What would you do with $100 billion dollars? No seriously, what would you do? I’m willing to bet that your immediate answer wasn’t “buy bottled water”, but surprisingly enough bottled water sales generate somewhere between $50 to $100 billion in sales each year. Not to mention that the industry is experiencing an annual growth rate of over 7%. But why? What’s the big deal? Why are we dishing out so much money just to buy our own natural resources?
Well, the truth is; there is no reason. We just are. I know what you’re thinking; bottled water is so much healthier than tap water. But that’s not true. At least not in any testable capacity. The majority of bottled water brands actually collect their water from local sources. In simpler terms, you’re paying for the exact same thing you could have gotten at home, a thousand times cheaper. I’m serious. The tap water to bottled water price inflation is a one thousand fold increase. For what is essentially the same water. If you buy a bottle of water for $1, you’re receiving 20 ounces of h20. That breaks down to 5cents an ounce. To give you an accurate comparison, our local gas prices are about $4 per gallon. There’s 128 ounces in a gallon. That works out to 3cents an ounce. Bottled water is more expensive than gas.Which is even more ridiculous when you consider that you would only pay 1cent for an entire gallon of water from the tap.
So why do we continue to sink so much money into an industry that has seemingly no benefit to us? Good question. One explanation: we don’t realize it’s the same water. Labels picture beautiful mountain top streams with pure water flowing through…more than likely that water was collected a few miles from your house. Bottled water is advertised to be trendy, featuring young hip people and often celebrities. We are psychologically conditioned to think that bottled water is cooler than tap water.
And on the basis of the issue, we’re just thirstier than we used to be. If that sounds confusing, bear with me. Xerostomia is defined as the feeling of having a dry-mouth, as a result of a dysfunction of the salivary glands. Drug-inducded xerostomia is reported to be a side-effect of over 1,800 forms of commonly prescribed medication. The only real treatment of this condition is to drink water. Considering that millions of people take these medications, it’s no surprise that they find themselves reaching for the water more than usual.
So the next time you’re thirsty during class, don’t waste your money in the vending machines. WCC has plenty of drinking fountains located conveniently throughout all the buildings on campus. They’re safe, I promise.