Selling the Sizzle: Bottled Water

I didn’t write this benignly-snarky bit on bottled water, but found it over at MacInstruct of all places (I’m still mac-cited!)

The whole marketing strategy of bottled water is to “sell the sizzle, not the steak.” So if you really have found a pure spring in Minnesota or a melting glacier in Alaska, you will romance the life out of it, transporting the customer to the deep and silent woods where, centuries ago, the Ojibwa first discovered this bubbling treasure, or to the glacier where Inuits once greeted the sunrise and celebrated the solstice.

You are just a poor schlub of a freshman overburdened with acne and term papers and enduring the dorm mate from hell, but for a brief moment (and for only a buck twenty-nine) you too can partake of this Eden! On the other hand, if the huckster hasn’t found that spring or that glacier, he can just bottle the tap water on Staten Island or somewhere. In which case, he goes not the pastoral route but the scientific route.

The water may be “from a municipal source,” but every drop is forced through a state of the art Hydrostatic Osmotic PX571tc Titanium-lined Filtrion, a machine–no, a “system”–that the crew of the Starship Enterprise would envy.

It’s your choice, but may I suggest that you buy one bottle and then simply refill it from the tap? That bottle is, after all, indestructible, so you can have your cachet and drink it, too.

We re-use the occasional pop bottle we purchase, but this, too, needs to come to an end. We have hundreds of unused pint canning jars that would hold our spring water quite nicely. And the old stainless steel backpacking water bottle I’ve had for decades even fits the cup-holders in our vehicles. Duh! Plastic? I think not.

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Fred First holds masters degrees in Vertebrate Zoology and physical therapy, and has been a biology teacher and physical therapist by profession. He moved to southwest Virginia in 1975 and to Floyd County in 1997. He maintains a daily photo-blog, broadcasts essays on the Roanoke NPR station, and contributes regular columns for the Floyd Press and Roanoke's Star Sentinel. His two non-fiction books, Slow Road Home and his recent What We Hold in Our Hands, celebrate the riches that we possess in our families and communities, our natural bounty, social capital and Appalachian cultures old and new. He has served on the Jacksonville Center Board of Directors and is newly active in the Sustain Floyd organization. He lives in northeastern Floyd County on the headwaters of the Roanoke River.

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