I’ve never been big on tap water, so I often found myself schlepping a 24-pack of bottled water home from the grocery store. This would occur three to four times a month, and during one of those last struggles up the stairs to my apartment, I finally decided it should be avoided.

So I put a Brita water-filter pitcher on my Christmas list last year and haven’t looked back.

Since then, I’ve discovered three more good reasons for choosing a home water-filtration method over bottled water.

1. Save money: I used to spend on average $15 a month on bottled water. That adds up to $90 over six months, the amount of time I’ve been using a Brita. Though it was a gift, my model retails for about $25, but consider it a one-time investment. The true upkeep cost lies in the replacement filters, which are $8 on average and last for two months (though I’ve seen them in packs of 6 for about $30 at Target, making them $5 apiece). I figure the monthly cost of using a water-filter pitcher is $4, a $9 savings over bottled water. Not bad.

2. Water quality: Many people drink bottled water because they believe it is safer or cleaner than tap water. But some studies have pointed out that bottled water isn’t any less “dirty” than tap water. In fact, the Food and Drug Administration sets the standards for bottled water, while tap water is regulated by the Environmental Protection Agency and is subject to more stringent requirements for testing. The Brita pitcher I have reduces contaminates like lead, copper, mercury, and chlorine by rates averaging 90 percent.

3. Green effect: It’s no secret that plastic bottles have a negative impact on the environment. A 2007 Washington Post article notes that each year people in the U.S. throw away 2 million tons of polyethylene bottles, which require 18 million barrels of oil to replace. Even if the bottles are recycled, it apparently takes more petroleum to do the job. Cutting out my use of bottled water has given me some satisfaction in knowing I’m also doing something positive for the planet.