Democratic Underground Latest Greatest Lobby Journals Search Options Help Login
Google

The cost of bottled water.

Printer-friendly format Printer-friendly format
Printer-friendly format Email this thread to a friend
Printer-friendly format Bookmark this thread
This topic is archived.
Home » Discuss » Archives » General Discussion (01/01/06 through 01/22/2007) Donate to DU
 
trof Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Mar-04-06 11:59 AM
Original message
The cost of bottled water.
Here's my April column for our local watershed watch newsletter.
You lucky folks get a sneak preview.
:-)

Around the Bay

Maybe you should get a canteen?

The World Wide Web (www dot whatever) is truly an amazing thing.
The other day I was reading an article on pesticides in U.S. river basins at the World Wildlife Fund website(www.worldwildlife.org ), and that article referenced another article, and pretty soon I was reading about the bottled water industry.

I had no Idea. Just look at all this "gee whiz" stuff:

Bottled water is now a $100 Billion-with-a-'B' a year industry.
$22 billion of that is spent just in the U.S.A.
There is an International Bottled Water Association (IBWA). www.bottledwater.org
Yes, they have lobbyists.
In 2004, worldwide bottled water consumption was over 160 billion quarts.
It is the fastest growing beverage industry in the world.

Depending on your brand preference, bottled water costs from 100 times to 1000 times the cost of tap water.
It costs more than gasoline.
Coke and Pepsi both sell bottled water.
EPA standards for tap water are higher than FDA standards for bottled water.
Drinking distilled water will drain your body of essential minerals.

Most bottled water containers are made from PET (polyethylene terephthalate) plastic.
2.7 millions tons of plastic are used to bottle water every year.
That's 1.5 million barrels of oil. Enough to fuel 100,000 cars for a year.
Massive quantities of fossil fuels are burned just to transport water from bottler to consumer.
In 2004 alone, a Helsinki company shipped 1.4 million bottles of Finnish tap water 2,700 miles to Saudi Arabia.
Some Americans import water shipped some 5,600 miles from Fiji.

In the U.S. 86% of the used plastic bottles wind up as garbage or litter.
I was in Boston a few months ago. Nearly everyone I saw on the streets, locals and tourists alike, was carrying a bottle of water. Some in clever satchels with a shoulder strap or clipped on the belt.
Think of that. A whole new industry comes into being, just to tote that water around.
"Evian" spelled backwards is "naive". One definition of "naive" is "gullible".

Driving and boating around the watershed I notice more and more roadside and waterside trash is the ubiquitous plastic bottle.
If your tap water doesn't taste so good, you could get a filter pretty cheap.
When I was a boy scout, I always carried a canteen on hikes and camp outs. It was made of metal and you could use it over and over again. In fact, I don't think I ever wore my canteen out or had to replace it.
Wonder if it's still around here anywhere?
See you around the bay.






Printer Friendly | Permalink |  | Top
thinkingwoman Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Mar-04-06 12:05 PM
Response to Original message
1. I'm all for conservation, but...
my local water is undrinkable. Seriously. It's full of PCBs and other nasty things. So I drink bottled, I recycle the containers, and I don't feel bad about it.

Back when I was still a journalist, I did an indepth piece on a new water treatment plant in a county of south of here. That plant takes water from a river so contaminated that people are advised NOT to eat the fish! They run it through 40-11 filters and add a bunch of chlorine and call it good. No thanks.

Canteens are a great idea if you have a good water source to begin with. Not everyone does.
Printer Friendly | Permalink |  | Top
 
lectrobyte Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Mar-04-06 12:20 PM
Response to Reply #1
6. Seems like I had a link somewhere that basically said most
bottled water has the same pollutants and mineral content as tapwater.
Printer Friendly | Permalink |  | Top
 
thinkingwoman Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Mar-04-06 12:33 PM
Response to Reply #6
10. I think there are such claims made
but I have no doubt that, blindfolded, you could easily tell the difference between the tap water coming from that polluted river south of here and a bottle of anything.

Seriously.
Printer Friendly | Permalink |  | Top
 
lectrobyte Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Mar-04-06 12:37 PM
Response to Reply #10
11. I agree with you on taste, but filters are much more cost effective
than bottles of water.
Printer Friendly | Permalink |  | Top
 
thinkingwoman Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Mar-04-06 04:48 PM
Response to Reply #11
26. yes they are
but not everyone has that option. The cheaper ones or the more temporary ones just don't work that well. Not everyone owns their own home or has the cash flow necessary to invest in a good filter.

