Ethos Water: charity profiteering
This just gets funnier the more I look at it. Apparently Starbucks has their own brand of socially-responsible consumer stuff, including bottled water that helps photogenic kids in Africa and other approved impoverished places get clean water. Introducing: Ethos Water! Yea!
I couldn’t copy any text from their extremely slick Flash website, but it says that every time you buy a bottle of Ethos water, they’ll “commit grant money” towards a water project. By next year, they want to raise $10 million. Wow! That sounds like a lot, doesn’t it?
You wanna be socially responsible, don’t you? Don’t you care about clean water? Here’s a hint: bottled water is environmentally horrible. It takes something like 6 litres of water just to fill one bottle, and it’s thousands of times more energy-intensive than your cheap, clean, safe tap water. That carbon footprint contributes to global warming which is going to drown or starve those cute poor people.
But that Starbucks’ Ethos Water is crazy expensive. Aren’t they donating money to clean-water projects? You bet they are: five cents a bottle.
Come to think of it, maybe it isn’t so funny.
So try this – find a bottle you like, and refill it from the drinking fountain. Each time you refill the bottle, put a quarter in an box and at the end of a year, take the coins to the bank and send a check directly to a water-development charity. You’ll be a water-charity superhero, by comparison.
- I saw the bottle above in our lab, and just had to grab a pic for you. There’s more pictures for your enjoyment in my new FAIL Picasa collection.
- One number that popped up repeatedly as I researched this post was that US consumers snorked down eight billion gallons of bottled water last year. That sounded like too much to be true, and it works out to an improbable-sounding 42 billion bottles, but that’s only 121 18oz bottles per person per year, which is entirely possible. Or maybe it’s too late in the day for me to grapple with numbers like that, so feel free to check my math. Anyway, it’s a HELL of a lot of plastic.
- Effect Measure has an interesting discussion of the tangled, ineffective web of regulation of drinking water on airplanes Apparently it gets tossed back and forth among the EPA, the FAA, and the FDA, with the result that it fails coliform standards without any real consequence. But you can’t bring your own water on board, no sir. That might be a security risk.