Monday, August 27, 2007

A Not-So-Splashy Way to Save the Planet

Give up bottled water. Seriously.

The oil used to distill water, make plastic containers and ship them over long distances rivals the energy spent and the pollution caused by gas-guzzling cars.

Americans have to drive to work, take the kids to school and go shopping. They don’t have to drink water out of bottles.

In most places in the U.S., the habit is as necessary for health as strapping on an oxygen tank and breathing your own private air--and just about as cost-effective.

San Francisco, PBS reports, is banning the use of city money for bottled water. It started when an aide brought the Mayor his bottle of Fiji water with a big bag of oil surrounding it, and said, "Here's what you're actually consuming"--to produce the bottle and the distribution costs to get it to the United States.

Americans spend almost $100 billion a year for water no better than most tap water and sometimes no different. If they worry about safety, portable home filters can reassure them for pennies a gallon and reusable glass containers can make it as portable as and safer than plastic, which may leach into its contents.

As a still-breathing consumer of tap water for more than eight decades, I’ll drink to that.


Watch 'n Wait said...

I have yet to drink bottled water. San Diego's tap water is fine, happily enough. Good on you for doing the same.

Rudi said...

The absurdity of city dwellers paying for water bottled from their own city is a hoot. Now rural areas or Florida wear the wells or municipal water is loaded with unwanted minerals is one thing, bottled water for gringos saves a night on the throne is another. A "good" job of marketing...