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The Price of Water 2015-02-08 오전 1:11:00

Water today in Korea is not hard to come by. Of course every few years the country suffers from a national drought which leads to agricultural losses but even so, water which is used in our daily lives seems to be plentiful. However we find ourselves contemplating over whether to drink virtually free tap water or buy bottled water. In today's society it is not awkward, going to a convenient store to buy a bottle of water just because we don't feel comfortable in drinking tap water. At the store we are confounded by the variety of prices to pay for a bottle of water. Prices range from 500 won to well over 3,000 won.

What makes us open our wallets to such a necessity, even if it is so close to us everyday and even if it is a given. After reading the book 'Bottled and Sold' written by Peter H. Gleick, I came closer to understanding how the water industry works. The assumption that we have that tap water is less clean than bottled water is a highly marketed thought. Such marketing prices are included in the price of bottled water let alone the price of the bottle itself. We might as well say that we have been brainwashed by the water manufacturers after the author acknowledges the fact that the frequency of testing bottled water contaminations compared to tap water is much lower and the consequences less strict. Furthermore because water manufacturers are profit driven, the use of water reserves that are drained into the bottles are not dealt according to environment issues but according to the profit itself, which leads to the pollution of the environment.

Plastic bottles are also made from cheap plastics rather than naturally decomposable plastics to maximize profits. It does not seem reasonable to pay to pollute the environment let alone buy the risk of drinking contaminated water. As a common citizen how we should act to drink clean water under all these circumstances. We cannot promise to ourselves never to buy a bottle of water ever again. However, we can all start by using reusable bottles. Tumblers have become a must have item for those who enjoy coffee. Such tumblers and other plastic bottles can be used to bottle our own water. We can bottle our own tap water, but if we don't feel safe about it we could always boil herbs or make tea and bottle it afterwards. You might think that this is an over reaction caused by one plastic bottle. However, just as you might have thought that one bottle could not harm the ecosystem, changing one's own habit can change the direction that our Earth is heading to.

By Lynn Lee

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