Beach Walk 495 – Bottled Water Myths

You know how I love to use information to inform my behavior and beliefs.

I recently read an article in The Week exposing a lot of facts about the bottled water industry. Some I was aware of – like some bottled water is just tap water – not to be confused with true spring water from underground sources. But a lot of it I was not aware of – like 90% of the Eastern Garbage Patch is plastic, largely plastic water bottles. So I am going to reduce, reuse and filter my own water as much as possible. It just makes good sense. Watch this episode to learn some other amazing facts about the carbon footprint of water bottles.

Hawaiian Word:
Opala: trash
Wai: water

Be in Touch!


  1. Rox, just a couple of comments. first regarding the prison piece, I think it is nice for Norway, but prison is supposed to be punishment, it is supposed to be a deterrent so that other people considering breaking the law don’t do it and I don’t think that it is right to provide a better state of living for people that break the law, then we have for people that struggle to survive in a manner where they don’t break the law. Until we are able to provide a means of living for the multitudes that are currently living on the streets I don’t think we should provide a means of living for criminals that would encourage others to commit crimes. JMO My other comment is on the Super Ferry, the outer islands are a beautiful place and completely different then Oahu. I guess I never thought about it until you mentioned the strife over the Super Ferry (not that they were different but why they have remained so). The outer islands remain different, slower, more peaceful and less populated (a good thing) because it is, somewhat an inconvenience, to go there. The super ferry will virtually remove those barriers and the outer islanders are right they would lose that thing that makes them what they are… Now that they have brought it up I can see how they see it as an “invasion” of their Oahu’s way of living on their way of living and potentially forcing them and their islands to be more like Oahu. It is easy not to see their side as we live on Oahu and see the super ferry for the benefits it provides (making it more accessible and easier to drag everything Oahu there). Progress isn’t always a good thing… We should do a better job of considering others…

  2. Hi Rox! as always, I really enjoy your site, & look forward to it everyday. Wow! great info on bottled water. I will definately start bringing my own water from home…I do have to agree with Mike about the Super Ferry. I think it would be a mistake to bring all that extra traffic to the smaller islands, especially Kauai. These are smaller islands, and just cannot handle that taffic. little by little, the peace & beauty that make them so special, is being stripped away. When it is gone, it is gone forever, there is no turning back time once these things are allowed to occur, so they must be stopped before they get started…It seems people on Oahu are taking it personally that ” kauai dosen’t want us”. but the small islands need to be protected more, all the people of Hawaii will benefit by helping to protect what makes the state unique. and that is the beauty, slower pace, the people…Hawaii is one very special place, but the seperate islands each have unique needs for their well being. by taking care of each other, Hawaii as a whole will be stronger.

  3. It just kills me when i have to buy water. I remember growing up as a kid bottled water was not invented yet. We just drank out of the tap. The one great thing about living in the mountains we have the best tap water around.

  4. …we drank tap water almost always while growing up, but enjoy the convenience of the Costco bottled water today. Guess I need to rethink using it for everyday – maybe keep a case around for emergencies…

    The piece about the swirling trash in the middle of the ocean is bizarre! Wish I was Bill Gates; I’d convert a tanker into an giant vacuum cleaning for the ocean and point it to the center of the swirl! :-)

  5. Susan and my dog Lexie says

    Another thought provoking piece today. Please allow me to ‘tap’ into your comments with another reason for rethinking the plastic water bottles:

    First, to quote a doctor (Dr. Dean Edell) from the internet:
    “I have a plastic water bottle that’s designed for camping, and if the water starts to taste like plastic, I throw it out and get a new one. If you can taste the plastic, the level of chemicals is too high.

    Bottles that are pre-filled with water are not meant to be reused and their plastic will break down even more rapidly than will sports or camping bottles that are made as reusable containers.”

    Secondly, it is sad to report that a lifelong friend of mine has been diagnosed recently with aggressive terminal liver cancer. “…too much plastic in her system,” is what one of her doctors commented. Always the sports person, she has used lots of plastic bottles, and drinking from such when doing transcontinental bike rides across Canada. Once the plastic is in the system, it stays and accumulates.

    On a lighter note, I love using a stainless steel lean thermos container for my tap water; it keeps ice intact much longer, too!

  6. Lots to think about here. As for the Ferry, yes, I think people are concerned about too much invasion. I understand that. I happen to think it is very difficult to stop though, and am wondering if a more aikido-like approach might be more successful – when a large force is coming at you, instead of trying to block in, roll with it.

    What if the locals on Kauai greeted people and provided a handout with information about to be a good neighbor? I believe most of us would be thrilled to have the info, and would respect people. What about offering guided audio tours, or ohana visits so we could actually make friends with each other? You know, friends treat each other with more respect than strangers.

    That way, we the visitors to the neighbor islands could help them protect and preserve their way of life more intentionally. And like I said, I have no answers, just sadness about the situation.

    I’d doing pretty well with my “water changes” and am kind of amazed how long I was ignoring the obvious on that situation.

  7. Great job for stopping to buy bottled water, Rox. I’ve been using a Nalgene bottle for a while now and I have no desire to look back.

    I did not know about the garbage current. I wonder why no one ever talks about it. As a nation, We need to clean that up.

  8. I think that garbage thing is just “out of sight, out of mind.” It is huge – the size of Texas! I often think in the winter – when the storms stir it up and all “kine crazy s***” shows up on the beach here, that I will take that on for a retirement project.

  9. Hello Rox,
    found a bit of what I was looking for in regards to the water shortage in Fiji – what an interesting (for us) and embarrassing (for them):

    as well as an NPR 30 minute broadcast about bottled water:

    * * *
    Are the comments at the bottom of each walk linked to that episode? I think the bottle water comments should be here and comments about opposites on the Yin-Yang video pages, no? Might be my melancholy personality trait kicking in. . . grin. Just trying to clarify for myself.

    Born in Valley Isle,
    Home now, North Carolina;
    Aloha y’all. . .

    Earl J.

  10. Hello Rox,
    I guess the comments here are moderated.
    I just posted a response, and it has not appeared automagically just yet. . .

    Born on Valley Isle,
    Home now, North Carolina;
    Aloha y’all. . .

    Earl J.

  11. Well, well. . .
    there is my second comment, but the first didn’t show up. . . I wonder if the links in the text caused a blip .

    Let’s try again:
    NPR broadcast:

    Water shortage in Fiji:
    interesting for us, embarrassing for them. . .

    Born on Valley Isle,
    Home now, North Carolina;
    Aloha y’all. . .

    Earl J.

  12. Hello again,
    an apology to begin:
    for posting so many comments in such quick succession, please forgive.
    for using evidence from so long ago, please forgive.
    Astute readers may notice that the Pacific Magazine article about the water shortage in Fiji was in their March issue from 2003! Yikes! I will continue to look for an update on the situation. Fiji water does boast of helping improve the local infrastructure on the coattails of their success. Nothing significant there, success should benefit the local economy; it’s the right thing to strive for by any outside investor.

    Okay – I’m leaving now, for real. . . no, honest. . . no more comments today (on this topic anyhow – grin) . . .

    Aloha y’all. . . Earl J.

  13. @Earl – hi! comments are not moderated however we do have an “automagic” spam filter – Akismet. It does a darn goo djob most days but now and then things get filed in the wrong pile (Just as JFSD!)

    I’ve retrieved your comments, and hopefully they will post immediately now. Mahalo nui for the Fiji links – and I agree about companies who gain success from a communities resources giving back some of that success.


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