‘Evian’ spelled backwards is simply ‘naive’

Brenna McNamara

Ah, water. The most essential factor in the ecosystem. The most basic of human needs. The universal human right. It is also one of the world’s most lucrative businesses of this century.

Now tell me, which one of these doesn’t belong? Ding ding ding! We have a winner, Johnny – the last choice.

The water market is the fastest growing beverage industry in the world at $22 billion a year, according the World Wildlife Fund. People’s tendency to lean toward the bottle lately is due to the false assumption that tap water is impure. Instead of turning on the faucet, the public is more likely to head to the store and pay 500 times the cost of tap water.

Bottled water is a scam and placebo effect, and we are falling right into the trap. Restaurants have begun the practice of serving expensive water to uphold an image. J. Lo only washes her hair in bottled water. Taste tests have proven that people can’t taste the difference between the waters. Not only that, the entire assumption that bottled water is safer is completely false.

Materialism has gone too far when we are paying for the bottle, not water. People are sold by a well designed label that features a mountain or a clean spring. On campus, Dasani is shoved down our throats. This “pure water” is manufactured by Coca Cola. Why should we be trusting a pop company for our water?

The Natural Resources Defense Council conducted a four-year study on tap vs. bottled water, determining that bottled water in the United States is not necessarily cleaner than tap water.

Out of 1,000 bottles and 103 brands, one-third contained contaminates above the state limit for bottled water standards. The reason is the FDA, which controls bottled production, has much lower standards and runs fewer tests than the Environmental Protection Agency, which controls tap water.

Still (and rightly so) there are those who get on their soap box and preach tap water contains fluoride, lead and chloride. But this is easily solvable. A recent “right-to-know” provision in the drinking water law requires tap providers to make reports of water contents available to the public. Not to mention, a water filter would solve these problems as well as the vast environmental damage from the bottles.

A one liter bottle of Fiji water takes five liters of water in the manufacturing process. The cute bottles may be nice to flaunt around at the gym, but not so cute when they end up in a landfill or the ocean along with 85 percent of other plastic bottles. Selfish motives result in an enormous addition of trash and wasted energy.

Our “want-it-now” attitude is not only leading to environmental harm, but a complete disregard for others. Australian Aid reports that 2.5 billion people around the world have absolutely no sanitation system, 1.2 billion are without any clean drinking water and 5 million people die from water-related diseases a year.

These people would kill for our tap water, while we believe a filter isn’t even good enough.

We are labeled “the entitled” generation due to reasons like this. With so much given to us, it is hard to imagine scrounging up months of savings for a glass of water. It comes from the twist of the faucet. Don’t let selfishness and ignorance make you another victim of the bottled water market.

At the very least, recycle the bottle.

Brenna McNamara is a freshman pre-journalism major and columnist for the Daily Kent Stater. Contact her at [email protected].