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Staying hydrated is incredibly important. Most Americans are aware of the problems caused by dehydration, and as a result over the years we have developed a new love: bottled water. It’s clean, safe and relatively inexpensive — and according to some it tastes better than tap water.

But, unfortunately, there is nothing green or sustainable about bottled water. Americans drink more than 30 billion bottles of water each year. That is a pretty hairy figure.

Even scarier is the fact that all of those bottles create around 1.5 billion tons of waste each year. What is green about that? And there is no evidence that bottled water is safer or healthier than tap water, especially when it is combined with a water filtration system.

So, if you want to live a sustainable lifestyle, what are your options?

1. Buy larger containers of bottled water. If you absolutely must drink bottled water, use five-gallon jugs or larger. That way, you’re still reducing the amount of plastic waste you create.

2. Use a reusable water bottle. Reusable bottles are made from a variety of materials, including stainless steel and BPA-free plastic. They are also available in many colors and styles. Attach a water filter to your sink if you’re worried about the water quality.

3. Become more educated. What we’re doing to our water sources is just as frightening as the amount of waste we create. Pollution is causing many of our water sources — and those that supply water to bottling companies — to become contaminated with bacteria, pollutants and even pharmaceutical residue.

So, become educated and do your part in helping keep our water safe for us and the rest of the planet.

By making these changes you can help become part of the sustainable solution to our waste production problem.