One of the things being chronically working poor has taught me is that people who don't live like that don't understand how true "you have to have money to make money" really is. Just for example, consider buying in bulk. Buying meat in bulk is obviously the most cost effective way to feed a family, but that's worth nothing to people without the cash flow to purchase that way in the first place, or the money for a freezer to store meat.

The same principles apply to buying bottled water. And for some of us, it's not just a matter of taste, but more a matter of health. There are many communities that get their tap water from lakes and rivers that NOBODY should drink from, no matter what chemicals are added.
Printer Friendly | Permalink |  | Top
 
proud2BlibKansan Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Mar-04-06 12:07 PM
Response to Original message
2. Bottled water has no flouride either
I know some people don't want flouride, but if you do, you aren't getting it in bottled water.
Printer Friendly | Permalink |  | Top
 
murray hill farm Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Mar-04-06 12:18 PM
Response to Reply #2
3. In all of the southern coastal cities..
the water is bad to horrible to start with and then it is filtered and chlorinated so heavily that just turning on the faucet almost knocks ya over..ha..the smell of the chlorine is so strong. And that is the case in Brunswick, where i now live. I buy the the 5 gallon jugs and either recycle when i get a new 5 gal jug..or refill it with 5 one gallon jugs which i can refill myself in most grocery stores fro 25 cents a refill. On the subject though, i am thinking of having a well put into my back yard..just a pipe pounded in to a water table...and putting an old fashioned hand pump on it...for reserve, if i should ever find myself without public water...anyone else done this?
Printer Friendly | Permalink |  | Top
 
electron_blue Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Mar-04-06 12:19 PM
Response to Original message
4. I used to have a canteen, and many reusable water containers, I have a Q
question for you. How do you clean your canteen? It's hard to get a little scrub brush in there and clean it out thoroughly.

My water containers got so gross rather quickly, it was a real pain to clean them. Just wondering what you recommend for "easy to clean"?
Printer Friendly | Permalink |  | Top
 
trof Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Mar-04-06 01:16 PM
Response to Reply #4
18. Don't remember washing mine, but
Edited on Sat Mar-04-06 01:17 PM by trof
I'd try a tablespoon of anti-biotic dishwashing liquid, half a canteen of hot water, and a handfull of BBs.
Shake well.
Repeat.

On edit: maybe a teaspoon of bleach too.
RINSE WELL!
Printer Friendly | Permalink |  | Top
 
electron_blue Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Mar-04-06 01:19 PM
Response to Reply #18
20. My canteen would always get pink residue (mildew? mold? ewww)
I had to use old-fashioined scrubbing to get it off. Which is okay as long as you can get your paw on it, not so easy when there is a narrow neck. But the bb's is a good idea!
Printer Friendly | Permalink |  | Top
 
peacetalksforall Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Mar-04-06 12:20 PM
Response to Original message
5. I can usually smell bleach when I turn on the tap. I can't drink it.
At food co=ops, you can buy your blue bottles (non-pva); fill them up with good water for less than half of already bottled water. Sorry if you live in a walk-up.
Printer Friendly | Permalink |  | Top
 
NYC Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Mar-04-06 12:31 PM
Response to Reply #5
9. Fill a bottle with tap water. Do not put a lid on it.
The chlorine will rise as a gas, and there will be less of it in the water. Let the bottle stand until you no longer smell the chlorine, or smell much less of it.

It's worth trying. A friend of mine did it on the advice of the NYC water deparment, and said it worked.
Printer Friendly | Permalink |  | Top
 
Viva_La_Revolution Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Mar-04-06 12:47 PM
Response to Reply #9
16. I do this before I water my plants...
We have pretty good water here in OR, but there is enough clorine that the plants don't like it. So I let it sit for 24 hours or more before watering.
Printer Friendly | Permalink |  | Top
 
NYC Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Mar-04-06 04:25 PM
Response to Reply #16
23. What happens to plants if you give them the chlorine water?
Curious because I do it all the time.
Printer Friendly | Permalink |  | Top
 
Viva_La_Revolution Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Mar-04-06 04:32 PM
Response to Reply #23
24. The bigger ones seem to handle it ok...
Edited on Sat Mar-04-06 04:33 PM by Viva_La_Revolution
but I always buy the little $2 starts (instead of the full grown ones at full price) and they seem to die less often, and do better in general. I figure, it can't be GOOD for them. :)
Printer Friendly | Permalink |  | Top
 
NYC Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Mar-04-06 04:35 PM
Response to Reply #24
25. Thanks.
Maybe I'll make an effort. Spring is coming, and it will be time for cuttings. Come to think of it, the cuttings grow roots in chlorine water. I'll try to let some water stand so the chlorine can dissipate.

