TreeHugger Picks: Bottled Water
TreeHugger has covered lots of ground when it comes to bottled water, from examples of better bottles to bottles that left us scratching our heads. Here are some of our picks for the wide world of bottled water.
1) To calculate the true costs of bottled water, Sustainability Engineer and MBA Pablo Päster did a thorough and exhaustive study of the cost of bring a liter of Fiji Water to America. He starts with the production of the bottle in China, taking the bottle blanks to Fiji, and confirming that it takes more water to make the bottle than it actually holds. He then transports the bottle to the States by ship. Not even including the distribution in the States, the numbers are absolutely staggering.
2) If that weren't enough, the Union of Concerned Scientists gave us a world of reasons to ditch bottled water, including the cost -- 10,000 times more per gallon than tap water -- and the oil required to make the bottles -- approximately 1.5 million barrels -- that barely scratch the surface of reasons why we should be enjoying water from the tap instead of the bottled variety.
3) Artist Stuart Haygarth chose to let discarded water bottles make a statement with his chandelier series called "Drop." His work is always about both making recycled materials beautiful and functional, but also about exposing our overuse of those materials; with his treatment of bottled water, he's taken something that's a real problem in the waste steam (we haven't railed against plastic wine glasses or eyeglass lenses much) and put his personal spin on it. Boycotts and the industry fighting back, after the jump...
4) Chicago is just one city that's doing something about it -- they're working on taxing it -- and measures in Michigan, New York, Vermont and California are all in place to stem the tide of the ubiquitous bottles either by cutting back on or banning bottled water. And in London, a high-profile newspaper food reviewer has said "No!" to bottled water and all the ecological baggage it carries with it.
5) The bottled water industry has not taken this harsh criticism lying down, though. They're fighting back in public forums, having taken out two full-page ads in The New York Times and the San Francisco Chronicle. This marks the first time since 1999 that the bottled water industry has waged such a high-profile ad campaign. They're attempting to recast the debate, shifting the focus from drinking bottled vs. tap water to promoting the health benefits of drinking water. We say, grab your Sigg and hit the tap; you don't have to wait for Earth Day to make a difference.