Producing all those bottles takes a lot of energy, whether they are made from recycled plastic or new plastic. Producing one bottle of water takes about 2,000 times more energy than producing tap water. One of the best and easiest things you can do to help the environment is STOP BUYING BOTTLED WATER. Two must-haves for anyone trying to help the planet are some sort of water filter and a reusable bottle. Brita is a great brand and works really well. You can buy a pitcher or even one that attaches to your faucet... although I have to say, I prefer the pitcher. I had one that attached to the faucet and I found that it was always in the way. Anyway, pitcher water is probably the cleanest water you're going to get. The United States has laws like the Safe Drinking Water Act that ensure contaminants do not exceed set levels. Public water is sometimes chlorinated, but the Brita filter takes almost all of it out. And well water is even cleaner... no chlorine and it is already pre-filtered by the soil. Bottled water is actually sometimes dirtier than tap water. The FDA (a joke of an administration in my opinion) regulates bottled water and does not share it's findings with the EPA or the public. And chances are, if you buy bottled water, you're wasting your money. According to an NBC report, 25% of bottled water comes from the tap at the processing plant, including big brands like Dasani and Aquafina. If the label says "purified" or "drinking water," it came from a tap. So why would you pay for something you can get for free? If you switched to using a filter, you could save a lot of money. Each filter can make an equivalent of about 300 bottles of water before it needs to be replaced and only costs a couple dollars. It doesn't make sense not to use a filter.
If you're hesitant about giving up bottled water, just give it a try. Get a filter and reusable bottle and use it once in a while. You'll still have your bottled water, but you won't need to use it so much. Slowly switch to just the filter. Maybe keep a case of bottled water around in case the power goes out or something, but make the filter your primary source. Plus, you can buy cool reusable bottles with nice designs or your favorite color. This is one of the most important things you can do to help the environment, so please, please, please do it. And if you already do, you're awesome.