Friday, October 15, 2010

Stop drinking bottled water

Today is Blog Action Day 2010 - at least in this part of the world, since we're well ahead of much of the world - and the focus is on WATER.

One of the things that has amazed me over the last twenty years is the way in which bottled water has become the In Thing for so many Westerners. Someone managed to convince 'us' that tap water wasn't clean enough, or healthy enough, or safe enough, and then produced bottled water - which, if truth be told, is, in many cases, no different to the water that comes out of your tap.

It's a fad!

I wonder how singers used to manage in the days before bottled water. You never saw them running around with a bottle of water as though this was essential to their survival.

It's a fad!

I wonder how athletes used to manage in the past without their constant bottles of water. But they did! They're buying into a fad!

The idea that we need to hydrate ourselves constantly isn't a medical fact, it's a medical fiction. Of course we need some water during the course of the day, but a good deal of that already comes in the form of coffees, teas, fruit and even vegetables. We're not exactly starved of water in our diet.

This theory that we need to drink several litres of water alone each day is just another part of the machinery of making sure we buy more bottled water. I had a prostate operation a couple of years ago, and the insistence on my drinking water constantly was huge. It was as if my whole system would suddenly seize up without all this water (in fact, when I wearing a catheter for two or three months, all that wonderful water was just passing straight through and into the catheter bag - I might just as well have poured all that water straight down the toilet).

This huge over-intake of water is just another part of our Western assumption that we should have more access to the world's goods than people in Third World countries. (And let's not even get started on the waste of plastic involved in all this bottled water - that's a nightmare on its own, far worse than the use of plastic bags.)

Anyway, if you don't believe what I'm saying, check out this excellent video by Annie Leonard. She's very convincing - and it's good to have what I already knew confirmed by her.

Photo by Udit Kulshrestha
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