How To Put $11.8 Billion Back In Our Collective Pockets

I once heard an investor say that if you look around the room and can’t figure out who the dupe is, it’s you.

When I go to the grocery store, I feel like I am the unwilling recipient of the dupie award. Sometimes I can’t help it, (at least not without paying a cost that I don’t have enough years left to make good on.) But most of the time I can, and so can you.

I would like to make this a rant about packaging, because I hate over packaging and who doesn’t like a good rant? But instead I’m going to make it a rant about a specific bit of packaging that has no upside. If you purchase the product it houses, you are being shanghaied, paying too much and doing harm to yourself, the environment and others in the process. O.K. Since I am all on my moral high horse, I admit I have purchased this product while travelling, but I’m not proud of it. I have since taken the Faucet Fanatic pledge never to repeat those moments of blithe disregard in the name of convenience or anything else. What am I yammering on about? Bottled water. Sounds innocent doesn’t it? Well here are the facts:

If you buy a 16.9 oz bottle of water, you are paying 2000 to 10,0000 times more for it than water from the tap. That’s 7.50 a gallon, on the low side. – And you thought gas was high.

It takes 3 – 7 liters of water to package 1 liter of bottled water. Am I the only one who thinks there is something wrong with this?

But wait! Wasting massive amounts of water to put water in a bottle is not bad enough. The US uses over 1.5 million barrels of oil in water bottle manufacturing those bottles. That’s enough oil to run 100,000 cars for a whole year.

And no those bottles do not just get recycled. Only PET bottles can be recycled. That’s about 1 in 5.

It takes about 1000 years for plastic bottles to biodegrade and they produce toxic fumes if they are incinerated. Upside? None. Are you ready to take the Faucet Fanatic pledge?

Lastly – NO bottled water isn’t better for you.

According to Slate, “The bottled water industry grossed a total of $11.8 billion.” Stop. Seriously, what part of this is a good idea? Oh wait, I know, the part where some multi millionaire fills his pockets with cash and the rest of us choke and die on the fumes.

Just in case you get glassy eyed about numbers let me repeat that is 11.8 billion dollars.

We live in a world where 783 million people do not have access to safe water. We spend 11.8 billion on something we can fill our cups with from the tap. – Lets do it.


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