Education and Technology:
Microsoft Learning Tools is software that helps improve reading skills by reducing visual crowding, highlighting words, and reading text aloud, so students can engage with words in a whole new way.
Learn More
Bottle Shock Bottle Shock
The Planet

Bottle Shock

by Jeff Martin

March 20, 2009
The 10 worst quirks of bottled water cultureWater has always been a problem for me. It just has. As a kid I was constantly told by my mother to "drink more water" and "replenish your fluids." It was her opinion, or so I thought at the time before hearing it from nearly everyone else, that every human being needs at least 64 ounces of water per day. I'll be honest, when I was younger, I barely drank 64 ounces of water per week, so this was always a daunting and somewhat intimidating number to me. It still is.But it wasn't just the amount she was selling, it was the product itself. "There's just nothing better for you than plain, old water," she would repeat again and again and again. Well if it's so damn perfect, so beautifully simple in its chemistry, then why do we keep looking for ways to improve it? A trip to the grocery store, which can be stressful enough on its own, is now made even more difficult when faced with the nearly endless choices of bottled water.Regular water is out, it's the liquid equivalent of aluminum siding or lawn darts. Persona non grata. If you had told me when I was young that an entire aisle at the store would one day be devoted to nothing but different types of water, I would have responded by saying "Yeah right, and someday there'll be a computer in the car that tells you where to go." Silly me.In my humble opinion, this whole thing has gotten out of hand. What follows are the 10 things (in no specific order) that bother me most about bottled water culture.
1. There is actually an organization called the International Bottled Water Association. Don't believe me? Go to bottledwater.org and check it out. There you will find helpful things like a Hydration Calculator where you can enter your weight and how much you exercise to find out just how much water (bottled, of course) you should be consuming on a daily basis.2. How many people-as of 2008-were assigned in the United States to monitor the quality of bottled water? One.  No, not 100. Certainly not 1,000. Just one. Every bottle of water in the country might as well have a stamp that says "Approved by Bob."3. Not everyone, but certain people, feel the need, when holding a bottle of water, to constantly open it and swig small amounts instead of taking an actual normal-size drink. When filling up your gas tank, do you fill it up in increments of 17 cents? Neither do I. Just drink the thing already.4. The bottles. According to Senate testimony by representatives from the National Resources Defense Council, we (earthlings) go through an estimated 60 billion bottles of water per year. That comes down to nearly 160 bottles for every single person in the United States. With numbers like that I am amazed that we don't have to invent some sort of snow-plow like vehicle to clear the bottles from the streets. What's the number for the patent office?5. Every time my wife and I are at the store, she buys a new bottle of water. Don't get me wrong, I want her to be properly hydrated. I know it's good for her skin and her kidneys and everything else. But when we get home, it's an absolute guarantee that there will be a minimum of two half-empty bottles already waiting in the fridge.6. Like coal, oil, and every other natural resource, there really is only so much of this stuff to go around. Once it's gone, we'll have to start resorting to seawater, which the last time I checked, isn't drinkable. I can't help thinking about that scene in Waterworld when Kevin Costner is drinking his own urine. No thank you. So not only will we run out of water, we won't have any oil to make the bottles either. It's a vicious cycle.7. Water that tries to be more than water. From water with caffeine to water with vitamins, you can get your bottled water spiked with just about anything these days. Feeling a little intellectually inferior, there is even a water that can help you feel smarter. It says it right there on the label. My question is this, where does it stop? Will hyperactive children be able to get a Ritalin-infused water at some point? If we're willing to try anything, I have a suggestion: Orgasm Water. If we're already getting screwed, we might as well enjoy it.8. One of my favorite things to do is watch people at the grocery store. Beyond the DMV and the post office, there are few places better to see such a wide sampling of people from your entire community. Outside of the high-end grocery stores which are economically segregated, your average neighborhood store is likely to be filled with people from every race, creed, and tax bracket you can think of. One of the things I notice often is the fact that bottled water is the only acceptable item to start consuming before it's paid for. The couple with the pedometers and the matching track suits just can't wait. We wouldn't want them fainting in the middle of the store, right? Let's try something. Next time you're at the store, take a can opener and start eating a can of pinto beans as you wait in line to pay. See how well that goes over.9. Every now and then I go into some random place of business with a posted sign that clearly reads, "No Food or Drink." On the odd chance that I have a beverage in hand, I either take it back to the car or I throw it away before entering the building. Somehow this rule doesn't apply to bottled water enthusiasts. And God forbid some innocent part-time worker makes them aware of said rule. I have seen a woman argue for five minutes about how she "needs" her water for "health reasons." If you are in need of fluids that badly, why are you looking for high heels at T.J. Max and not hooked up to an IV at the hospital? Ridiculous.10. You can get this stuff for free. What's next, bottled air?
Recently on GOOD
The
Daily
GOOD
Sign up to receive the best of GOOD delivered to your inbox each and every weekday
Bottle Shock