I have a couple of problems with the continued villainy of bottled water. First and foremost, it's a given. If you're conscious of the effect your lifestyle has on the environment, there's no reason why you should be drinking bottled water. It's obviously stupid, it's like buying a can of air.
I'm not sure why we need two dozen campaigns to fight against buying what already comes out of our faucets for free, but I have this nagging feeling that all of that concern and effort would be better spent elsewhere. Like, how about getting congress to pass a tax credit for renewable energy.
I'm also concerned that we've somehow overlooked that bottled water isn't nearly as popular as bottled sugar water. Bottled sugar water, it turns out, is actually worse for the environment than bottled water, because you have to get the sugar. Something we enviros don't like to talk about is the fact that soft-drink purchases have actually declined significantly since the advent of bottled water. This can't be a bad thing, especially considering the obesity epidemic.
Still, for some reason, there's no campaign against soda, which is responsible for about seven times more waste than bottled water.
What we're seeing here is a perfect example of a visible problem being overblown simply because it's visible. Sodas aren't visible because they've always been there, bottled water is relatively new to the scene (and altogether sillier) so it's easier to see.
But the real problem is all of the waste we never see. Like the waste that comes from that extra guest bedroom in the house, that we have just in case, but we heat and cool all year round. Or the coal fired power plants that litter the country....just far enough away that we can't see them while we're using the electricity that they produce. Or all the energy it takes to create products we buy even before they're plugged in.
America's love affair with bottled water is comparably a stupid and small problem.
Yes, it's shameful that we scorn our safe, tasty tap water in favor of a more convenient option while billions of people have no safe water to drink at all. But it is certainly not the most shameful thing about our lifestyles, so get over it. We've got more important problems folks.
written by Slices, September 15, 2008
written by Amy, September 15, 2008
written by P Proefrock, September 15, 2008
written by Hank, September 15, 2008
written by Eddy De Clercq, September 16, 2008
written by TC, September 16, 2008
written by Tom Lauria, September 16, 2008
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