Boxed Water is Better for the Environment, Says Grand Rapids-Based Company

Boxed Water

It had only been a couple weeks since I first watched the documentary, Tapped, a film that chronicles the bottled water industry’s rise to prominence in the United States. A history that includes exploiting loop holes in local ordinances to enable large multinational corporations to take ground water from local municipalities without having to pay for it and then selling it back to us at a four-digit profit margin in bottles that are probably very toxic to manufacture.

So, I was already making it a point to drink more tap water out of reusable containers and less of the clear plastic-bottled stuff. However, on this particular day, we were out and about for most of the day and I already exhausted my portable water stash. I was also thirsty, so I thought as long as I didn’t return to my regular bottled water habit, that would be okay. Right?

Turns out I didn’t have to make that choice since I found water in a box — a perfect product to alleviate what I was feeling.

Simply put, Grand Rapids-based Boxed Water is Better, LLC is a company that sells boxed water. I was first introduced to the product last weekend while shopping at Royal Oak’s Holiday Market. I decided to purchase the plain white carton of boxed water instead of the usual plastic bottle found in brands like Dasani and Aquafina for one reason: guilt. That, and a very reassuring slogan on the carton!

Turns out this purchase was actually a very good decision.

Why Boxed Water is Actually Better

  • The company believes in providing water in a much more sustainable way than the broader bottled water industry.
  • About 76% of the Boxed Water carton is made from a renewable resource.
  • Unfilled boxes are shipped flat, taking up two pallets (or roughly 5% of a truckload). It would take about five truckloads to haul the same amount of unfilled glass or plastic bottles.
  • Boxed water is carbon-filtered, purified water from Minnesota (the company headquarters remain in Grand Rapids, Michigan).
  • The average half-liter PET (polyethylene terephthalate) plastic container contains roughly 50 grams of greenhouse gas. Compare that with the average paper-style carton, which contains about eight grams.

While taking the tap water in my reusable container to-go is still a much better option for everyone, I am very encouraged to see a Michigan company taking hold of this opportunity to make water convenient in a more sustainable way. I also really admire their business model, which emphasizes philanthropy and good design.

Boxed Water is currently available in select locations in California, Michigan, Illinois, Georgia, Florida and Wisconsin. A full list of retailers is available on the company’s website.

The Tapped documentary is still available to watch free on Hulu, but I also embedded it here below so you can watch it here on A Healthier Michigan. With so many readers hooked on the health benefits of water, will this get you thinking about where your water comes from and how we might be able do better in the future?

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