We all like talking about the good old days and ruing the simplicity of days gone by. At the same time we often go off in directions our forefathers, and foremothers, would slap our butts if they knew about them.
One of those would certainly be paying good money for a bottle of something that is readily available from any water tap. Bottled water has become so popular in America that each year we purchase over 50 billion bottles of it. In reality that means we are spending billions of our dollars on something we most often have no justifiable reason for.
Our obsession for wasting money also does nothing positive for the environment. All those billions of plastic bottles means environment wrecking chemicals must be produced and once we’ve sated our thirst the vast majority of the spent bottles end up in landfills where they will experience immortality.
One of the things I’ve noticed in my life was how glass bottles of water were a common sight on boardroom tables in foreign movies. I didn’t understand the reason for this until somehow I learned it was due to the poor sanitation of many nation’s potable water supplies. Any experienced traveler knows you never drink the water in Mexico. Do so and risk the wrath of Montezuma’s revenge.
America’s water systems, however, are renowned for their purity and safety. So, you just have to ask, why do we complain so vehemently about the cost of a gallon of gasoline while willingly pay more for gallon on water with few complaints?
Couple of years ago I saw a news piece about people adjusting their spending habits in the face of The Great Recession. The piece featured a guy stockpiling bottled water in his pantry because it was on sale and he was “saving” money. I wonder what part of that would send my grandfather Chapman over a cliff? Wouldn’t one, faced with making ends meet, spend scarce cash on staples like beans and flour rather than water that, according to the accompanying graphic, is both more expensive and not as safe?
I have a feeling if Papa Chapman were alive today and saw this phenomena he may simply say, “I’ve lived too long!”