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The Bizarre Insanity of Banning Bottled Water

The Bizarre Insanity of Banning Bottled Water

You may have seen the news on Facebook or heard the stories on NPR: Concord, Massachusetts, has banned bottled water, and certain “liberal” colleges in Vermont have banned it, too. Al Gore spent a lot of his media attention after the huge success of Inconvenient Truth blaming bottled water (and incandescent lightbulbs) for our climate problems. Not GMOs, which he helped make possible. Not Diet Pepsi from a can, which I’ve seen him drink. Not high-fructose corn syrup or biofuels, which he also helped make possible. But bottled water—the ONLY healthy cold drink available for sale. And probably the only cold drink that does not have a massively funded lobbying arm behind it.

And yet it isn’t politicians leading this campaign, it’s well-meaning individuals—ENVIRONMENTALISTS—cheering on the success of keeping kids from having a nice cold drink of water.

I remember the world before bottled water. I remember pulling into a gas station when I was a teenager and looking at a soda machine and making a desperate wish that one day…ONE DAY…I would be able to get some nice cold water out of there. Why? What drinking fountains of the day dispensed was almost always foul tasting and lukewarm. And I have always found sugary drinks to leave a horrible aftertaste that actually makes me MORE thirsty, not less. I often pack my own water. But sometimes, sometimes—like on a road trip—that water runs out or gets too warm to drink. Sometimes my kids cry in the backseat that they are thirsty and really want water. Not soda, which they don’t even really like, but water! What am I supposed to say to them? “Sorry, honies, but you have to drink soda”?

In this day and age when there are thousands of studies that show the horrible health effects of soda—diet, high-fructose corn syrup, or even real sugar loaded—THIS is what our environmentalists spend their time fighting for?! How about fighting to keep our water clean and free of pesticides, chemicals, and pharmaceuticals that poison all of us, no matter whether it comes from a faucet or a plastic bottle? How about working to ban Pepsi?! (Not Coke, please, which makes me feel better when I feel sick). Or how about working to ban all plastic?! I’d much rather drink my water from a glass bottle anyway, given the effects of plastic on health. But is that banned too?

Come on, people, please turn your righteousness in the right direction! Banning water might feel like a win in the short term, but it’s a major loss in the long term. And the biggest loss is the misdirection of energy it creates in very intelligent people who could otherwise be solving real problems.

I believe Al Gore means well (after all, Rodale Inc. did publish Inconvenient Truth, and I’m a big fan of Laurie David). But we have to get our priorities in order, and environmentalists need to deeply understand that saving “energy” is useless if we are all insane and sick from toxic chemicals.

As I always say, the planet—our dearest Earth—will be just fine without us. It’s us that we need to save. This is just one more piece of evidence that we have a long, hard road ahead of us…with nothing cold to drink except soda.

Related:
9 Disturbing Side Effects of Soda
Is the Soda Ban a Good Idea?
The Story of Bottled Water

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211 comments

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12:09PM PDT on Aug 3, 2013

We do not accept or buy bottled water in plastic bottles. The risk is too great. It is very disturbing, and not comforting at all, to now see plastic bottles of beverages labelled as not made with Bisphenol-A. What have they substituted instead?

When we do buy bottled beverages, and I am off soda pop forever, it is only in glass bottles.

However, the bottle caps are still an issue, as Captain Charles Moore alerts us.

http://www.ted.com/talks/capt_charles_moore_on_the_seas_of_plastic.html

lf our tap water is not safe, then we need to seriously make that a priority. How about educating everybody about aquifers and the need to ensure that runoff is unpolluted?

I can't imagine how "safe" water must be in areas where fracking is going on!

Still, if this article was written to raise the rankles of the subscribers to this blog, then it certainly has done just that!

While we are at it, should we not also "ban" all plastic shopping bags? Just like San Fran.

http://www.sfgate.com/green/article/S-F-FIRST-CITY-TO-BAN-PLASTIC-SHOPPING-BAGS-2606833.php

Cheers,

Greg Shea (Lake Cowichan)

11:42AM PDT on Aug 2, 2013

What are you talking about!!! This article should not even be here, I am dissappointed of Care2 honestly. Plastic is killing the planet!

1:28PM PDT on May 11, 2013

its not the fact its water, its the chemicals in the plastic bottles that leak in to the water, bottled water should be banned this is the stupidest article i have ever read

2:39PM PST on Mar 6, 2013

My gosh, what a silly article.

7:50AM PST on Mar 3, 2013

thanks for sharing

11:01AM PST on Feb 23, 2013

thanks!

4:58AM PST on Feb 23, 2013

how absurd! the choice isn't between bottled water and sodas. but bottled water should not be used for home use. and if you want water when out carry a stainless steel water bottle, or even a reusable plastic water bottle.

the need for a ban is because humans have proven incapable of using single use plastic water bottles responsibly. instead these water bottles clog streams and storm sewers on their way to the oceans and waste considerable amounts of precious oil. fill a single serving plastic water bottle one-third full with oil. that's how much oil is wasted every time you throw one out. then there's the damage they are doing to our environment and wildlife.

ban the bottle. be responsible instead.

10:24PM PST on Feb 22, 2013

I dont concur with who wrote this. Plastic bottles are poison. Being against Al Gore is a total evidence of ignorance. Have any doubt about global warming (not climate changing which is an eufemism of GM).

11:16AM PST on Feb 21, 2013

Um, bottled water *should* be banned. "But bottled water—the ONLY healthy cold drink available for sale." Ooor how about you get a tap filter and a nice aluminum bottle like I have? Oh look, I can now have pretty much free water whenever I want it, without the harm of plastic or yet another water bottle cluttering up a landfill. And don't even get me started on your lobbying comment. Are you kidding me right now?

7:23AM PST on Feb 19, 2013

"And probably the only cold drink that does not have a massively funded lobbying arm behind it."
Really???
You may think about reading your own articles twice before having them published.
It's hard to believe you are so uninformed. Nestle & the other big water bottling operations surely aren't massively lobbying...
And then:
"How about working to ban Pepsi?! (Not Coke, please, which makes me feel better when I feel sick)."
If this is supposed to be sarcasm - it doesn't work. Just makes you look like someone, who is fine with activism only if it doesn't conflict with their own comfort zone.
Most bottled water sold for profit should be banned. It's a big scam, making a few undeservedly, filthy rich. Plus, it comes with huge negative environmental effects.

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Disclaimer: The views expressed above are solely those of the author and may not reflect those of
Care2, Inc., its employees or advertisers.

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