Bottled Water                                                                                                           Aquae decepta

I remember drinking my first bottled water in 2001 at our school’s “Olympics” in which classes competed against one another to win bragging rights at the end of the school year. I thought it tasted soapy and didn’t like it much, but I was thirsty so I begrudgingly gulped it down– saving the bottle so I could just fill it up from the drinking fountain inside instead since I liked “normal” water better. Nowadays, though, bottles of water are a staple in any group event– some people even refusing to drink normal tap water without at very least an added filtration through a Brita pitcher.
Perhaps this paranoia in tap water has deeper roots that it may at first appear– perhaps our movement towards this wastefully packaged water is simply the manifestation of the cultural belief that nature = good and that man = bad. As far as we are concerned, Aquafina is bottled by dipping the containers straight into the mountain springs pictured on the label and sent straight to out doorsteps, while plain water is filth pumped from Lake Michigan– water so corrupted by human adjacency that fish caught from it shouldn’t even be eaten. The harsh reality, though, is that according to a study done in Alabama of 25 popular brands the majority of bottled waters contain higher levels of potentially dangerous chemicals like mercury. This, coupled with the ~300% cost difference between tap and bottled water hasn’t deterred us though as we continue to drink an average of 21 gallons of water per person annually (that’s about 160 bottler per person a year).

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