Annie Leonard's "Story of Bottled Water" Should Make Fiji Nervous

Annie Leonard, the mastermind behind The Story of Stuff and The Story of Cap and Trade, has released the latest in her series of animations about environmental issues, just in time for World Water Day. The Story of Bottled Water breaks down the problems with our beloved water in signature Annie Leonard form, with juicy tidbits like: one third of bottled water comes from the tap! And enough oil and energy to fuel a million cars is used to make bottled water in the U.S. each year! Okay, so tap water enthusiasts might already know most of what Leonard discusses in the video, but it's worth it to gather your bottled water-loving friends around the computer for 8 minutes to teach them in an easily digestible animation just why their Fiji and Dasani is so unnecessary.

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16 Comments

  • juan buscarini

    congratulation annie!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
    exelente articulo!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!felicitaciones!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
    si existe alguna organizacion que trabaje en este tema yo puedo trabajar gratis desde buenos aires,argentina!!!
    atte juan

  • Michael Medlock

    Good video for getting people to think about the topic. Sure you can argue with some of the information given, but really there is absolutely no need to drink bottled water when tap water is generally just as good.

  • Michael Brown

    Regardless of the validity of some of the "facts" spouted in this piece, I am glad to see an effort being made to wean the general public back off of the percieved need for bottled water.

    I always did (and still do) think that the masses who bought into the bottled water hype were a bunch of gullible knuckleheads for actually paying money for what is essentially free. Walking around with a bottle tethered to them like a cell phone. As if their lives hung in a constant state of imminent danger from dehidration if they didn't have a squigg every 12 1/2 minutes. I mean, what did people do before water was put in bottles? Oh, I know...They survived just fine.

    Suckas

  • Andy Askren

    cute video, but like any big topic that you squish into 8-min, many of the "facts" aren't quite factual. comes off so one-sided that its hard to take as a real contribution to a solution or, at the very least, a productive discussion.

    "scaring, misleading, seducing, all strategies of core parts of manufacturing demand?" really? youre bringing sand to the beach, to the people who are already flatly against bottled water, no matter what the bigger picture of it really is.

    not impressed.

  • Maggie Weinberg

    Amen! A great follow up to Charles Fishman's "Message in a Bottle" (Fast Company, July 2007) which changed my views on drinking bottled water way back then. BTW, here at the Fast Company offices drinking bottled water is already right up there with smoking while pregnant :)

  • Lee Powers

    @Jack Badlander:

    I've had similar experiences with poor-tasting tap water (sometimes, something is just off with the taste). Instead of spending a small fortune on bottled water, I got a good water filter and a reusable water bottle.

    In regards to the video narrator/presenter being smug ... were we even watching the same video??? Certainly, she was passionate about the subject material, but never condescending or disdainful.

  • Lee Powers

    @Tom Lauria:

    First, The example of the smoking pregnant woman was *not* to contrast the health risks of smoking with those of consuming bottled water. Instead, it was looking forward to a day when consumption of such a wasteful product is seen as socially unacceptable as harming an unborn child.

    Second, it is misleading to argue that plastics manufacturing is somehow more responsible or benign because it uses petroleum by-products instead of raw crude. Every plastic bottle uses a tiny fraction of a barrel of oil, but when expanded to a large scale these tiny pieces add up. Bottom line: using fewer plastic bottles will result in a reduced demand for oil.

    Finally, I can see from your post history that you work in the bottled water industry. I have a piece of advice for you: Consumer concerns over the environmental impact of consumer products is only going to grow. You can treat this concern as an attack on your industry or embrace the opportunities it presents to create an updated, greener, more environmentally friendly production process. This would definitely increase my enthusiasm for and enjoyment of bottled water, and I suspect for many more.

  • Lee Powers

    Great video - it's really got me thinking about my own consumption habits. Bottled water is a microcosm of our disposable consumer culture - a seemingly harmless convenience that carries several hidden costs.

  • Jack Badlander

    If only they could bottle smug we could maybe do with out Annie Leonard. She should have a taste of the porpoise hork that comes out of my tap and then tell me not to drink bottled water.

  • Tom Lauria

    Sorry to See Fast Company buying into unvarnished agit-prop. Does your writing staff really think drinking bottled water is equivient the a pregnant woman smoking? Leonard's video is larded with misleading information, such as the oil issue. All plastic is made from oil by-products that are LEFTOVER after gasoline production. It is underhanded to pretend virgin barrels of oil are used. There's isn't enough here to list all the "mistakes" (to be kind) found in "The Story of Bottled Water."

  • Tom Lauria

    Sorry to See Fast Company buying into unvarnished agit-prop. Does your writing staff really think drinking bottled water is equivient the a pregnant woman smoking? Leonard's video is larded with misleading information, such as the oil issue. All plastic is made from oil by-products that are LEFTOVER after gasoline production. It is underhanded to pretend virgin barrels of oil are used. There's isn't enough here to list all the "mistakes" (to be kind) found in "The Story of Bottled Water."

  • Tom Lauria

    Sorry to See Fast Company buying into unvarnished agit-prop. Does your writing staff really think drinking bottled water is equivient the a pregnant woman smoking? Leonard's video is larded with misleading information, such as the oil issue. All plastic is made from oil by-products that are LEFTOVER after gasoline production. It is underhanded to pretend virgin barrels of oil are used. There's isn't enough here to list all the "mistakes" (to be kind) found in "The Story of Bottled Water."