I must admit that right after reading Charles Fishman's report: Message in a Bottle, in the latest issue of Fast Company, I felt like taking a final swig of my Dasani and heading off to confessional. Did I mention that I am not even Catholic!
OK, drinking bottled water is probably not a sin, but consider:
- American's spend more on bottled water than on iPods or Movie tickets. American's spend $15 Billion a year on something that is essentially free in their own home.
- 24% of the bottled water we buy is tap water repackaged by Coke and Pepsi.
- Fiji water produces more than a million bottles of water a day, while more than half of the people in Fiji do not have reliable drinking water.
- If the water we use at home cost what even cheap bottled water costs, our monthly water bills would run $9,000.
- We pitch into landfills 38 billion water bottles a year - in excess of $1 billion worth of plastic.
- Worldwide 1 billion people have no reliable source of drinking water; 3,000 children a day die from diseases caught from tainted water.
Now I realize that if we did not have bottled water, then we would probably drink more of something else and the resource drain would be no less. I get that, and personally I love a cold bottle of water. I love the taste and the convenience. I have a fridge in the garage full of bottled water. Now just so you know where I am coming from - I am not someone who is always against cutting down trees and drilling for oil, or even bottling up some spring water. I am all for wisely using our resources; but I am not for wasting our resources or indulging without thinking.
My take from the article was not so much that we should do away with bottled water or that bottled water will bring the world to an end. No, my take was that bottled water is symbolic of our taste for indulgence.
Think about it. A $15 billion industry birthed to provide something that we do not need.
I have been giving thought to my actions and responsibility as a Follower of Jesus as it relates to indulgence, waste, and gluttony. Stay tuned - major rants ahead this week.
First target - Church Bulletins! Stay tuned...