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!

Fiji Water Will Pay Extra Imposed Tax to Remain in Business

Fiji Water

Fiji Water: Taking good water away from people who need it most.

Two days ago, Fiji Water‘s only production plant announced that it was shutting its doors, following a significant bottled water tax raise by the country’s military ruler. (There was talk of sourcing the water somewhere other than in Fiji, but then it wouldn’t really be “Fiji Water,” anymore, would it?) The announcement saddened many here in the U.S., as Fiji water is probably the most popular brand of premium bottled water on the market. I’m sure advocates of bottled water were saddened. Workers of the plant wept openly at their job loss. But those of us who maintain that bottled water is an unnecessary and expensive commodity that’s helping to destroy our planet were perhaps more saddened by today’s news: The Fiji plant will reopen tomorrow.  They have decided that the tax (15 cents per liter – up from only one-third of a cent per liter) is payable. The Fijian government’s total annual tax-take is expected to raise from F$500,000 to F$22.6 million.

But why don’t we consumer-obsessed Americans take our eyes off of ourselves for just one second to think about why the Fiji Water company is willing to dish out such a ridiculous amount of money to remain in production?

It’s now well-known that the success of bottled water in our nation is largely due to clever marketing tactics, most of which, sadly, we are gullible enough to fall for. Fiji is the most popular premium bottled water brand because it is well-advertised. Now, I know most of you Fiji lovers would say that it tastes different. But that idea just takes me back to a time when I was over at a friend’s house, drinking cold water which he had poured from the tap into a wine glass; I looked up at this friend, after a few sips, and said, “mmm… this water is really good! Is it Fiji?!?” And that, folks, was the day I stopped buying bottled Fiji water. I realized, at that point, that I had been tricked into believing that this Fiji-sourced artesian water was really better than what I could get at home for the price I already pay when I receive my monthly water bill.

The exotic factor is Fiji Water’s highest selling point. After all, who wouldn’t want to drink water that is bottled from an underground artesian aquifer in Fiji and never touches 21st century polluted United States industrial air until a consumer unscrews the cap? Fiji water is willing to remain in production, regardless of the tax, because they have done the math. They know that consumers will pay for it, and they know that they will still make a significant profit. Staying open, for them, is better than shutting down. It was a smart business decision.

But I can’t help but feel sorry for the people in Fiji, as well as those in other developing nations. We have access to clean water straight from the tap, along with filters that purify it even further by reducing the presence of chemical disinfectants; yet we choose to drink bottled water, simply because it comes from an underground aquifer in an exotic country, and we are gullible enough to believe that it really tastes that much better and is worth the price of $3-4 per liter (plus the extra $0.15 the company will probably now add to the cost to cover the tax). Moreover, we haven’t given a single thought to the fact that those in Fiji, not to mention those in Haiti, Indonesia, Africa and other developing nations, have to hike miles a day just to get access to dirty water that will probably either kill them or make them unbearably sick. Nor have we given thought to how much water and oil are wasted in the production, transport and disposal of this convenient luxury – a luxury that many others don’t have.

Now you may be thinking that bottled water has often been the saving grace for those in underdeveloped countries. But, giving them bottled water is like putting a band-aid on cancer. There are better, more permanent solutions, like helping these countries build a stable clean water infrastructure and teaching them how to manage it long-term.

The message is simple: think twice before you buy that next bottle of water, as it may only further contribute to the suffering of those less fortunate.