How Water Filters Help the Environment

Interested in learning more about protecting the environment for Earth Day? Learn how eco-friendly water filters can reduce plastic waste and help the environment.

By: Maggie Pace

We’re always looking for ways to live healthier, happier lives. Many of us know that drinking more water is one of the easiest ways to improve our health. We also know that living in a clean, safe environment plays a major role in our health. 

According to data from our latest consumer water quality survey, we found more than a quarter of Americans (27%) seek out products to purchase because they’re sustainable for the environment.

Over the last few decades, plastic water bottles have become one of the most common ways for people to get access to clean water. While the surge of water bottle usage has helped to increase water consumption, the discarded bottles wreak havoc on the environment. According to an article by the Peace Corps, it takes a plastic water bottle 450 years to decompose. What’s worse, many of these plastic bottles don’t end up in a recycling facility, or even a landfill, but instead, end up as litter in our greenspaces and waterways. Plastic water bottles then break down into microplastic particles that pollute the water and our bodies, with the average person ingesting thousands of bits of plastic every year.

So, how do we reconcile wanting to drink more water, but also wanting to protect the environment, and by extension of that, our personal health?

Aquasana’s water filter products cater to both of these needs by providing access to clean, healthy water without the need to generate unsustainable plastic waste. When looking for a water filter brand, make sure that they’re using eco-friendly water filters. By reducing the amount of disposable plastic water bottles used and utilizing Earth-friendly water filters and replacements like Aquasana’s, you can have a positive impact on our health and the planet’s well-being.

In 2019, Aquasana water filtration technology displaced more than 1.2 billion single-use plastic bottles of water in North America! Read more in AO Smith’s 2020 Corporate Responsibility & Sustainability Report.

Now that we better understand the relationship between our health, drinking water, and protecting the environment, let’s further explore the benefits of using a water filter to accomplish these goals.

Reduce Waste with Water Filters

Most of us know the adage “Reduce, Reuse, Recycle”; the “reduce” comes first for a reason. While both reusing and recycling are good ways to be environmentally-conscious, reducing is the best way to help our environment because it stops waste before it occurs. Water filters can help us to reduce using single-use items like plastic bottles, mitigate wear and tear on appliances, and curtail fossil fuel consumption.

Reduce Single-Use Water Bottle Consumption 

One of the most direct and obvious benefits of using a water filter is the reduction or elimination of single-use plastic water bottles. Plastic waste has been shown to be harmful to the environment and our health. Plastic waste does not decompose quickly. Instead, it breaks down into dangerous microplastic particles. Microplastics are difficult to track and can easily make their way into our water and food.

In total, humans throw away roughly four million tons of trash every day with about 12.8 percent of that waste being plastic.

One of the biggest advantages of plastic water bottles is that they’re convenient and provide clean water. Water filters are the perfect solution for people interested in cutting down on plastic waste because they provide easily accessible clean water. By combining a water filtration setup like a whole house system, under sink filter, or countertop filter with a reusable water bottle, you can have clean, fresh water in every part of your home and when you’re on the go. For the ultimate travel option, filtered water bottles give you the ability to filter water from any potable source, like a public drinking fountain or break room sink. Ideally, look for a filtered water bottle that's made of metal or glass, further reducing plastic waste.

Water filtration products allow customers to “bottle their own” drinking water, which drastically reduces their plastic waste compared to single-use plastic water bottles. For example, one Aquasana Claryum® 2-Stage under sink water filter lasts six months and can avoid the use of 3,700 16.9-ounce plastic water bottles.

The Future of Filtered Water

In our latest consumer survey, we also found that using a reusable water bottle is more important to younger generations (Gen Z and Millennials), with Gen Z leading the charge. In fact, more than two-thirds of Gen Zers (69%) have purchased a reusable water bottle in the last year because they’re environmentally sustainable, and they’re 27% more likely than other generations to purchase a reusable water bottle because of the environment (69% vs. 54%). This tells us reducing the use of single-use water bottles will become even more important and mainstream in the future.

Water Filters Protect Appliances

Water filters don’t just help the environment by reducing the need for single-use plastics, they can also have long-term benefits like protecting your appliances. Water filters can remove sediment that would otherwise damage or slow down appliances that use water like dishwashers, refrigerators, hot water tanks, and washing machines.

By reducing particle buildup you can maintain an appliance’s energy efficiency. Buildup from unfiltered water can slow down an appliance and cause it to use more energy. Saving on energy is not only good for your electricity and gas bills, it also helps the environment by reducing the pollution from energy generation.

