Bottled water has been under heavy attack for some time now, most recently on Funny Goodbye Letters, where the following comic was posted:
Oddly enough, it looks like this was taken from a blog I read more regularly (Don’stuff), but I saw it on Funny Goodbye Letters first. I think I need to fix my feeds.
It makes a strong point. Bottled water is stupid. It’s expensive, it’s terrible for the environment, and there’s no reason for us to be paying the dramatic fiscal and environmental costs associated with it.
Or is there? I think it’s about time someone who isn’t making money from selling it took up the defense of bottled water. So here we go.
Why buy bottled water? What does a bottle of water offer you that a glass of water from the tap doesn’t?
There is no denying the ease which comes with grabbing a bottle of water and walking out the door. I don’t think anyone is going to argue that water is a luxury, not when used for drinking at any rate. In an age when grab it and go meals are the norm, and a minute in the microwave can be too long, it’s no wonder people have turned to the water with zero preparation time. Furthermore, you don’t need to wash bottles. You throw them in the recycling (or, evidently, if you’re 80% of people, you throw them away, but I’m too small to be 80% of people)
As of yet, a glass of water has not been invented which can be safely thrown into a brief case or backpack without soaking the contents. Perhaps it has, but I haven’t seen it. Furthermore, it seems silly to keep glasses of water in the refrigerator. But the refrigerator keeps bottled water cooler than the sink can produce it. The western world, at least, likes its water cold. This is less of an issue in China where water is usually boiled before drinking, and preferred hot.
Often times, bottled water is all that’s available. You’re thirsty, don’t want the calories, sugar, or taste of any other beverage, but you’re not at home. You don’t have a glass, you don’t have the kitchen sink. Rumor has it that some people carry theirs around with them, but you can’t find them. What do you do? You buy a bottle of water. Is that so wrong? Surely you can’t be expected to drink out of the toilets.
Bottled water DOES come from a pristine, mysterious source. Tap water has fifty bajillion chemicals in it, ranging from chlorine to kill bacteria and fluorine so that your teeth don’t rot to chlorine to lead from the pipes ensuring that the rest of you rots. Alright, I grant you, not many places have lead piping anymore. But the point is that tap water has a taste, and it isn’t always good. Some places have downright funky tasting tap water, especially after storms. And then there’s the white precipitate which I always find in any water I get out of the downstairs faucets. Bottled water, for the most part, comes in two varieties. 1. Distilled/filtered water takes away all the things that make tap water unpleasant. 2. Mineral/spring water which is selected to be good tasting. They add things (or find water already containing) salts which make the water, in fact, taste better.
Now to demolish those arguments as fast as possible.
-Use reusable water bottles. I have a 32oz pink bottle that I carry around with me. Yes. Pink. It was on sale.
-Get a filter for your kitchen faucet, if the taste bothers you.
-Put ice cubes in your water bottle.
-If you really can’t bear to get a reusable water bottle, there’s no need to drink out of the toilet. When I’m on long runs, or just don’t have my water bottle with me for one reason or another, I have no compuction drinking out of bathroom sinks. And you know what? I’m not dead yet.