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Sunday, November 07, 2004

Bottled water: About as ungreen as you can get

Less yuppie, more hippie! That's how we'll get our country back. And one of the most disturbing and inexplicable yuppie trends is bottled water. For some bizarre reason, Americans by the millions are paying hundreds or thousands times as much to buy water in a plastic bottle as it costs them to get water from the tap. Most bottled water is no cleaner than most tap water, and many people can't taste a difference either: this article says that "Good Morning America" audience members preferred the taste of New York City tap water over 02, Poland Spring and Evian. From the same article:

CRI (the Container Recycling Institute) estimates that supplying thirsty Americans with water bottles for one year consumes more than 1.5 million barrels of oil, which is enough to generate electricity for more than 250,000 homes for a year, or enough to fuel 100,000 cars for a year.
The article stresses the bottled water is less tested and regulated than tap water. The article doesn't discuss what I think may be the most important issue regarding bottled water, the privatization of what should be a basic human right, but it does conclude by giving it a mention:
The WWF argues that governments should focus their limited energies on repairing current tap water infrastructures and on protecting watersheds from harmful farm, industry and urban pollutants. Many public water supply advocates feel that tax dollars should be paying to deal with tap water’s challenges. We certainly need to think twice before handing off the public water trust to private companies that put it in attractive bottles at a high price.
So, if you regularly buy bottled water, there's one easy step that you can take to save the planet AND stick it to those evil Bush-supporting corporations: STOP!!!