“Be kind, for everyone you meet is fighting a hard battle” - Often attributed to Plato but likely from Ian McLaren (pseudonym of Reverend John Watson)

Sunday, September 30, 2007

Bottled water

So... I'm walking into my local Von's grocery store. Outside on the sidewalk, on my left is a 6' wide by 8' long by 5' high display of 24-count packages of bottled water. On my right, I see a similarly sized display of another brand of bottled water. When I check out, I notice a "sale" display of Propel Fitness Water. It's being sold for two 8-count packages with 20 fluid ounces of fitness water for $10. I burst out laughing, much to the dismay of the clerk and some other customers. That's $4/gallon for water with a little vitamins thrown in. It's on sale from $5.60 per gallon. And in one way, it is a bargain. Evian is close to $7 per gallon.

Well. I really like water. It's far and away my favorite drink. I drink a lot of it. And I drink it right out of the tap, from the same source (city water) from which a lot of these purveyors of boutique water acquire the elixir. Now and again there's a source of tap water with a small odd taste, but that's quite rare. Our refrigerator at the house and the one at my company have filters. What would possess someone to pay a third more for water than they pay for gasoline? (To be fair, it looks like Evian really is imported from France. That makes it even more decisively stupid in my opinion.)

I often say that if you were to go back in time and tell someone from, oh, say, 1950 that in 57 years water would be put in small bottles and sold at stores for twice the price of gasoline they'd lock you up. The inefficiency and silliness of this water craze is hard to put into words. To draw water from a city supply, filter it, put it in plastic bottles, ship it to stores and sell it is an incredible waste. Then it's drunk and the bottle discarded or recycled using more energy. Well, I'm not going to say it should be outlawed, but my Lord, how can we have hope when such insanity prevails?

Anywhere in the United States, one can turn on the tap and receive tested, safe water for less than 1 penny per gallon. In some cases, way less. So Evian at the equivalent of $7/gallon or Propel at $4/gallon is simply ludicrous. The energy used in plastic, the transportation, etc. only makes it that much worse. When will it end?


JPW said...

King of the Road you kill me! I agree.. I guess the only real reason to buy bottled water is for the taste and maybe the convience of the portablility. But not for the health reasons. -JPW

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