On the Importance of Water from Fiji
While one could just stop by the local grocery and pick up a 24-pack of bottled tap water for about 30 cents a bottle, why not instead shoot for the moon and drink water from Fiji instead? Yes, you could even just run some water into a cup from the tap and drink that. Maybe put some ice in there if it's not cold enough and that would do the trick. But then it wouldn't be water that came from an island nation on the other side of the planet.
In actuality, it is bottled at the source of an artesian aquifer in the Yaqara Valley of Viti Levu. This would be the largest of the 300 or so islands of Fiji. The water is captured here, bottled here, and shrink-wrapped in this location. Then it's placed on ships and sent across the oceans to your local grocery store. From Viti Levu to my location in Mississippi, that's around 7,500 miles or so that the water must travel so that I can enjoy it.
If they were just sending a 24-pack of water just to me or to you, the cost of accomplishing this feat would be extraordinary, and thank goodness it doesn't happen. However, a lot of people do have a problem with ignoring perfectly good water here at home and instead importing this water from 7,000+ miles away.
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Even the packaged water that you can buy causes people to step back. "That's just repackaged tap water", they say. And 9 times out of 10, that's probably true. But does it matter in the end? Probably not, because as long as the water is clean, drinking this packaged tap water is better than most of the world gets on a daily basis. That goes for just plain old tap water also, in case you are wondering.
So maybe the taste of the Fiji based water is better or maybe just different enough to matter. Then all you are left with is the movement of the water over distances that could potentially be causing harm to the environment due to distribute. The oil and gas used for the trucks, ships, and planes. The chemicals and oils used to generate the plastic wrap and bottles could also be damaging.
But are those any more damaging than shipping cars and car parts from Asia to America where we further muck up the environment with their CO2 emissions? Probably not although not of these activities are helping.
I'm also considering the fact that I have one McDonald's cup and one Wendy's cup sitting on my desk right now contributing negatively to the environment. So I doubt I can cast any stones on what Fiji may or may not be doing with their water supply.
It's an easy thing to do, to point at one thing and say "There's the problem. Stop that and the solution will be found." But you lose the ability to see everything that might be contributing positively or negatively when pointing fingers at one supposed culprit.