Maintaining appliance efficiency with a water filter can also help to prolong an appliance’s lifespan. Modern appliances utilize a fair amount of plastic and metal. When an appliance needs to be replaced, that plastic and metal is often discarded. While some of the parts may end up being reused or recycled, much of the discarded plastic and metal often ends up in a landfill.

By protecting your appliances, especially with a water filter, you can save money, time, and help the environment.

Water Filters Reduce Fossil Fuel Consumption

So, now that we better understand that water filters can mitigate the need to purchase new appliances and eliminate the need for single-use plastic bottles, we can connect the dots to how this impacts fossil fuel consumption. 

Plastic is made from fossil fuels oil and natural gas. The less plastic that we need to produce, the less reliant we are on fossil fuels. This helps alleviate our carbon footprint and reduce harmful byproducts that come from the plastic manufacturing process.

In fact, 14% of the national total of toxic releases came from plastic manufacturing. Significant releases of toxic chemicals include:

  • trichloroethane
  • acetone
  • methylene chloride
  • methyl ethyl ketone
  • styrene
  • toluene
  • benzene
  • 1,1,1 trichloroethane

By utilizing eco-friendly products like modern water filters, we can help to reduce plastic manufacturing, greenhouse gas emissions, and dangerous chemical byproducts.

How to Choose an Eco-Friendly Water Filter

One of the first questions that people ask about using water filters to help the environment is, “What about the filters? Don’t those get thrown away too?” This is an important question and something that we should all consider when looking for clean water options.

Be sure to look for a water filter product that utilizes eco-friendly water filter replacements. For instance, Aquasana products are created with the environment in mind. Our water filter components are engineered for minimal waste including their reusable outer filter casings and filter cartridges made of recyclable parts and compostable materials. 

Now that we know more about eco-friendly filters, the next step is to find a water filter system that can meet all of our needs. Let’s break down the different water filter setups to get a better understanding of which product to choose:

Whole House Water Filters

A whole house water filter is the ultimate solution for clean drinking water in your home. These water filters are installed where water enters your home, so that every drop of water that flows through your pipes, out of your faucets, and into your appliances is filtered. A downside to this set is a higher upfront cost and you can’t easily take your system with you, though it’s easy enough to fill up a reusable water bottle for when you’re out and about. 

Under Sink Water Filters

Under sink water filters are a great middle-ground option for your home or business. They don’t provide filtered water to your entire home, like a whole house system, but they do offer the same clean, fresh water to a single faucet. Like whole house systems, they’re conveniently tucked away, not taking up countertop space or diminishing your room’s aesthetics. They’re also significantly less expensive than a whole house system and are easy to install.

These systems allow people to effectively “bottle their own” drinking water, which drastically reduces their plastic waste compared to single-use plastic water bottles. For instance, the Claryum® 3-Stage Max Flow’s filter lasts for six months and can eliminate the need of 6,050 16.9-ounce plastic water bottles.

Countertop Water Filters

Countertop water filters come in a few varieties: water filters with pitchers, countertop dispensers, and faucet attach countertop filters. These filters fall within most household budgets and require little to no installation, but can have a big impact on reducing your single-use plastic consumption. For example, one of Aquasana’s Claryum® Countertop water filter cartridges can filter 450 gallons of water and keep more than 3,400 plastic water bottles out of the landfill.

Shower Water Filters

Shower water filters are perfect for people that deal with issues like chlorine-heavy municipal water or that don’t want to invest in a whole house system. They’re easy to install and can even come with an integrated shower wand. Try combining a shower filter with an under sink or counter filter to get many of the benefits of a whole house system, at a fraction of the price.



Filtered Water Bottles

Our recent survey found that more than half of Americans (55%) have purchased a reusable water bottle in the last year because they are environmentally sustainable. But not all reusable water bottles are created equally. 

Regardless of whether you have a whole house system or a countertop water filter, filtered water bottles are a great addition to any filtered water strategy or as a standalone option. If you’ve ever been reluctant to drink from a water fountain or a tap, these water bottles are the perfect solution for safe water drinking on the go. 

Improve your Health, Improve the Planet

We only have one planet and it’s our responsibility to protect our environment, if not for future generations, at the very least for our own health. Water preservation, eco-friendly practices, and waste mitigation are essential to maintaining the balance. Luckily, we can all play a part by utilizing products like water filters to not only enrich our lives, but work towards a better future.

If you’re ready to invest in your well-being and help protect the environment with an eco-friendly water filter, we invite you to shop our products and find the perfect water filter solution today!



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