First San Francisco banned it. Then Chicago started taxing it.


Now Seattle is banning the city from buying bottled water, which may sound like a small step but will save the city $58,000.


First San Francisco banned it. Then Chicago started taxing it.

Now Seattle is banning the city from buying bottled water, which may sound like a small step but will save the city $58,000.

I don’t think Shawnee will be banning bottled water any time soon, but that doesn’t mean you can’t do it.

Consider these facts: In 2006, Americans bought 8 billion gallons of the stuff, with sales of over $100 billion a year.

This exceeded the sales of all other drinks except soft drinks and even sales of the fizzy stuff are flattening out.

Marketing, directed mainly to women who drink more than men, make carrying around a flashy bottle of water a fashion statement or a flag that you are into healthy living.

Well, the truth is that bottled water is probably not better than the water that comes out of your tap. In the United States, regulations governing tap water quality and monitoring are more stringent than those for bottled water. You buy bottled water to make a statement, or because it is more convenient.

Now that you know why you buy bottled water, consider this: 80 percent of the empty bottles end up in landfills or by the side of the road (my back yard).

The manufacture of and shipping of the bottles consume non-renewable resources. It is estimated that the 28 billion bottles of water consumed by you Americans in 2006 used more than 17 billion barrels of oil in the bottle production and created more than 2.5 million tons of carbon dioxide once created and filled.

Take Fiji Water. One bottle represents 250 grams of CO2, 93 grams for manufacture in China, 4 grams to transport the empty bottle to Fiji and 153 grams for shipping the full bottle to the United States.

This just doesn’t make sense to a frog like me who is happy with the water in my own pond. There was a page of the Wall Street Journal is the ditch by my pond, and it said that bottled water is the next best thing to oil and gold.

But for those of you who just like to carry around your own bottle of water, I have a suggestion. Go to Thirstyforchange.com and you can buy a permanent bottle for about $20. The proceeds go to provide clean drinking water to third-world children. This is a win-win solution.

Otherwise, consider buying a reusable bottle for your tap or filtered water.