bottled water

A Funny Thing About Drinking In Sofia

So since I was about 16, my only real political stance has been anti-bottled water. It’s not just that I’m cheap, which I am, but also that bottled water is the stupidest. It’s bad for the environment in a million different ways: the collection of it ruins stream beds, the transportation and storage of it leaves a huge carbon footprint, and the actual container stays on earth longer than we will.

Unlike most cities, Sofia is not by a major waterway. Instead, the city was founded because a river of potable mineral water flows underneath it. There are fountains in the city with water so fresh that it is still warm from the earth. Unfortunately, these fountains are kind of inconvenient and the city’s tap water is bad. People rely on bottled water here to such an extent that at restaurants, if you want flat water, you have to order a bottle of it.

As someone who tries to stay hydrated and eschews bottled water, this is all very difficult for me. Adding to the dilemma, in the Roma neighborhood I visited yesterday, using a toilet, or peeing at all, wasn’t really an option.

Here’s something else from the Roma neighborhood I went to yesterday: I don’t appreciate my dentist enough.  

An Offensive Environment

Even as someone who enjoys throwing apples out of moving cars, eating meat, and other environmentally unfriendly pleasures, I hate bottled water. 

It’s not just that New York has one of the best acqueduct systems in the world, it’s also that there’s really nothing worse for the environment than bottled water. Obtaining the water messes up irrigation systems, and transporting and chilling these bottles creates a huge carbon footprint. I suppose the only benefit is that once you finished your water, you can leave the earth a forever gift of a plastic bottle. 

So whatever, water bottles are bad for the environment and the only real excuse for using one is laziness. Fine. But I noticed today that Poland Spring is going green and making bottles with “50% smaller bottle caps.” That’s a reduction of maybe 5% of the overall plastic used in a water bottle, which doesn’t really change a thing.

I get water bottles are convenient and people like spending money on things which are otherwise free. But can we not pretend that smaller bottle caps make up for all the damage of bottled water?