At least that's the assertion of Eric Yaverbaum, of Tappening, an anti-bottled water enterprise, as outlined in an interview with the excellent Wend magazine: "And if you don't buy my environmental argument, buy my financial one financially speaking if you drink 8 glasses a day you will spend $1400 a year buying bottled water. If you drink 8 glasses a day and you get it from your tap you'll spend 49 cents. This would be a really good year to save your $1400 on a product that not only hurts the environment but it hurts your pocketbook."
The interviews is peppered with comments that have been expressed many a time on these pages. Like "Go to India, you name the 3rd world country and Look what they need to do to get drinking water and we get it for free in our homes and our apartments and we still buy bottled water, that's crazy." And they have the statistics to show just how loony the whole bottled water industry is.Tappening is a project of Eric Yaverbaum, whose daytime business is the public relations firm, Ericho Communications, and DiMassimo Goldstein, whose company, DIGO, specialises in being 'brand advocates.' As you might expect from such backgrounds the guys are rather adept with putting a convincing story together. In this case it is one that TreeHugger has long been vocal on.
And we're rather impressed with the research Tappening has gathered to add weight to their message. (Although the stats do overlap into the soft drink market also.) Apparently Americans buy 28 billion water bottles annually, which, if we read correctly, uses the equal of 17 million barrels of oil, sufficient to fuel 1 million cars for 12 months worth of driving. With only 23% of discarded PET bottles recycled it costs American cities about $70 million to clean up the discarded bottles yearly.
On the other side of the ledger, most municipal tap water has to be tested for E.coli, fecal coliform bacteria, Cryptosporidium and/or Giardia, whereas the much vaunted bottled water does not. Yet bottled water can "cost as much as $10 per gallon compared to less than a penny per gallon for tap waters."
As Eric Yaverbaum puts it in the Wend Interview, "Why are we just sitting around to do nothing, waiting for the next generation to rescue us? It's my generation, I believe, that should be seriously investing itself in that process if we care at all what this planet is like after we're going."
Now admittedly, as Brian pointed out when we were first mentioned Tappening, the guys are also selling their own water bottles, albeit theirs are durable and resuable BPA-free plastic and stainless steel versions. But, even with nearly 6 million page views on their website, we doubt the guys got into this gig to sell a few water bottles. Their message does seem genuine.
And may we paraphrase that message thus: Stop buying bottle water, it's messing with the environment through unwarranted materials extraction and wastage, as well as contributing to climate change. Not only are glaciers shrinking, but so are the volume of readies in your wallet or purse.