a huge carbon footprint. A better alternative would be to use a water filter that has a smaller environmental impact and still gives you better drinking water than bottled water. Thankfully, this was the response of several Americans. According to a Forbes article, most water filter manufacturers saw a spike in demand by almost 150%. Whatever their reason for choosing water filters over bottled water, most Americans are contributing to lowering their carbon footprint whether knowingly or unknowingly.
- Ecofriendly design
Most modern water filters have eco-friendly designs. Some manufacturers use smart designs that do not rely on chemicals for the purification of water. Instead of chemical purification systems, most water filters use physical filtration mechanisms, e.g. by using activated carbon substrates. Water filters can also eliminate some chemicals like arsenic as well as other toxic metals like lead. Suffice it to say that water filters are an eco-friendly solution to water filtration.
- Water filters will make your appliances more efficient
Some of the water filters on the market have a salt-free water softener and descaler features. This is a feature that removes salt in water as part of the filtration process. Salinity in water is known to cause scaling of dishwashers, washing machines, dishwashers, and other household appliances. A scaled appliance is less efficient which means it uses almost twice the energy it should be using. An appliance that is not efficient not only wastes energy but also increases greenhouse gas emissions which is not good for the environment. A water filter can be said to the like the proverbial killing two birds with one stone – you get safe drinking water inexpensively but you also get more energy-efficient appliances.
- Reducing the consumption of fossil fuels
According to the Center for International Environmental Law, 99% of plastic is made from chemicals derived from fossil fuels. The more fossil fuel energy thrives, the larger the plastic industry grows and the more polluted our environment becomes. As long as there is a demand for plastics, the manufacturers will keep churning them out in their millions.
The use of water filters reduces the dependence on plastics and this helps to cut down on the demand for bottled water. Cutting down the demand for bottled water will eventually lead to fewer plastics being produced which will ultimately lead to fewer greenhouse gas emissions.
When most people ask whether water filters are eco-friendly or not, they are usually wondering if the used water cartridges can be recycled. But as we have established, there are many more factors that show just how eco-friendly water filters are. Yes, the cartridges can be recycled but you should also think of the other huge benefits like the amount of plastic waste that is saved by water filters, the contribution to energy efficiency, the saving on fossil fuels, etc. If you look at it from all these angles, you will come to the general conclusion that yes, water filters are in fact eco-friendly.