Activate Vitamin Water

Activate bottled waterFans of Vitamin Water may be disappointed to learn that vitamins may lose potency if stored in water for extended periods of time.

Enter Activate – the only brand of bottled water on the market that has vitamins, antioxidants and other supplements in powder form hidden in the cap, which are released with just one twist, just before drinking. How did this concept come to be?

“Friends Anders Eisner and Burke Eiteljorg were sitting in the Denver airport four years ago. Anders was trying to pour Airborne, a supposed cold-fighting dietary supplement, into a bottle of water. Burke was doing the same with Emergen-C, another vitamin drink mix. Both were making a mess. There had to be a tidier way, they decided.”

Activate comes in eight flavors. Some emphasize health and immunity boosters, while others are workout drinks with electrolytes. The drinks contain Stevia, a much healthier alternative to the sugar used in Vitamin Water and other similar beverages. While we applaud the company’s innovation and drive to be healthier than most, we still have the problem of plastic bottle waste on our hands. Perhaps Eisner and Eiteljorg wouldn’t have made such a mess if they had a wide-mouthed reusable bottle like this Klean Kanteen instead. Moreover, the beverage sells for $1.79 to $2.29 per bottle:

“Some balk at the price, but Holland [the company's president] says, ‘If you bought a bottle of water and Emergen-C it would cost you $2.’”

Precisely why we shouldn’t be buying bottles of water in the first place! We’ve said it many times and we’ll say it again. Save money with your own supplement packets and/or pills, and fill up your reusable water bottle with filtered tap water instead.

“Organic” Bottled Water?

organic springs bottled water

The Australian Standard for organic products says that natural products like water cannot be labeled “organic.” But what if that label is part of the brand or company name?

Australian brands, Organic Springs, Active Organic, and Organic Falls sell purified tap water under the Active Organic Spring name, though the water is not organic and is not sourced from a spring. Legitimate organic producers are annoyed at companies that use the term in their brand names, as it can mislead consumers. “Organic” is a term that is typically used to describe agricultural produce, and not natural substances like water or air.

The company, in its defense, states that it is not actually claiming that the water is organic, though the term is used in the brand name. Still – the word can be misleading to consumers, no matter the context. The bottled water industry caught on to the power of this kind of advertising long ago when they began marketing their product with pictures of glaciers, mountains and freshwater springs on the bottles. These days, many consumers will blindly purchase a product labeled “organic”, simply because the word has such a powerful, positive connotation, even if they don’t know what the term itself really means. And some products labeled “organic” are not any healthier or better-tasting than their non-organic versions.

What do you think? If given the choice between a bottle simply labeled “purified tap water” and a bottle labeled “purified tap water” with “organic” in the brand name, which would you be more likely to choose?

The “ATM Machine of Bottled Water” – Without the Bottle

Pura Vida H2O logoPura Vida H2O has come out with what it hopes will become the “ATM Machine of Bottled Water”, but without the bottle. The concept is similar to that of EcoWell, a filtered water “vending machine” which we wrote about last year. Basically, anyone wanting water on the go can bring their own reusable bottle and refill it with purified tap water from one of Pura Vida’s filtered water dispensers, for 50 cents – a fraction of what it costs to buy plastic bottled water, and 5 cents less than what EcoWell charges. 450 machines are expected to be up-and-running around the country by mid-summer, and some of them will sell reusable water bottles for $10 to accommodate empty-handed, thirsty patrons.

Pros?

At first glance this sounds like the perfect innovative solution to the problem of plastic bottle waste. The average person saves about $2,100, along with over 1,400 plastic bottles a year by taking advantage of these filtered water dispensers. Simply bring your own reusable water bottle from home, and you’ve got the convenience of bottled water, without the environmental waste.

Cons?

50 cents is a fraction of the cost of your average bottle of water, but it is a LARGE fraction, considering that tap water is regularly tested and costs only half a cent per glass. And if you upgrade from the 16-oz size to the 24-oz size, you’re paying 75 cents instead of 50. While that is about half the cost of a bottle of water, with the added benefit of saving the environment, many people might question the idea of paying that much for water, period, filtered or not. Especially when you can buy a Filtrete Water Station, (a.k.a 4 bottle water filter) which will refill 4 reusable bottles at once, with filtered tap water right from your kitchen sink. These bottles can be stored in your refrigerator, and taken on-the-go, just as easily as a Klean Kanteen, and the cost for water is not nearly as much. The “ATM Machine” concept is also a little unsettling, since ATM’s are typically associated with unreasonable, annoying charges and usage fees.

What do you guys think? Is the Pura Vida concept a good idea? Is 50 cents worth the convenience of filtered water on-the-go? Or would you rather use a Filtrete Water Station and do it yourself for much less?