Your guide to choosing a water filter for plastic-free hydration

Plastic bags and plastic bottles have created a global plastic crisis. In Canada alone, two billion water bottles per year are consumed, which is 5.3 million a day. Despite recycling initiatives and strong waste management systems, only 9 percent of plastic waste ends up being recycled. 

By using water filters, you can take a step forward in drinking better water and helping the environment. Bottling your own drinking water drastically reduces plastic waste and helps you save money. Here are tips on how to choose the best type of water filtration system for your home. 

Types of Water Filtration Systems

There are five main types of water filtration systems. Choosing a water filter can seem overwhelming when figuring out which is the best one for your space. Understanding the different types and how they work, will help you find the right one. 

Carbon Filter 

One of the most common water filter systems is the carbon filter. It is a solid block of compressed carbon that attaches directly to a single faucet. It is also used in pitchers to remove organic compounds from water. 

Pros of carbon filters:

  • Inexpensive; ranging from $30USD($38 CAD) to $100USD ($127 CAD)
  • Improves the taste of your water
  • Removes harmful substances, reduces the level of chlorine, and fights against odor

Cons of water filters:

  • Has to be replaced 18-24 months, if used daily
  • Advanced carbon blocks are needed to remove lead and asbestos

Under-Sink Water Filter 

As the name suggests, under-sink water filters are installed beneath the sinks. They supply filtered water through a pipe down a specially installed faucet. This is a popular option for those that receive water from a public water system. With this, you have the option to filter your drinking water but not your showers, laundry, or dishwashers. 

Pros of under-sink water filters:

  • Can quickly filter large amounts of water
  • Cleaner and tastier water for cooking and drinking 
  • Filters do not have to be changed as frequently

Cons of under-sink water filters:

  • Depending on the complexity of your system it does tend to cost more
  • May require professional installation

Faucet-Mounted Filtration 

Faucet-mounted filters connect directly into your faucet. You can turn it on and off between uses. These filters eliminate more contaminants for better-tasting water. 

They usually last longer between replacements than alternatives. Still, if not sealed properly, the seal between the faucet and filter can deteriorate quickly. 

Pros of faucet-mounted filtration:

  • Quick and easy installation 
  • Affordable and readily available at most grocery stores

Cons of faucet-mounted filtration:

  • Faucet may have low durability based on the products it is made with
  • Water may run slow after adding the filter

Whole-House Water Filter 

This filter removes contaminants throughout your entire home, not just your kitchen sink. The system is made up of many filters to reject unwanted contaminants, including sediment filter, carbon filter, reverse osmosis, deionization filter, and UV light.  

Pros of whole-house water filters:

  • One system that provides clean, filtered water to your entire home
  • Reverse Osmosis membrane removes volatile organic compounds (VOCs) and reduces dissolved impurities 
  • Calcium and magnesium minerals are filtered out making your water soft

Cons of whole-house water filters:

  • An expensive system 
  • May require a plumbing professional to install
  • Removing chlorine could increase the spread of germs in your plumbing system

Reverse Osmosis Filtration 

Reverse osmosis systems use a high-pressure pump and filter water through a membrane that blocks solids. After going through three filter stages the water contains lower sodium, no parasites, and no bacteria. 

Pros of reverse osmosis filtration:

  • Effectively eliminates disease-causing organisms and chemical contaminants, including metals and nitrates, making it safe for cancer patients
  • The water is very pure with a good taste
  • Softens water by removing sodium 

Cons of reverse osmosis filtration:

  • The system has to be cleaned and sanitized regularly
  • Uses a large amount of water compared to what it filters out
  • May require another system to filter out the wastewater

Benefits of Water Filtration Systems

Installing a water filtration system provides you with safe and great-tasting drinking water. It can also save you money and help preserve the environment. 

Household savings 

Installing a water filtration system can supply you with tasty, and healthier water while cutting down on the cost. Continuously purchasing gallons of bottled water can add up. It is between 240 to 10,000 times more expensive than purchasing a gallon of tap water. 

Environmental Benefits

Nearly 22 billion water bottles are not ending up recycled. They end up in landfills and waterways as a major source of environmental pollution. In Canada alone, 22 million pounds of plastic make its way to the Great Lakes every year.  

Having access to an effective water filtration system can provide better-tasting drinking water and reduce the amount of plastic waste produced annually.
If you want to drink better and make the environment better, join this plastic-free challenge.