Earlier today, Mark and I rode to our local grocery store – Season’s Harvest Market. While we were shopping, we saw this display of imported bottled water – designer bottles of “artesian” water from Norway, selling at nearly $5/pack of four bottles. This goes beyond ridiculous. Obscene is the word that comes to my mind.
The multi-million bottled water industry makes me ill. From the tremendous amounts of resources used in the transporting and packaging of water, to lack of regulation and quality testing, to the destructive and abusive practices of the leading water bottling/privatization corporations – there is nothing palatable about the industry, least of all its water.
Check out these websites on bottled water:
NRDC: Bottled Water Contaminants (chart of contaminants, bacteria and viruses found in common brands of bottled water)
While Season’s Harvest Market will probably remain my local grocery store of choice, it’s disappointing to see them carrying items like this. They try to promote their store as being the “healthy alternative” for groceries, and have one of the better selections of organic and locally grown items, but recently they seem to be slipping further and further into the mainstream highly-processed/junk-food inventory choices. Fewer organics, lots of plastic packaging, and now ridiculously packaged “chic” imported water. Green-washing at it’s finest.
The “story” behind the Norwegian Voss designer water – from their own website:
With the persistent conviction that they (founders Ole Sandberg and Christian Harlem) should provide only the highest quality water – to only the highest quality accounts – in the highest quality package, an idea was born: share this naturally tasting delicious water with the rest of the world in a bottle equally unique …
… They secured this artesian source in the middle of their beloved wilderness in Southern Norway.
Because we all know that we need another “beloved wilderness” spoiled by a designer water bottling corporation…
Voss goes on to point out how “green” and sustainable their product is – by their contribution to two carbon offset projects. The more sensible carbon offset project? Don’t export water around the globe in designer disposable plastic bottles!
Disappointing from every level – from the fact that people will buy and consume this stuff, to the fact that my local “green” market has stooped so low as to stock it.
If you want a “designer” bottle for your tap water, here’s an option I prefer:
Kor Hydration Vessel – BPA free, reusable, attractive
Finally, two excellent documentaries about water – from privatization to the highly unregulated bottled water industry:
Flow – the film
Tapped – the film
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Possibly the most pernicious industry next to the automobile industry.
It looks like a bottle of cologne.
While I’ve given up my 3 big Pellegrino a day habit, mainly on financial grounds, sometimes there’s nothing like those soft Italian bubbles caressing your tongue.
I don’t think the industry should be attacked. The stores wouldn’t carry it if people weren’t buying it. I think there just needs to be more education like that NRDC report you linked to. (Thanks for that! Very enlightening.)