Friends Don’t Let Friends Drink Bottled Water

Evian spells naive backwardsWe don’t like to be the bearer of bad news, but it seems that water filtration advocates around the world are going to be disappointed today, because according to several news sources, bottled water sales saw a 4.2 percent increase this last year.

And, you may want to sit down for this next part…

Sales are expected to jump another 3 percent in 2011.

But don’t lose hope. Don’t let this news discourage you. You can make a difference. You can help us put an end to this madness.

It’s very simple: spread the word. Tell your friends the truth about bottled water. For example:

  1. Bottled water manufacturers use clever marketing tactics to fool consumers into believing that their product is the absolute best, and most convenient way to obtain pure water that is safe to drink.
  2. Bottled water is bad for the environment. Millions of non-biodegradable plastic bottles go unrecycled each year.
  3. Bottled water is very expensive, and is really nothing more than filtered tap water that you could easily get from home, at a fraction of the cost, with a quality water filter.
  4. Bottling companies like Fiji are taking good water away from the poor people in Fiji who really need it, and are shipping it long distances and selling it to Americans at ridiculous prices.
  5. Bottled water won’t necessarily protect you from hexavalent chromium contamination… a little known fact that may have contributed to the 2010 spike in sales. The Environmental Working Group recently discovered this contaminant in water supplies in 31 cities across the U.S., and they recommend a good quality water filter over bottled water as a solution. In addition, the EWG recently published a bottled water scorecard, giving filtered tap water the highest score available.
  6. Yes, many bottled waters do not contain fluoride, but you can get water that is fluoride-free right out of your tap by simply installing a reverse osmosis filter. Many RO filters also reduce chromium-vi, and in the long run, will save you lots of money.
  7. The bottled water brand name “Evian” spells “Naive” backwards…

 

These seven facts may be summed up in seven words: Friends don’t let friends drink bottled water. (Okay, so maybe it’s cliche, but you get the point.) I’m guessing that you probably have a lot of friends – virtual or otherwise – and social media is one of the best ways for you to help spread the word so that your friends are not labeled among the “naive” consumers. What’s more: we’ve made it really easy for you to do so; simply hit the “tweet” and “like” buttons at the top of this post. And if you’d like to spread the word on other social networks, you can do so by clicking the buttons below this post as well. Every share counts!

We’d also like to thank all of our friends who have thus far supported our efforts to provide everyone with affordable access to clean water straight from the tap!

Bottled Water Scorecard: Filtered Tap Water Over Bottled Water

EWG Bottled Water ScorecardThe Environmental Working Group recently published a 2011 Bottled Water Scorecard that surveys 173 bottled water brands in an effort to find the source of the water, as well as if any further water purification is done.

Here are just a few surprising facts from the bottled water scorecard:

  • 18 percent of bottled water brands do not reveal their source.
  • 32 percent of bottled water brands surveyed do not provide info on water treatment.
  • Less than 1/4 of brands surveyed comply with California’s labeling law.
  • Aquafina and Dasani received a D; Fiji and Evian received a C.

Want to see how your favorite brand of bottled water stacks up? The EWG has a long, comprehensive list of bottled water brands on its bottled water scorecard. The brands are judged on their transparency (including source, purification and testing) as well as any advanced treatment. Under these metrics, no brand scored greater than a C overall. Filtered tap water received an A, which was the highest score the EWG provided.

The EWG published a similar bottled water scorecard in 2009. For the most part, bottled water brands did not become any more transparent in the year’s time between the two scorecards. Still, the EWG hopes that the survey will lead to stronger standards for bottled water brands.

How to Boost Restaurant Sales with Filtered Water

As a former restaurant employee, I’m well aware of the necessity of boosting check averages in order to increase tips. Usually (though not always), the higher your sales, the more money you are likely to make as a server. Anyone who has worked in the restaurant industry before knows that offering guests bottled water is one of several techniques that can help you boost sales.

But the bottled water industry, as of late, has received so much backlash, and in today’s economic recession, fewer people are buying bottled water at restaurants, despite the clever efforts of servers to pressure them into it:

“Sir, do you prefer still, sparkling … or just tap”  (said with a slight air of condescension and maybe even a small frown)?

These days, most people are not afraid to say “Charlotte’s (or whatever city you live in’s) finest”, with a confident grin. It was always frustrating to me when I was a server; however, now that I see the absurdity of bottled water (and now that I am thankfully no longer employeed in the food and beverage industry), I have joined the ranks of fellow tap water drinkers. After all, it’s “free”.

I used to receive this question, quite often, however: “Is your water filtered?” Sadly, in the last restaurant I worked in, it was not. You could taste the trace amounts of metal that often give unfiltered water that “tappy” taste. (Looking back, I understand now, why people would ask for water with extra lemon…). Perhaps the reason for serving unfiltered water was simply cost – not paying for foodservice water filters is less expensive, after all… or is it?

What if selling filtered water, by the glass, instead of serving unfiltered water for free, could actually help restaurants boost their sales? Bottled water is ridiculously priced, but if restaurants invested in filtration systems, perhaps they could sell glasses of filtered water for less than a dollar a piece, (refills included?) and still make a small profit off of water sales. At the very least, they could recover the cost of the filtration system, make their customers happier by serving filtered water, and boost their overall reputation if nothing else. If people have the choice between tap for free and filtered for the price of what ultimately amounts to pocket change, I’m willing to bet they’d choose the latter. What do you think?

You could even serve it in a stemmed glass, as this tends to make non-bottled water seem more appealing