Let’s face it – water is so dull. But vitaminwater, with its kaleidoscopic pinks, peaches and violets, is like Vegas in a bottle!
- NYU’s science line on “Is vitaminwater good for you?”
I’m in over my head here. I saw someone drinking a bottle of smartwater, and I couldn’t figure out what it was. So I Googled the company’s website.
Now I’m just thirsty.
Glaceau AKA Coca-Cola, purveyor of these hip and trendy bottled drinks, claims to have a “fresh new approach to water.” What exactly that means, I was unable to gather from their seizure-inducing Flash website. I was distracted by the patronizing but hypnotic wait messages like “slow your roll.”
Eventually, I found this description:
Huh? Is this cutting-edge marketing or the 4am ramblings of your drunken roomate?
Truly, bottled water and these glorified-Kool-Aid quasi-water art projects have slowly trickled into our lives and are now flooding our culture. We take it for granted. We shouldn’t.
Many don’t have a safe, reliable source of tap or well water. The rest of us are apparently so bored with our riches that prestigious bottled water now trumps tap water as our default choice. Families are buying it by the case. A bottle of water is, on average, more than twice the price of the same amount of gas.
We already know that one-use plastic water bottles are wasteful and unhealthy. We know the water is not necessarily safer than tap water. In fact, we know it might just be tap water with a fancy label on it. Some restaurants and stores only offer bottled water, making free tap water impossible or difficult to access. Water is a human right, and we shouldn’t get too comfy when corporations want to commodify it and sell it to us.
It’s time for tap water to make a comeback. Last Thursday, the Ontario government struck down a bill to ban bottled water, but the conversation isn’t closed. Ultimately, we can’t carry on with the rampant and unsustainable use of plastic water bottles forever.
While the policy side gets sorted out, I’d like to encourage some nice healthy grassroots activity.
If you don’t already, get a stainless steel canteen, then use it. Don’t leave home without it.
Make a big deal out of ordering tap water. This will help tap water regain its dignity.
2008, A Fine Vintage
When you are at a restaurant and you dare to order water, the waiter will ask for your brand, assuming you want sparkling or mineral. At this point you should pause thoughtfully, then gravely reply “municipal.”
In Toronto, the good folks at HTO to Go are working hard to promote tap water and make it available through “a mobile water trailer that serves as a big drinking fountain and a fun way to educate people about one of our most valuable resources – our water.” If you are planning an event, give them a shout and invite them to come.