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I do think bottled water is a waste....IF you live in the developed world where tap water is of good quality and where filters of whatever description can be easily installed if so desired.
What really gets me going though is this whole issue of imported bottled water from ever more 'exotic' places. I think the worst I've ever seen was bottled water imported from Polynesia or then there are the countless crates I see getting unloaded imported from the Gulf region (!!!!! of all places.....)
I do think bottled water is a waste....IF you live in the developed world where tap water is of good quality and where filters of whatever description can be easily installed if so desired. This is exactly what I'm trying to get at. I can understand your interest in bottled water IF you have bad tap water. But if your tap water is fine, then I don't see any reason to buy bottled water. Doing this only pollutes the environment (since the vast majority of people do not recycle their used bottles) and increases out dependence on petroleum.
Is bottled water really such a waste?I do not doubt that plastic bottles cost (by whatever measure of cost you wish to judge), but so does any other form of delivery of water (you think that pumping water through pipes is cost free - including maintenance of pipes, and chlorination of water, etc.?).
Awesome link! Thanks Alandriel! Everyone should check this out!"Not only does bottled water contribute to excessive waste, but it costs us a thousand times more than water from our faucet at home, and it is, in fact, no safer or cleaner."
But I would still like to know why bottled water in considered unacceptable, but bottled milk, or fruit juices, or alcoholic beverages, are not attacked in the same way.
Probably because water is a basic necessity to life, a basic human right even and should be freely available at no or low cost. Milk, fruit juices etc. are extras, non-essentials; maybe that's why opinions can get heated (I know my temperature can rise ).
There's also a good article "Soft drink is purified tap water" by the BBC here(now withdrawn from the UK but I'm sure there's plenty more similar incidences still active around the world)Pepsi tried the same article link ... so, are you sure you know what's in the bottles you buy?
Quote from: another_someone on 07/10/2007 18:05:29But I would still like to know why bottled water in considered unacceptable, but bottled milk, or fruit juices, or alcoholic beverages, are not attacked in the same way.^^(I hope I did that quote right.)^^
But, I strive to buy in bulk (i.e. a gallon of Gatorade over a pack of twenty individual bottles) to keep the waste to a minimum, and also recycle everything I can, so as to essential bring the waste to nothing.
I would never try to denounce plastic as a terrible "invention." There is no doubt that plastics allow to do things today that people could not even dream of at a time. That said, however, when people use plastics in excess, and don't recycle, there is significant harm done to the environment. I would love it if I could get Gatorade piped to my home from a central station, but seeing as that will probably never happen, I have no problem with buying it a plastic bottle and then throwing the bottle in my recycle bin when I'm finished.
I think the image problem with bottled water is quite simple. You can't get cola or milk out of the tap so they have to be delivered in bottles (or some such) but you can get perfectly good water out of the tap (at least in most places we are talking about) so there's no justification for the expense and waste associated with bottled water.Water is water (and the requirements for purity, sterillity etc are often more stringent for tap water).
Now let me ask you - if they piped a different brand of sports drink, rather than Gatorade, would you be willing to forgo your bottled Gatorade because you do have a sports drink on tap, even if maybe not exactly the taste you desire?
I was having to replace my shower unit every year until I installed a water softener, but that water softener leaves high sodium levels in the water, which makes it less than ideal for human consumption.
Would you think it better that wine, bear, soft drinks, etc. should all be piped into everybody's home? Water is just another drink (nobody expects to buy bottled bath water - that they take through the pipes).
btw, there is a clear distinction between drinking bottled water and other bottled stuff in that there is no alternative with fruit juice. You could keep a cow for milk, I suppose.
posted by Ira Flatow on Thursday, October 11. 2007Sometimes the facts speak for themselves. Here are some about bottled water, via the American Museum of Natural History in New York. My favorite, is the last one...Bottled water may be a healthy and increasingly common alternativeto soft drinks, but the plastic bottle turns out to have a hidden dark side:energy consumption, waste disposal, and other environmental concerns. Asbottled water grows in popularity, these problems also proliferate.. Worldwide, bottled water consumption nearly doubled between 1997 and 2005,with U.S. residents tipping back the largest share-nearly 26 gallons perperson in 2005.. Bottled water costs as much as $10 per gallon for bottled water comparedto less than a penny per gallon for tap water.. It takes three liters of water to produce a one-liter bottle of water.. Worldwide, 2.7 million tons of plastic are used each year to make waterbottles, but in the U.S., less than 20 percent of these bottles arerecycled.. The total estimated energy needed to make, transport, and dispose of onebottle of water is equivalent to filling the same bottle one-quarter full ofoil.. An estimated 40 percent of bottled water sold in the U.S. is just filteredtap water.To learn more about water-where it comes from, how it shapes theplanet and the lives of people, plants, and animals everywhere-visit thespecial exhibition Water: H2O = Life at the American Museum of NaturalHistory, November 3, 2007, through May 26, 2008. For more information visitwww.amnh.org.
