Wednesday, July 18, 2007

When I blow a dollar on a bottle of water...

From Sunday's New York Times
Ideas & Trends: A Battle Between the Bottle and the Faucet
Published: July 15, 2007

THOSE eight daily glasses of water you’re supposed to drink for good health? They will cost you $0.00135 — about 49 cents a year — if you take it from a New York City tap.

Satisfying the National Thirst ...

New York ads offer tap water as an appealing choice over commercial beverages.

Or, city officials suggest, you could spend 2,900 times as much, roughly $1,400 yearly, by drinking bottled water. For the extra money, they say, you get the added responsibility for piling on to the nation’s waste heap and encouraging more of the industrial emissions that are heating up the planet.

But trends in American thirst quenching favor the 2,900-fold premium, as the overflowing trash cans of Central Park attest. In fact, bottled water is growing at the expense of every other beverage category except sports drinks. It has overtaken coffee and milk, and it is closing in on beer. Tap, if trends continue, would be next. . . .


My impression is that bottled water is being consumed as the last safe soft drink - as a consumer alternative to packaged beverages that news reports tell us are bad for you: alcohol, caffeine, sucrose, fructose, sodium,...

There is the consumer validation of buying a product, consuming a healthful beverage, and then throwing the container away. Of course if you chuck it into a recycle bin then you can add virtue to the list of features and benefits.

Tap water, by contrast, takes work: finding a glass, a drinking fountain, a canteen in your knapsack. What a drag.

"When I blow a dollar on a bottle of water, I buy Perrier!"--old Robin Williams routine

NYC dept of environmental protection, info on drinking water

"People need water"--Paul Ward, architect of the Pat Brown era California state water plan


Phina Borgeson said...

And what about all the designer waters - basically filtered tap water with a vitamin pill in them, maybe a little "natural" flavoring or herb or coloring. They are all on sale at Raley's - at $1 each - and there are yards of shelving for them. Is it what price convenience? cultural anorexia? or how stupid can people get?

John Leech said...

Propel is water with a few trace minerals and vitamins stirred in. Maybe my dog would like it.