Nature’s Four Favorite Filters

With filter media like Manganese Greensand, KDF 55 and granular activated charcoal, it’s easy to think of water filtration as consisting entirely of strange, manmade materials, plastics and polymers that purify your water using space age technology. These filter medias are then connected to other technological devices, such as kitchen sinks, refrigerators, pools, spas and showers. Water filtration, the hallmark of 21st century scientific achievement.
Of course, this is hardly the case. Water filtration is a natural and integral part of life, and it’s a process aided by a variety of animals and natural materials. The Earth has many natural methods of water filtration, and humankind has also used natural materials to purify water for thousands of years.
Now I present to you, without further ado, “Nature’s Four Favorite Filters“:
Plants: Especially in Wetland areas, plants naturally filter the water in which they exist. Such plants move carbon dioxide through the water while also adding oxygen. In addition, many rid ponds and bogs of toxic metals and allow for the growth of beneficial bacteria. Water lettuce and water hyacinth are both particularly absorptive plants, and have even been used as pre-filters to waste water treatment systems.
Sand: More than 2,000 years ago, the Greeks and Romans used sand to filter the water of their bathhouses and pools. This technique is still used today to capture dirt and larger sediment, as it filters particles between 25-50 microns in size.
Oysters: Oysters are filter feeders that consume many harmful pollutants while feeding. An adult oyster can filter as much as 60 gallons of water a day. That’s more than most reverse osmosis systems. In many contaminated waters, oyster reefs are constructed to purify the water in a natural way.
Coconut: When a coconut ripens, the water inside hardens into the white flesh that we all know as coconut. In the months before this happens, however, water is purified in the unripe coconut as it is passed between many fibers and kept sterile inside the nut. The result? A liquid brimming with electrolytes and second only to water itself in terms of purity. There is a reason many of today’s water filters employ a coconut carbon block.
While water purification is indeed a natural occurrence, many contaminants found in water can hardly be described as such. The problem, of course, is that all the plants, sand, oysters and coconuts in the world could not rid the world of some of the chemicals found in your water. But by using modern filters that use some of nature’s best filters, like sand and coconut, we can restore water to a more pure and natural state.

Tap’d Out: Is America Ready to Give up its Bottle?

Despite the many studies and reports exposing bottled water as nothing more than tap water, one man is proving that our country might not be ready to tap out just yet: even when the water is blatantly marketed as tap water.
The Los Angeles Times recently reported on Craig Zucker, the founder of a new bottled water called Tap’d NY. As the name suggests, Tap’d NY takes as its source the same reservoirs and lakes that provide New York City with its tap water. The only real difference between the two? Price, of course, and one well marketed bottle.
A quick glance tells you this isn’t your parents’ bottled water. Rather than spell out the unnecessarily long word “Tapped,” the company has chosen to eschew needless letters in favor of a simple apostrophe. It’s a testament to the widely known fact that alternative spellings or abbreviated words just sell better.
The label also touts that “No glaciers were harmed in making this water.”
To be fair, some of the nation’s finest tap water does flow through New York City’s faucets. But that begs the question–why would anyone buy Tap’d NY if they can get the very same water in their own home? A BPA-free plastic bottle or glass decanter allows you to take this water wherever you go.
If you live in an area with off-tasting tap water, there’s a solution for that, too. You can filter the impurities from your tap water with any number of filtration systems, depending on the quality of your water. Our Brita pitcher systems, for example, are a great way to rid your water of the taste and odor of chlorine, as well as other contaminants.
The end result is water that often tastes better and is more healthy than its bottled counterpart, not to mention at a fraction of the cost. Better still, you won’t be contributing to the millions of bottles that go unrecycled every year. You know, so you don’t harm any glaciers while making your water.