Thats cool but is there still and truth in the aluminum and Alzheimer's connection?
Leading scientists called for a fresh inquiry into the effect of Britain's worst large-scale water poisoning yesterday after providing the first evidence to suggest it caused the death of a woman from an extremely rare form of Alzheimer's.Research published yesterday suggests Carole Cross's neurological illness and subsequent death could have been brought on by the 1988 Camelford incident, in which 20 tonnes of highly toxic aluminium sulphate was added to drinking water at a treatment works by mistake. Up to 20,000 people were exposed to concentrations of aluminium up to 3,000 times the legal limit but, despite three inquiries, there has been no systematic monitoring of residents.Now Chris Exley, the lead author of research published in the Journal of Neurology, Neurosurgery and Psychiatry, and Professor Daniel Perl, an authority on Alzheimer's and aluminium, are calling for the Camelford residents to be monitored after finding that Mrs Cross had more than 20 times the normal level of aluminium in her brain. She also suffered from a rare type of Alzheimer's, sporadic early onset beta amyloid angiopathy, which would not be expected in someone with no genetic predisposition to it."This may be a one-off, although it is highly unlikely, " said Dr Exley, reader in bioinorganic chemistry at Keele University. "We need to set up a monitoring programme of the people so we can put their minds at rest."The scientist, who conducted the research with Professor Margaret Esiri of Radcliffe Infirmary, Oxford, added: "There has to be an element of risk [to other residents] before we discover this. This can't be explained away easily."Mrs Cross and her husband, Doug, were living in the small north Cornwall town in July 1988 when a driver tipped the aluminium sulphate into the wrong tank at the water treatment works at Lowermoor, on the edge of Bodmin Moor. She tried to avoid drinking the water but realised she had been exposed when she took a bath which turned blue when she added soap to it. "Like a lot of people in Camelford, she refused to talk of it. She found it too traumatic," Mr Cross said yesterday.In May 2003, at the age of 58, she was referred to a neurologist for headaches, difficulties in finding words and doing sums, and hallucinations. Her condition worsened and she died in April 2004.An inquest into her death was adjourned in December last year, after the West Somerset coroner, Michael Rose - persuaded by Mr Cross, who refused to accept that she had died of an unknown neurological condition - called in the scientists to examine her brain.The findings show Mrs Cross - who had no family history of Alzheimer's - had up to 23 micrograms of aluminium per gram of brain in parts of her brain compared with the normal concentration of two micrograms. Aluminium, which is a neurotoxin, has previously been associated with an increased risk of developing Alzheimer's. Dr Exley told the Guardian that Mrs Cross may have reached her toxic threshold for aluminium at 58. "There is nothing in her lifestyle to suggest abnormal exposure other than a period of weeks and months in 1988, when she was exposed to high levels of aluminium."Mr Cross, an environmental scientist and member of the sub-group of the Commons committee on toxicity set up to look at the effects of the incident, said the findings sent out a "frightening message to people living in Camelford today"."There is a cover-up going on. I know of up to 20 deaths that can't really be explained. We have been demanding testing for 18 years. It is absolutely essential."
Quote from: sophiecentaur on 08/10/2007 18:56:38btw, there is a clear distinction between drinking bottled water and other bottled stuff in that there is no alternative with fruit juice. You could keep a cow for milk, I suppose.I am very surprised that nobody has suggested that I should press my own juices.
I love fresh squeezed orange juice!
But you don't. Not really. Just take some fuit *) and chuck it into the machine. All you need to do is press a button. Surely you're not too lazy for that? 
I used to have an electric press (got given it as a present). Liked the idea, but it kept leaking everywhere, so threw it out.
Quote from: Karen W. on 09/12/2007 15:32:08I love fresh squeezed orange juice!So do I, I just don't like making it.