But, I have since learned that it's really just part of a nationwide conspiracy trying to put the bottled water industry out of business. Sure, the water in the bottles was really just municipal tap water, the same as that which came out of the sinks, but don't they realize the pipes in those old city buildings are probably contaminating everyone? The same reason why they shut down the fountains in so many Seattle Public Schools?
Bottled water is actually a cost savings when you think about the health care costs of dealing with lead and arsenic poisoning. So, why are people targeting the bottled water industry? An industry where 90% of the companies are small, family-owned businesses? It doesn't make any sense to me especially when buying local and supporting small businesses is inherent to our economic survival.
Anyway, I hadn't thought about the water bottle issue recently until last night when I was enjoying the den of inequities on Facebook, when that annoying Bill McKibben hanger-on, Ruchi, intruded my bliss and Facebooked a message to Beth Terry, of Fake Plastic Fish fame, about some scurrying going on in the comments of her blog. Not one to miss out on the hubbub, I checked out Beth's post. And, wouldn't you know it, it's about bottled water.
After the eye-rolling stopped long enough so I could actually read her post, I started going through the comments, which were filled with the usual pap, high-fiving comments in agreement that the "big" business bottled water industry was bad.
Before I get too far, let me back up and say that I don't drink much bottled water. Really, none, if I can help it, mostly because I'm cheap and don't like to pay for something I can get for free. But, I just don't get the whole crucifixion of the bottled water industry. And then, I started reading some rather informative arguments by a commenter from the IBWA. Now, I really do feel for people who suffer from Irritable Bowel With Anal-leakage (IBWA), because that has to be an uncomfortable condition to live with, so, right off the bat, he had my attention.
He argued (among other strong points that you'll have to read in the comments of the original post) that, "blogs like yours should encourage more recycling and not discourage consumption of water — in any form. Water is fundamentally good for all people. We live in a busy world and have bottled water there when you want, regardless of what you are doing, is always a plus. If people are going to a vending machine, what should they buy? What item in the vending machine is not made of plastic? Since it all must be recycled, why pick on the healthiest beverage available, namely bottled water?" Damn straight. Why pick on water when there's plenty of other mean beverages out there?
After much pondering on the matter, I decided to state my change of view on drinking bottled water. In fact, his other, convincing arguments changed my whole opinion on plastic consumption altogether. Well, it's easier to understand my point of view if you just read the response I posted in the comments:
Normally, I just drink tap water. I think it tastes great. When I’m at home I drink straight from the tap since I don’t like the filtered water from my GE Profile fridge because the water is too cold. When I’m at work I drink the water from the kitchen sink. I am generally never at a loss for cups, mugs, or portable containers to fill said water from the tap.
But, after reading all these compelling arguments from Tom, I’ve decided that, perhaps, I’m going about it all wrong. So, starting tomorrow, I’m going to start drinking bottled water. I want to help support family businesses. And, now I’m really scared that I’m going to get H1N1 from the kitchen sink at work. I heard that Fiji water is the best, so I’m going to try to find out where they sell it in my area. I don’t believe it’s a family company, but the bottles are really cool.
In fact, I’m so excited about drinking bottled water and its positive effects on my life and others, I think that the health benefits of drinking bottled water alone are not enough. Because of this, I’m going to not only recycle the bottles when I’m done drinking the delicious, chlorine-free water, but I am going to eat them. I suspect that the extra fiber in the plastic bottles will help contribute to my overall bowel health. Which is always a positive in my book. Does anyone know if digested plastic will clog my pipes?
I’m thinking that just plain water in the plastic bottles isn’t good enough, so I’m also looking for a company that sells liquid plastic in plastic bottles to help quench my thirst. Does anyone know if such a product exists? I don’t need flavored liquid plastic, just plain liquid plastic will do.
I’m so excited about the thirst quenching satisfaction that my new lifestyle will afford me, I’m not sure I’ll be able to sleep tonight.
So, I hope that, you too, decide to drink more bottled water. And consume more plastic if you can. Because bottled water really is the first, true, thirst mutilator.