By Dan Kennedy • The press, politics, technology, culture and other passions

Water, water everywhere

In my latest for the Guardian, I take a jaundiced view of the campaign against bottled water.

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A privilege for the privileged


The Herald and Jon Keller


  1. Anonymous

    Both sides have a point in this one. On the one hand, it’s correct that there’s a lot of pointless transportation of water bottles around which eats up gobs of oil, etc.On the other hand, when was the last time you saw a working bubbler? And even if you did, what do you want to bet someone just hawked a goober in it?Drinking bottled water at home makes no sense. If you’re not to crazy about your tap water get a Brita or similar filter. My parents live in Florida and their tap water is vile stuff (it’s off color and smells), but Boston water is very good.But you’re absolutely right. When you’re in the convenience store, there’s very little choice. It’s either water or some sort of sweet chemistry set with fizz.

  2. Neil

    In the break rooms at my company, right next to the pallets of Dasani, are nice cold water dispensers. A plumber fixing the line one day said the water coming out of the dispensers is filtered more than the Dasani is. It’s ridiculous to ship bottles of water in this case. They also supply soda, so you can reach in and grab a Coke, or a Dasani. But you can also get water out of the dispenser. I think they’re the first step in phasing out the bottled water. At least I hope so. Paying for bottles of water is ridiculous.

  3. Anonymous

    I’m sorry to rain on your parade, but two pointsPoint one. When I was a kid in the dark ages (late 1960s, early 1970s), I had a water bottle mounted on my bicycle. Filled with tap water. Didn’t throw the water bottle away, I filled it for the next trip. It isn’t a mystery.Point two. More recently, I bought a couple of bottles of Poland Springs water, for use at the gym. Not for the water, but for the bottles. I certainly don’t throw the bottles away. I refill the bottles with–tap water. That also isn’t a mystery.Unless you’re buying the water for the taste (my partner does–he likes Evian because it tastes like calc (which has it’s own problem because the need of decalcification of appliances), a bottle or two of refilled spring water works quite well.–raj

  4. Anonymous

    Drink bottled water if you must, but for god’s sake don’t import it all the way from Fiji!

  5. Sean Roche

    Sorry, Dan, but I fear that it’s you looking at the picture too narrowly: as soda v. bottled water. I’d like to know what the percentage of bottled water sales are in convenience stores, where the choice you present plays out. I bet it’s not that much.Just as one example of different choices, I work in an office building where people can buy a contract with Belmont Springs to delivers a regular case of bottled water. Yet, there are three or four filtered water taps on every floor That’s not soda v. water, it’s water v. water.

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