Printer Friendly | Permalink |  | Top
 
JitterbugPerfume Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Mar-04-06 12:27 PM
Response to Original message
7. I have a culligan reverse osmosis thingy
I would not dream of drinking my tap water--or cooking with it either
Printer Friendly | Permalink |  | Top
 
MaineDem Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Mar-04-06 12:30 PM
Response to Original message
8. Poland Spring (Nestle) takes water from Maine
It's the same tap water that the communities use and they (Nestle) pay nothing for it!

It's a sore subject for many in towns around Maine right now.
Printer Friendly | Permalink |  | Top
 
Deja Q Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Mar-04-06 12:41 PM
Response to Original message
12. Buy a brita filter. Or, better yet, aquarium supplies.
It's the same carbonated charcoal and water softening elements. Big whoop.

And unlike brita and other such companies, I doubt the fish supply products are owned by a big soft drink corporate trying to cover all the alternatives.
Printer Friendly | Permalink |  | Top
 
Wilms Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Mar-04-06 12:44 PM
Response to Original message
13. Thanks for shedding light. Recommended. n/t
Printer Friendly | Permalink |  | Top
 
fleabert Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Mar-04-06 12:44 PM
Response to Original message
14. i reuse my water bottles for about a year until they get so soft I can't
carry it anymore, then I recycle them. The only time I purchase new bottles of water is if I am on the road and want water in the car. I have always thought it was silly not to drink tap water.
Printer Friendly | Permalink |  | Top
 
dogday Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Mar-04-06 12:44 PM
Response to Original message
15. I believe that water will be our most valuble resource
one day. It will be like gold......
Printer Friendly | Permalink |  | Top
 
Karenina Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Mar-04-06 01:07 PM
Response to Reply #15
17. That day is fast approaching
and if you think the "oil wars" are horrific, YEEHAW! JUST WAIT! :hide:
Printer Friendly | Permalink |  | Top
 
misternormal Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Mar-04-06 01:18 PM
Response to Original message
19. Most of that stuff is no more than filtered tap water anyway...
... save money and get a home water filter... it might seem like a chunk to start with, but the savings abound... and it tastes just as good.
Printer Friendly | Permalink |  | Top
 
Hamlette Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Mar-04-06 01:39 PM
Response to Original message
21. each of us pay for good drinking water
why do we not insist it taste good and be healthy? The cynic in me wants to say: where's the profit in that? The bottled water lobby will kill any politician who provides good drinking water.

I NEVER drink bottle water. It is a pet peeve of mine and I drink several glasses of water a day. We bought a house that already had a water purifier in it and the water is great. Costs about $30 a year for filters. It also supplies the ice maker in the fridge.

I read an article similar to this years ago. It struck me. I got them to put in a water purifier at work. (I offered to take up a collection, they relented and bought it. It is only on one faucet and the ice maker but, I just always go there during the day.)

I can't believe you people let your elected officials supply you with a shoddy product and go out and support the "evil" capitalist system as though it were the right thing to do.

Funny, if there are pot holes in the road we go insane and make government fix it. When gas prices go up we scream bloody murder. But we let our government feed us crappy water and pay a fortune for the good tasting water we are already paying for through our taps.
Printer Friendly | Permalink |  | Top
 
RC Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Mar-04-06 02:28 PM
Response to Original message
22. Fargo has good water.
Printer Friendly | Permalink |  | Top
 
DU AdBot (1000+ posts) Click to send private message to this author Click to view 
this author's profile Click to add 
this author to your buddy list Click to add 
this author to your Ignore list Mon Dec 22nd 2014, 03:44 AM
Response to Original message
Advertisements [?]
 Top

Home » Discuss » Archives » General Discussion (01/01/06 through 01/22/2007) Donate to DU

Powered by DCForum+ Version 1.1 Copyright 1997-2002 DCScripts.com
Software has been extensively modified by the DU administrators


Important Notices: By participating on this discussion board, visitors agree to abide by the rules outlined on our Rules page. Messages posted on the Democratic Underground Discussion Forums are the opinions of the individuals who post them, and do not necessarily represent the opinions of Democratic Underground, LLC.

Home  |  Discussion Forums  |  Journals |  Store  |  Donate

About DU  |  Contact Us  |  Privacy Policy

Got a message for Democratic Underground? Click here to send us a message.

© 2001 - 2011 Democratic Underground, LLC