Monday, August 01, 2005

H2Oh No!

I recently posted about how I try not to spend money on bottled water. In today's NY Times, there was an article with even more compelling reasons not to! Here's a few key points:

  • Most people can't tell the difference between bottled water and tap water in blind taste tests.
  • In 2004, Americans drank on average 24 gallons of bottled water
  • This year, Americans will spend $9.8 billion on bottled water.
  • Ounce for ounce, bottle water costs more than gasoline. It costs 250- to 10,000 times more than tap water.
  • There is no health or nutritional benefit to drinking bottled water: in fact bottled water can have higher levels of bacteria than tap water, and it isn't subject to as much regulation and monitoring.
  • If you are trying to avoid chemicals that can be present in tap water, you're out of luck: they are in some bottled water anyway, and also, unless you are wearning a gas mask while showering and unloading your dish washer, you're being exposed to those chemicals anyway.
  • Bottled water is bad for the environment, due to shipping, refrigeration and bottles going into landfills.
  • More than 1 billion people lack access to safe drinking water, leading to illness and a lack of productivity and a dependence on foreign aid in many parts of the developing world
  • Clean water could be provided to everyone on earth for an outlay of $1.7 billion a year beyond current spending on water projects.
Bottom line: stop spending money on bottled water and give the money to water charities.

The author of this article wrote a book that has been on my list of things to read someday: A History of the World in Six Glasses, by Tom Standage. It talks about the role that these six drinks have played in world history: beer, wine, spirits, coffee, tea, and cola drinks.


Zetirix said...
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Zetirix said...

Some people, especially in America just don't care... Personally I wouldn't buy bottled water, I would buy a filtration system though. I've also heard that many bottled waters don't contain flouride.

- Z

Anonymous said...

I would never buy bottle water but of the water that I've had, I absolutely hate Poland Spring - it tastes like plastic. I think it'd be funny to give the social elite, the ones who love perrier, etc; a blind taste test and give them tap water from a Queens diner and see how they reacted. :)