Tuesday, April 29, 2008

Ban Bottled Water

There's an old saying, "a good salesperson could sell snow to an Eskimo," which pretty much sums up my feeling about bottled water. To say we don't need bottled water would be an understatement. Most everyone in developed nations actually has water, good water, government tested, high quality, great tasting water. It comes right out of the tap. But companies are always looking for ways to make a buck.

Why is bottled water such a bad idea? You could complain about the price, which is often 3 times as much as what we pay for gasoline, and even more in restaurants, or you could consider the fact that sometimes bottled water (such as Aquafina) is just bottled tap water, but really the main problems are waste and pollution. Bottling and shipping water is a waste of energy and is a source of pollution. Some companies are trying to minimize their impact with carbon offsets. But that still doesn't change the fact that only a percentage of plastic water bottles are ever recycled and that the product is simply not necessary.

In the past chefs and restaurateurs have used their celebrity and promoted bottled water. I hope in the future more will take a leadership role in weaning people off this unnecessary and wasteful habit. Lots of restaurants are already serving filtered water instead of bottled, but it will take more celebrities like Alice Waters to make a ban on bottled water stick. It probably doesn't hurt that "water" is in her name!

Why did drinking water out of a bottle become a status symbol? I really don't know. But marketers caught on to the idea, and it seems like there is no end in sight. Here are some of the more outrageous bottled water products.

"A tool to remind you of what you truly are?" A status craving environmental polluter!

Fiji water
Fiji water

A leader in carbon offsets, their product and bottles pollute the environment. All the while they sell consumers the image of "purity."

Skinny water

Skinny water
Seriously, water being marketed as 0 calories. All you need is 0 brains to buy it.

Aqua Deco
Water in what looks like a perfume bottle. Just what we don't need!

The ultimate in conspicuous consumption. A whole brand created to be expensive, at $40 a bottle. "Fashioned to make a defining statement." And the statement is "we are shallow!"