Bottled Water, pt 2

In follow up to my previous post about bottled water, I think it’s clear from the comments that there is indeed a market for bottled water, albeit one that’s less extensive than the one we have currently. My neighborhood grocery store, QFC, commits half a grocery aisle to bottled water, most of them non-descript and easily interchangable with one another. That’s a lot of space for what is essentially the same product. Consider how odd it would be if your grocery store committed half an aisle to say…salt.

Purely by chance, I found myself walking around Seattle last evening, and ended up at a Starbucks. Right there on their menu is a bottled water called Ethos Water. There approach to bottled water is a bit different from what I’ve seen elsewhere. From their website:

Founded in 2002, Ethosâ„¢ Water takes a unique, socially responsible business approach–it is the bottled water that helps children around the world get clean water. It’s a powerfully simple concept…Water for Water.

Every time you purchase a bottle of water we will contribute 5 cents toward our target goal of $10 million over 5 years. By transforming every purchase into an opportunity, we can directly engage a growing community to help solve the world water crisis.

Granted, this approach sounds a bit tinged with liberal guilt, but it does sound as if their heart is in the right place, and at the very least acknowledges the issues brought forth by Tom Standage’s article in the NY Times.


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