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Bottled and Sold: The Story Behind Our Obsession With Bottled Water by [Gleick, Peter H.]
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Bottled and Sold: The Story Behind Our Obsession With Bottled Water Kindle Edition

4.3 out of 5 stars 26 customer reviews

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Kindle, June 20, 2011

Length: 229 pages Word Wise: Enabled Enhanced Typesetting: Enabled
Page Flip: Enabled

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Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

Tap water is safe almost everywhere in the U.S. So why does someone buy a bottle of water every second of every day? And where do the thousands of plastic bottles discarded daily end up? Gleick, recipient of a MacArthur fellowship and president of the Pacific Institute for Studies in Development, Environment, and Security, argues passionately for a new era in water management. [P]ublic access to drinking water would be easy, and selling bottled water... difficult, he writes, and government regulatory agencies should protect water from contamination and the public from misleading marketing and blatant hucksterism. Bottled water companies should be forced to include the true environmental costs of the production and disposal of plastic bottles in the price of bottled water, leaving it as an expensive option that most people will avoid With the gusto of a born raconteur and the passion of a believer, Gleick makes a sound case for improving the developing world's access to and the developed world's attitude toward safe, piped drinking water purified by the natural hydrologic cycle. (June)
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

From Booklist

At what point, Gleick wonders, did water go from being something readily and freely available at any faucet in the land to a designer commodity marketed through multi-million-dollar ad budgets? Once found within steps of nearly every public building, park, and playground, how did water fountains suddenly become as rare as working pay phones? And with plastic bottles containing vitamin enhanced, oxygen enriched, or carbonated spring water carted around like so many new appendages, why are shoppers so enthusiastically embracing a practice that is both ecologically wasteful and economically reckless? Along with a discerning consumer's demand for accountability, freshwater expert Gleick trains his scientifically objective eye on the bottled water phenomenon to debunk dubious health claims, refute questionable purity standards, and expose environmental hazards associated with the unprecedented mania to purchase what used to be a free, pure, and plentiful natural resource. As landfills overflow with plastic bottles and aquifers drain, Gleick offers a sobering yet sensible look at society's ill-considered thirst for bottled water. --Carol Haggas

Product Details

  • File Size: 1109 KB
  • Print Length: 229 pages
  • Page Numbers Source ISBN: 1597265284
  • Publication Date: June 20, 2011
  • Sold by: Amazon Digital Services LLC
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B005712OLU
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Word Wise: Enabled
  • Lending: Not Enabled
  • Enhanced Typesetting: Enabled
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #783,200 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
This is a rare book: its both a pleasure to read and very revealing. From scores of interesting stories and well-researched evidence, an expose emerges -- what seems to be pure and easy (grabbing that bottle) has far-reaching impacts -- not to mention health risks!

How did bottled water become so popular? What are the impacts on the environment? What's in the bottle? And, most importantly, what are the alternatives? The author answers these questions in a fast-paced and engaging style. The chapter on the "modern medicine show" is hilarious --"positive energy water" and "oxygen water" are some examples he discusses.

All in all, the author makes a passionate and well-supported case for improving our tap water, rather than hitting the bottle for every sip. And in doing so, he uncovers some of the amazing waste and deception tied up with our current approach. The solutions he presents and the vision he outlines for a "soft path" left me with some hope for the future -- and a thirst for something from the tap.
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Format: Hardcover
When I go running in these hot summer afternoons, I have to make sure to drink plenty of water beforehand. It used to be that I could get a drink of water at a halfway point on at least one of my usual routes, but the public water fountain there stopped flowing a few years ago, and though the structure remains, no one seems motivated to restore the flow of water that is the reason it is there. It's probably just low on the priorities, I used to think, and when they get around to it, I, and the rest of the public who drink water, will have a fountain again. That there may be something more to the delay in repair of my drinking fountain, something tinged with malevolent greed, would be hard to prove, but that is also a possibility, shown to me in the book _Bottled & Sold: The Story Behind Our Obsession with Bottled Water_ (Island Press) by Peter Gleick. The author is scientist who has published books and papers about the world's water, where we get it, and how we use it. Like me, he drinks tap water (it's nice to have experts agree with you), and uses water fountains when they are available. You should, too, and for a bunch of reasons he details that are sometimes obvious and sometimes surprising.

Water fountains, and not just mine, are disappearing. Part of the reason bottled water is so ubiquitous while public drinking fountains are disappearing is that that's just what the bottled water manufacturers want. Gleick demonstrates that they have played upon our fear of germs and contaminants. "Tap water is poison!" says one ad from a bottled water company. The bottled water industry has other advertising tactics to bring us around, of course. Particular waters are depicted as likely to make us skinnier or sexier. "A good advertiser can sell us something we don't want or need," advises Gleick.
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Format: Hardcover
Jeremy Glick's book brings up a whole new world: bottled war.It's fascinating to read about the rise of bottled water and how it became such an influential industry. Bottled water isn't cheap, and it's environmental costs are far worse. Tap water in modernized countries is seldom worse than the bottle variety. In fact, tap water is tested more and has to meet certain standards. Conversely, there are few--if any--standards that bottled water must meet. This difference is so significant that what appears to be virgin spring water, has been found to be filtered tap water.

"Bottled and Sold" also makes controversies over bottled water plants easier to understand. My main criticism is that Gleick, at times, rails against corporations to the point of being tiresome. He also compares bottled water to 19th century snake oil salesman. While I generally agree with the portrait Gleick paints of bottled water, the snake-oil salesman analogy is a bit over the top. Despite these criticisms Gleick overall does a good job of highlighting the problems with bottled water. He also raises an excellent point about bottled water being a form of privatization and the implications of such a policy.
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Format: Hardcover
While traveling abroad I often drink bottled water, usually due to the fact that the water from the tap tastes like liquid chlorine or like swamp water. Living in a country with one of the best water quality worldwide you should think I don't drink bottled water at all back home. I rarely do and now, in fact, I'm glad about it.
With his book Bottled And Sold: The Story Behind Our Obsession With Bottled Water Peter H. Gleick gives a fascinating insight into the whole industry of bottled water production and its implications on frighteningly many aspects of our lives. Apart from the obvious, the impact on the environment, it definitely makes you think twice whether you shouldn't just stick to good old tap water when you learn that more stringent quality tests are performed on it than on bottled water.
This is a very comprehensibly written must-read book on the topic, highlighting not only environmental, but even more so, safety, health, and ethical concerns when it comes to the bottled water industry. While the main focus is on the US, the author also dips into and compares the industry with other regions, like Europe or Australia. Trust me, after reading this book you're going to seriously reconsider your drinking habits when it comes to water.
In short: A well written and highly informative book on the hazards of bottled water for both the environment and those who drink it!

Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free from the publisher through the book review program. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission's 16 CFR, Part 255 : "Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising."
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