Friday, April 20, 2007

Bottled Water: What a Waste

That's the title of the article I pasted below here, posted on via Common Dreams. I just HAD to poke around on the Web after having a decadent day at Spa Montage, where upon check-in you get a fluffy towel and a cute little bottle of Fiji brand bottled water. Pretty label, I thought, but it can't possibly be from....what the - oh, yes it is! Which led to finding this item:

1.5 million barrels of oil in the US alone are used to make water bottles from polyethylene terephthalate, 86% of which are landfilled or incinerated. Often it is shipped long distances, like the 1.4 million bottles of Finnish tap water sent 4,300 kilometers (2,700 miles) to Saudi Arabia, or the popular Fiji water found in the U.S. and Canada. ''Even in areas where tap water is safe to drink, demand for bottled water is increasing--producing unnecessary garbage and consuming vast quantities of energy,'' said Earth Policy Institute researcher Emily Arnold. ''Although in the industrial world bottled water is often no healthier than tap water, it can cost up to 10,000 times more.'' Tap water comes to us through an energy-efficient infrastructure whereas bottled water must be transported long distances--and nearly one-fourth of it across national borders--by boat, train, airplane, and truck. This ''involves burning massive quantities of fossil fuels,'' Arnold said. It's time to buy a Nalgene and refill it rather than tossing empties. ::Common Dreams

The Lagunan here again --
I would urge you to rethink your use of bottled water in general, and of Fij water in particular. Maybe Spa Montage doesn't deserve a letter-writing campaign over this, but it might be worth bringing up with management. What good is all the chatter and ink about eating locally produced foods and going green if we're foolish enough to ship drinking water over from Fiji and Finland and put it into non-biodegradable plastic bottles from China that end up in our landfills? We have perfectly potable tap water here, unlike so many worldwide. A "Nalgene" suggested above is a tough, long-lasting plastic bottle campers use -- but still plastic. If you don't care for the taste of tap, get a reverse osmosis system, fill up a stainless steel drinking bottle, you're good to go for a long, long time without using a drop of polyethylene terephthalate. (Just remember: frequent hot soapy water!). Comments?