The Galleon - Portsmouth's Student Newspaper



Don’t drink the water

Over the last eight months and twelve issues of Pugwash News, on these very pages, I have explained many things. I have elaborated how Facebook is an anti-communist tool to forestall ‘the revolution’. The reason why academics who write journal articles are amazing at Scrabble has been revealed. I outlined the one situation when you want a grey man knocking on your door asking you to change your utility provider. I successfully predicted the BNP would not get a seat in the House of Commons but the Greens would. I have pointed out why grey suits would not lead to proportional representation and, finally, perhaps my proudest moment, I threw light upon the reason why our new PM will one day appear in an advert for latex pregnancy preventers.

But, today, this day, the most important mystery in humanity will be explored. It is, of course, the mystery of the success of bottled water. The stunning triumph of marketing that has led to most places being able to charge anywhere between 60p and a quid to buy something you can get for free, essentially at home. And turn a profit! Next up, regular, everyday, smoggy air in a barrel with a face mask available for a fiver a pop.

You know things are getting when bad when I, a man tighter than a cork in a wine bottle, has two empty bottles of water on his floor. It is estimated that in Britain alone some £262 million is spent on bottled water alone. That’s £262 million that could be spent elsewhere, particularly in a time of financial belt-tightening. However, it is not the monetary cost that is of the biggest concern. It is estimated that to produce a litre of leading brand bottled water generates up to 600 times more CO2 than a litre of tap water. A stunning fact is that drinking a bottle of water is the equivalent in carbon emissions as driving a kilometre in a car! But the most amazing fact is that bottled water companies can get away with this by just placing a sticker saying “zero waste” on their bottles and all of a sudden we are expected to believe they are being environmentally conscious. This is the dual evil genius of the marketing men behind the bottled water companies. They can both sell you something you don’t really need, whilst simultaneously, killing the environment AND patronising you into believing they aren’t really doing this.

Personally, I plan to now avoid buying bottles of water and just filling up the ones I have at the start of everyday. For the pretentious people out there who think it looks good to have labelled water, buy one bottle, keep the sticker on it and just fill it up every day! Save the environment and still keep your crappy image. So readers, have a good summer, don’t drink bottled water and see y’all again in September!

Photo by Toshihiro Oimatsu..

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