As a member of the #Blogher09 Green Team, I had the privilege of participating in a conference call with one of the Blogher Conference’s largest sponsors: PepsiCo. Why did the Green Team want to speak with Pepsi? Because in addition to peddling sodas and other flavored drinks, Pepsi has gotten into the bottled water business. Its brand is Aquafina. And we felt that Pepsi’s bringing Aquafina bottled water to the BlogHer conference would undermine the steps the Green Team had taken to encourage attendees to carry their own reusable bottles and to drink the local tap water.
In preparation for our meeting with Pepsi, the members of the Green Team as well as several members of the Green Moms Carnival wrote posts about the problems with bottled water. The conference is over, but bottled water will continue to be an ongoing issue, so I thought I would share with you the other posts these highly intelligent and articulate women came up with.
Green Team Members:
Anna Hackman from Green Talk asks, Are Recycled Plastic Bottle Products Really Eco Friendly? For years, she thought that recycling was the simple answer to the bottled beverages problem. After some research into the chemicals that could leach from the bottles into recycled products, she wonders if avoiding the bottles in the first place is the better answer.
Diane from Big Green Purse offers two posts. In Bottled Water Not as Safe as Tap Water, says GAO she reiterates the findings of the Government Accountability Office, that bottled water is actually less regulated than tap water. She then goes on to ask, “Can Pepsi Learn From 7-11?” She says, “Every day, millions of people make their own Slurpees at 7-11 with nary a complaint. I haven’t met a person yet who is not capable of putting a cup underneath the Slurpee faucet and filling up. Why not figure out a way for people to bottle their own Eco-Fina water in the same way?”
And if you’ll recall, my own post was Bottled Water Problem: It’s Not Just the Bottle! in which I ranted about water bottlers and how they’d like us to believe the only issue is the plastic bottle.
Other Green Moms weigh in:
Karen Hanrahan from Best of Mother Earth also wants us to Say NO to Bottled Water, reprinting (with permission) a post from Corporate Accountability International detailing the many issues with bottled water (from extraction to transport to bottling and waste) and asks you to take the Think Outside The Bottle Pledge.
Ruchi Shah from Just Means offers another reason Why Not To Drink Bottled Water. During a trip to Instanbul, Ruchi learned first hand how local water systems suffer when citizens abandon tap in favor of the bottle. Her conclusion? “It’s not just about the plastic water bottles, and the waste issue, though those issues are important. It’s about protecting our right to water.”
So, what was the result of that conference call? Pepsi listened and agreed to the letter of our request. They did not bring Aquafina to BlogHer. The Green Team was elated! Unfortunately, Pepsi did bring all kinds of sugary flavored waters instead, Sobe Life Water being the sponsor for one of the cocktail parties. *Sigh* Should I console myself that progress is made in baby steps? Or is this naive? Either way, we have our work cut out for us.
Water. It’s a huge issue and will be more so in the coming years as clean sources of drinking water become scarce. Do we really want to put the safety of this precious resource into the hands of a few private bottlers? Or is clean water a public trust and right for all people, rich or poor?