The New York Times
Bottlemania: How Water Went on Sale and Why We Bought Itby Elizabeth Royte
Since humans first settled in communities, it's been the most basic question: Is the water safe to drink? Today, bottled water is dependable (mostly), but it has a huge environmental impact. Tap water is cheap, and throughout most of the developed world perfectly healthy to drink. But what about the tens of millions of Americans who don't have reliably safe tap… See more details below
Since humans first settled in communities, it's been the most basic question: Is the water safe to drink? Today, bottled water is dependable (mostly), but it has a huge environmental impact. Tap water is cheap, and throughout most of the developed world perfectly healthy to drink. But what about the tens of millions of Americans who don't have reliably safe tap water? What's the best way to provide that water for ourselves and our families-without harming the environment or communities near those coveted, sparkling springs?
In Bottlemania, Elizabeth Royte pursues the answers-from a bottled-water tasting in Manhattan to a "toilet-to-tap" plant in Singapore, from a small town in Maine that's battling Poland Spring to the frontiers of the global water shortage. Eye-opening and engaging, this is the book you must read to understand the future of our most precious natural resource.
The New York Times
Royte (Garbage Land) plunges into America's mighty thirst for bottled water in an investigation of "one of the greatest marketing coups of the twentieth and twenty-first centuries." As tap water has become cleaner and better-tasting, the bottled water industry has exploded into a $60 billion business; consumers guzzle more high-priced designer water than milk or beer and spend billions on brands such as Pepsi's Aquafina and Coke's Dasani that are essentially processed municipal water. It's an unparalleled-and almost exclusively American-"social phenomenon." With journalistic zeal, Royte chronicles the questionable practices of Nestle-owned Poland Springs and documents the environmental impact of discarded plastic bottles, the carbon footprint of water shipped long distances and health concerns around the leaching of plastic compounds from bottles. Not all tap water is perfectly pure, writes Royte, still, 92% of the nation's 53,000 local water systems meet or exceed federal safety standards and "it is the devil we know," at least as good and often better than bottled water. This portrait of the science, commerce and politics of potable water is an entertaining and eye-opening narrative. (June)Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.
Water. It's the essence of life, the main component of our bodies and our planet. It's free and seemingly accessible-yet millions of Americans pay for bottles of it every day. Environmental author Royte (Garbage Land; The Tapir's Morning Bath) discusses the historical, political, environmental, moral, and even culinary aspects of water. In a journalistic and often humorous manner, she recounts her travels to natural springs and the towns torn apart by their presence and her meetings with water executives and hydrogeologists while discussing the modern implications of the bottle vs. the tap. The story that emerges is an interesting one-there are enough backroom deals to make the plot seem fitting of the film Michael Clayton. Readers will be surprised at the many facets of the story of bottled water, and the blend of narrative with historical fact keeps the book compelling and dynamic. For those inspired to find out more about their water, Royte includes an appendix of Internet resources and a selected bibliography for further reading. Recommended for all public libraries and academic libraries with environmental science programs.
With a seamless blend of first-person observation, detailed anecdotes, and hard research, Royte explores the history and ramifications of those ubiquitous plastic and glass bottles. She addresses the economic, ecological, and cultural weight of water as she visits massive New York aqueducts, struggling rural villages in Maine, and high-tech treatment plants in Missouri. Her findings reflect the distressing trend of our heavy footprint on the environment and its resources. From petroleum-laden bottles and gas-guzzling shipping containers to serious flora and fauna shifts in small-town ponds, the "purity" of bottled water may be murkier than you might have imagined. This book will intrigue a younger generation of readers who might ask, "Wait, major corporations didn't always own water?"-Shannon Peterson, Kitsap Regional Library, WA
- Bloomsbury USA
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- 5.40(w) x 8.20(h) x 0.80(d)
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