Look honey! They now carry water!
So I was having a pleasant walk after brunch on Sunday when I came across the store front of a popular burger chain with a framed sign that reads: "WE NOW CARRY BOTTLED WATER." What?! This is now something restaurants are using to woo potential patrons?
This is problematic. A sign like this could create a slippery slope for people walking by along the lines of "Why has this restaurant just decided to sell bottled water? Is it because water in this area is bad? Maybe I should be buying bottled water for home too!" I promise that you don't. The water is fine. The restaurant--like most retailers--are trying to profit off of your lack of knowledge about local water.
Moreover, I called this specific restaurant to ask what they do with the used plastic bottled--no surprise that they don't recycle them and all the bottles end up in the trash.
We here at Center for a New American Dream see bottled water as a huge problem here in the U.S. I'll repeat the facts for you--90 percent of bottled water in this country meets or exceeds EPA standards for clean drinking water. EPA standards are more stringent than those of the FDA, which regulates bottled water. Studies have found that at least 40 percent of bottled water is nothing more than tap water, sometimes further treated, sometimes not. Eighty-six percent of plastic water bottles used in the United States aren’t recycled. Incinerating used bottles produces toxic byproducts such as chlorine gas and ash containing heavy metals. Buried water bottles can take up to 1,000 years to biodegrade. The entire energy costs of the lifecycle of a bottle of water is equivalent, on average, to filling up a quarter of each bottle with oil.
In short, bottled water is an unnecessary source of waste and energy use.
We're launching a multilateral fight against bottled water along with our friends over at Corporate Accountability International. In the next few days, you'll be seeing more information about this campaign on our website, and you'll also see a new pledge-based contest challenging you to break the bottled water habit by the end of this summer. In the meantime, if you don't already have a nontoxic reusable bottle for water on the go, check out our Conscious Consumer Marketplace.
Get ready to reinvigorate your love for water--and save some of your money in the process.