Paying for the cow…

Mark Hanlon
National Director

Tomorrow is bottled water free day!
Check it out on Facebook!

There’s an old adage that’s says “why buy the cow, when you can have the milk for free”. When I think about bottled water, I immediately think of that saying. Just think about it. We have fresh, clean and most importantly, safe water flowing from our taps at home, in our schools and our places of work. Yet many people would prefer to shell out around $1.99 per bottle or, more foolishly, carry 40 pounds of it to fit in a water cooler.

Companies like Coca Cola and Pepsi have their own unique “brands” of water, ultimately turning water into a commodity to be purchased; it’s like bottling air and charging people to breathe it. The confusing part of it all is that in many cases, it’s the very same water that flows from your taps – for free – except they place it in a pretty plastic bottle (the safety of which has been and will be debated for years) and charge you $2.00 to enjoy it. Why on earth would we do that?

Hey family – ever heard of a water jug?
I’ve spoken to my family, friends and some former coworkers recently about their use of bottled water. Their comments were not surprising, but definitely gave me something to chew on. Overwhelmingly, most said they just didn’t like “the taste”, mostly what they referred to as a “bleachy” taste. Some even said it was more convenient to have cold water ready, through their water cooler or by having bottles of water available in their fridge.

Most said that they didn’t feel as though their drinking water was safe. I asked if they lived in Mexico where it was recommended you not drink the tap water. Alas, most were from Newfoundland or right here in Ontario.

The truth – it’s out there
The fact is this: drinking water IS safe in our communities (with the exception of times when a boil order might be in place because of conditions when bacteria thrives).

What about Brita?
Once upon a time, before working for SYC – when I was still unaware of the many issues surrounding bottled water – I used a Brita water filter. What I came to realize is that companies like Brita, Coca Cola and Pepsi do one thing together – and they do a great job of it; they make us fear tap water as unsafe and poor-tasting. I believe I became roped into that. The commercials are framed so that we feel we “need” a Brita water filter. In essence, they perpetuate the false belief that tap water isn’t safe.

So, save the $1.99. Put it in a savings account. Contribute to your RRSP. Better yet, run out and buy a reusable water bottle and enjoy the greatest drink nature has to offer.


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