A Bottle of No Thanks, Please

bottled water

Bottled water is so easy.  It’s water, in a bottle, genius!  I remember when it was chic and served in the finest restaurants.  Then one morning I woke up and my mother told me we were getting a water bottle for the house.  No longer was the tap good enough.  After another five years or so she didn’t want to wait for the Poland Spring man to deliver our weekly allotment of water, so there it was: bottles upon shimmering bottles in our refrigerator.  People come to our office for a meeting or you head off to a job interview and what to they offer?  A bottle of water.  It’s like an angel on your shoulder wishing you the safest and most comforting taste of pure H2O.

Never once did I ask myself, “What’s wrong with bottled water?”  Not until I realized how many bottles collected into my recycling bin.  Trash is a funny thing, one moment it’s in your kitchen and the next it vanishes.  Presumably we trust that our trash goes…Well, I don’t really know where I thought my trash went.

I recently read the book, The World Without Us, which contained an entire chapter dedicated to the evils of plastic.  It turns out that all the plastic we use and love, (hey I have to admit that it’s nice when you can drop a bottle without it shattering all over the floor), ends up in our oceans, and takes about a gajillion years to decompose (maybe I’m exaggerating, but I doubt it).  The impact it has on the fish, mollusks, birds and plant life of the sea is completely shocking and promises to change the ecosystem as we know it.  There really is no known half-life for plastic.  It breaks into little pellets sure, but how does it react with the natural world, and what does it become as it degenerates

One of the big offenders is the bottled water industry.  We’ve become as addicted to bottled water in recent years as stockbrokers in the 80s were to cocaine.  In fact every restaurant I enter now offers bottled water both flat and sparkling, and then almost disdainfully, they mention that tap is available too.  They make you feel like an idiot if you order the tap water.  They make you feel cheap, plebian.  I always answer, Los Angeles’ finest. 

Tap water was important when I was a kid, not just to stay hydrated, but because the water supply contained fluoride.  Many bottled waters don’t contain fluoride and this is leading to children with unhealthy teeth.  The reason being…You guessed it, bottled water.  Fluoridated water is free from our taps, and makes your kids’ teeth happy. Most bottled water does not contain fluoride. 

Lewis Black, the comedian, sums this entire bottled water thing up quite hysterically by saying we’ve sullied even our most ample and free resource.  About 70% of the planet is covered in ocean and 2% of the earth’s water is fresh water.  To put that in perspective, there are roughly 326 million trillion gallons of water on planet earth and 2% is fresh.  That’s a lot of fresh water.  And somehow we’ve agreed to pay our hard earned money for this gift of nature.

And, upon agreeing to buy this water we’ve also created a cost that nature must pay…We pitch in 38 billion bottles of water a year, roughly $1 billion worth of plastic.

But, enough with the depressing stuff.  On with the progress!

There are restaurants rebelling against these industries and while blindly voting with your dollar is not advised, supporting the fight is.  In San Francisco, there is a new trend: high end restaurants serving carafes of filtered tap water.  In some cases they even carbonate the water themselves.Glass carafes served into glasses of water equals much less waste. So we applaud these restaurants and suggest that you demand the same from your restaurant in your neighborhood.

So, find out what restaurants in your area do this.  If your favorite one doesn’t, then urge them to.  We can make a change, I think.  We just have to want to.  And if anyone tells you bottled water is better, tell them they’re wrong.  Free, clean, healthy water is a privilege.  In some countries it’s impossible to find.  Save the money you spend on water to buy something that can actually help you save those pure, crystalline springs they harvest all that clean crisp water from.

About Craig Platt

12 Comments

  1. Yay to anti-tap! Let’s all rebel against needless consumption. Okay, who are we kidding…glass water bottles are prettier than mass-produced/marketed plastic bottles. Go pretty, go green — win-win for the aesthetic environmentalist.

  2. i agree!!

  3. I recently gave up bottled water for the very reason of the waste of plastic and cost. I bought a Brita filter pitcher and it works great. I hate that everyone has become so dependent on bottled water.

  4. general john stark says:

    I think the needless waste of plastic is in incredibly valid point, but to argue the pro’s of tap are because of fluoridation is inconclusive. Yes, fluoride has benefits for children’s teeth, but in toothpaste which they’re not swallowing. (Fluoride is absorbed into the blood stream through the intestinal track.) And secondly the history of fluoride has it dark connections, one of which being the well known historical fact that the Nazi’s used it in their work camps to subdue and quell their workers’, ummm….I mean prisoners.

    Well, I guess it’s just a coincidence that 1/5 Americans High School seniors can’t find their own country on a an unmarked map, and that Miss Teen South Carolina could barely string a sentence together when asked about this, but at least she had a pearly white smile on her face when she looked liked a doomed deer in the head lights.

  5. Once again you’ve nailed it, mr. craig. Ain’t nothing better than getting refilled with that icy pitcher of tappity taptap! And I’d much rather take my refillable pizza hut jug from 1989 on a hike, than some dinky little plastic bottle!!

  6. And I want to applaud you for talking about the benefits of fluoridation. Too many people don’t seem to understand that our clean, safe, fluoridated water has kept disease at bay and our teeth and bones healthy. I wonder how many young people will eventually have osteoporosis from drinking their bottled water too…

  7. Tap water isn’t always fluoridated, unfortunately. In my area there is no fluoride in the water because of local political pressure against it. That issue seems to inspire a lot of paranoia.

  8. Thank you for this post. We’re banning bottled water in our house, too, and talking about it to family and friends, spreading the word. Restaurants are more difficult…

  9. I found this on another forum but think it will be helpful for you people reading this to look at.

    people want fluoride-free water to drink because they know the stuff is deadly,(more polution damage claims than any other chemical)and that the idea of fluoridating water was put forth by
    polluters desiring to whitewash their industries.In
    “The fluoride deception” Christopher.Bryson spells it all out.
    It reads like almost like an action novel. The first water fluoridation experiment in Newburgh, NY was actually a toxicology study done by a front for the Atomic Engergy Commission who was using Fl to enrich Uranium. The human guinea pigs thought it was for their health. Still trust your government? Stranger than fiction. Highly recommended.

    Wake up… the government who puts these toxins in the water supply wants population control and to keep you too sedated and asleep to ever challenge what they do.
    What do you think people did before their loving keepers added this to the water? Did all the children’s teeth fall out? You guys think your saving the planet but your just playing into the globalist agenda.

    Think… now

  10. I fight the bottled water attachment everyday. It is great to see the awareness rising.
    In my experience, many have an irrational attachment to their bottle that is like glue. When I present them the option of low cost pure water (reverse osmosis), I am often politely dismissed after proclaiming allegiance to their stupid bottled water.

    brad
    officewater.net

  11. WRONG! bottled water companies often use tap water and therefore contain the same minerals found in tap water.. including fluoride!! AND, it might help your teeth a little but it does more harm than good! Most people don’t know fluoride is an accumulative POISON!! Even the FDA requires a warning label on the back of the new Kids Crest Toothpaste that reads: “WARNINGS: Keep out of reach of children under 6 years of age. If you accidentally swallow more than used for brushing, seek PROFESSIONAL HELP or contact a POISON CONTROL center immediately.” I agree that plastic is bad for our environment, but lets look at a more immediate problem; OUR HEALTH!!!

  12. You are a complete moron: consumed by big corporate lies.

    Fluoride is in no way healthy to teeth or humans in general, we need to stop water fluoridation and avoid fluoride anywhere possible.

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