Tuesday, June 21, 2011

This Water Bottle Thing

I am a water drinker. I drink water exclusively, usually sparkling, but plain if that's all I can get. Usually bottled. I prefer glass bottles for both health and environmental reasons and pay the extra bucks, but I can only get one brand in glass. That's what I drink at home. When going out, I used to grab a plastic bottle. Lately, I've switched to pouring my sparkling water from the glass bottles into a reusable water bottle whenever I can, so as to reduce my use of plastic.

I am so torn on the issue of bottled water. On the one hand, I understand that those plastic bottles are an environmental nightmare. On the other hand, I want my bottled water!! I can taste the difference in water, even from one brand to the other, and I can't stand tap water. I never have been able to stand tap, even as a kid. I remember one time when there was a problem with our tap water and the military sent out water trucks for everyone. We got a few pitchers of water from the truck and I drank it like there was no tomorrow. My step father teased me because I wouldn't drink tap, but I drank that military water. It's because it tasted better.

Back in the day, you couldn't get water at movie theaters. If you asked for a cup to get water from the fountain they would still charge you full soda price. Then came the bottled water phenomenon, and hallelujah, I could get something to drink at the movies! (Well, until Desani became all the rage. That water tastes as bad as tap because it probably is; yuck.) It was so refreshing to be able to get a water to go with my popcorn. Then they started selling ice cold bottled water at all the outdoor events, which is so wonderful on a hot Florida day. And you can even get bottled water from the shops on the other side of the security gate at the airport!

What's to become of all that, I ask you? Why are the water drinkers being picked on? Why can't the soda drinkers bear some of the blame for the plastic bottle problem? Yes, there are brands out there that are just tap water and taste like it, but there are good brands of water that taste immeasurably better than tap. Are they filtered and clean and free of yucky stuff? Well, I hope so, but I realize some of them aren't. The same can be said of water from a fountain, though; they aren't the cleanest of water sources. Have you ever seen a backed up, spit filled, disgusting water fountain? I've seen plenty of them; I wouldn't let a dog drink from them. Plus that water is warm; there aren't very many chilled water fountains out there.

Then there are security and safety issues. You can't take reusable water bottles into events 'cause they're all afraid you'll be sneaking in booze. You can't take glass bottles to most events or parks or public pools or the beach either since they could break and cause injuries. So the only option is to buy whatever is being sold at the event or park or what have you, and now with all the water bottle bans taking place everywhere, I am to be relegated back to going thirsty since I don't drink soda? It's just not fair.

So I say, if you ban bottled water, you need to ban bottled soda too. Switch back to glass or cans or allow people to use their own reusable bottles everywhere. Don't punish me and leave me thirsty and not punish the soda drinkers, too. (Because if you start punishing all of us, some of us, like Corporate America, will come up with solutions darn quick.)

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