Hitting the Bottle

Bottled Water that is.

Consider this. Americans drink a billion bottles of water a week. Last year, we spent $16 billion on bottled water, more than we spent going to the movies.

The number one selling bottled water is Aquafina, accounting for 13% of the market. Second is Dasani, which has 11% of the market. Aquafina is owned by Pepsi, while Dasani is owned by Coke. Both are nothing more than re-purified tap water from your local bottling company. In other words, here in Cincinnati, I’m would pay well over $1 to drink the same water that comes out of my tap at my home and office.

All this information comes from a segment on NPR, which is an interview with Charles Fishman, author of a Fast Company magazine article called Message in a Bottle. Read the article, I’m sure you will find it eye opening.

More. You’ve heard of Fiji Water? It’s that water bottled in a rectangular bottle supposedly in Fiji. The water does come from Fiji, but the bottles are shipped from the US or somewhere else. And then those bottles are filled and returned to the US for sale. Now consider this. “Fiji Water produces more than a million bottles a day, while more than half the people in Fiji do not have reliable drinking water.”

Wasteful? Yes.

Conspicuous consumption? Yes. Fishman calls it “the culture of indulgence.”

Our landfills get flooded with 38 billion of these empty bottles of water each year.

Countless gallons of petroleum fuel are wasted shipping this water back and forth, when a similar product is delivered directly to our taps at home.

At least it’s healthy to drink water, whether it is bottled or right from the top.

Next time you reach for a bottle of your favorite brand of bottled water, take a moment and think before you plunk down your dollar or two.  Better still, head to the cupboard instead for a glass.  Fill it with water from the tap.  Enjoy the same water.  Then take the money you’ve saved and plunk it in a jar.  At the end of the month, give it to a charitable organization that could use it, rather than giving it to the shareholders and executives of Pepsi or Coke.


4 responses to “Hitting the Bottle

  1. Wow. The info about Fiji water was shocking. I don’t like the taste of tap water, but I don’t like paying for bottled, so I drink a lot of tea–hot in winter, iced in summer–all made from tap water.

  2. Probably a good plan, Paula. That home made iced tea. Apparently there isn’t all that much difference between bottled water and tap water, except that with tap water you have to use our own glass.

  3. Thanks for the link to your website. I cannot believe that about the Fiji water. That is the apex of capitalistic stupidity. Great article.

  4. I can’t take all the credit for the article. The inspiration was from a story on NPR’s Morning Edition. That got me started.

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