Ethos water – wasted shipping vs. saved plastic?

Email from my wife (who is wonderful, and I say that with no suggestion from said wife, whatsoever):

Ethos bottle

So Ethos, the Starbucks’d brand of ethical water, has a new bottle! And a very fetching one, at that. I like Ethos water. I like the idea (I prefer the taste of Evian – in general I try my best to keep my plastic bottle purchasing down, though). I’ve bitched insensedly about Fiji water, of course.

So to this development, and my reaction was negative: this is an attractive shape, yes, but picture many such bottles in a box. See how there will be empty space between them? Shipping Ethos water bottles means shipping empty space: it’s a waste of nearly everything (I think I first came across this argument many years ago, with respect to Coca Cola bottles). This is unless – and I haven’t been able to find any information on this – Ethos is following the lead of Poland Spring (click the image for the link):

Poland Spring

Their new bottle uses 30% less plastic, recycled plastic, etc. It is also more easily crushed – all of which new attributes mean the new design (presumably for purposes of holding the bottle up at all). So Poland Spring gives us a trade-off: wasted space for the shipping – meaning, over the course of every bottle of Poland Spring, more trucks, more fuel, more boxes, etc. – but 30% less plastic in the bottles, less plastic/ink in the labels, you name it. Probably a trade-off that I’d accept.

For Ethos? A similar search yields nothing like the sort of eco-friendly-we information dissemination that I’d expect, had they taken a similar path:

Ethos bottles

So perhaps there isn’t that trade-off, with Ethos’ new bottle. Just the wasted space, fuel, etc. But their water business does help get clean water to developing/under-developed regions, so another trade-off still exists. Do you help keep down the environmental degredation that will wipe out the bottom first, or help get the water to them while contributing to the problem?

Alternatively, just go buy a Sigg water bottle, keep chemicals from leaking into the water you drink, and just donate the money you save by using tap-water to a water-providing charity of your choice.

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2 comments so far

  1. Malkdjkdj??DA on

    So your telling me that a water that can help millions of people drink healty, clean, and safe water that u have the privelage of drinking everyDAY is useless?
    Just because you have it easy doesn’t mean it’s not important.

  2. E on

    The last paragraph is the only sensible idea. Don’t buy bottled water. Besides, they drive the price up and only donate less than 3% to charity. Bah! Their nerve to claim they are interested in anything other than profit. The whole donate to charity thing companies do is always just a marketing and PR gimmick.


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