You posted: "For ages we've been told that to be healthy and maintain our strength, we should drink 8 glasses of liquids per day. Though, nobody has ever answered the question of how big, or small, THAT glass should be."
Drinking 8- 8 oz glasses is better than drinking none at all. Everyone's body is different and has different fluid requirements. A person's requirements can vary depending on the time of year and the amount of activity they engage in.
When I was running 55 miles a week and training 6 hours per day, I needed 2 gallons of water a day, not juice, not sodas, not beer. Now that I am injured and training less than 2 hours a day, I don't need as much.
But don't go by the 8 glasses rule, there are better ways of determining your hydration levels. first, look at your u r i n e color and smell. It should be colorless and odorless if you are getting the proper hydration. Second, weight yourself every morning as you jump out of bed under the same circumstances. If you have a weight fluctuation of minus 2 pounds or more, it is missing water weight unless you just came from the all you can eat trough the night before.
You posted: "Let's face it, in order for us to drink tap water we need a cup, unless we drink the water straight from the faucet."
I used a coffee cup. People take coffee cups to wok for coffee. I take mine to work for water and green tea.
You posted: "For many people it is very cumbersome to carry around a glass or plastic cup to grab water from the faucet whenever thirst strikes. Another point is that the taste from faucet water varies, depending on the plumbing and the source. I've tasted water that tastes like urine (the local zoo), or dead fish (amusement parks in Orlando.) Luckily our faucet water falls in between. Still, the water from the bottles are better-tasting and look cleaner than faucet water, specially since our city water has been found to have had bacteria, parasites, and traces of radioactive metals, in the past."
Water from the faucet isn't intended to drink. It is filled with contaminants. It is simply not cost effective to clean faucet water sufficiently to drink. It is very simple to find a water supplier that will provide you with distilled water. My supplier provides me distilled water for 50 cents a gallon that I fill on my own. I have been getting this water since the early 1990's. My company also provides distilled water in a cooler to drink.
You posted: "So, I am for bottled water, but I recognize that the empty bottles are clogging landfields across the nation and something has to be done about that."
I fill up 5 gallon bottles at the supplier. My company has 5 gallon bottles of distilled water delivered weekly. Another thing I used to do because I love my water ice cold is to fill an old Ocean Spray one gallon bottle with water to the 1/3 point. I would then freeze the bottle . Then I would fill the remaining 2/3 with water from my 5 gallon drum at the office.