Monday, January 8, 2007

2 Particles of Hydrogen - 1 Particle of Oxygen.

While shopping during the holiday season, I saw a Brita ad on the front of a shopping cart. You know what I mean? Those poster holders at the front of the cage of a shopping cart. I don't remember which store I was in, but that's not important anyway.

This ad read, "You deserve better water than you mop with."

This ad outraged me. I tried to find a copy of this ad to include in this blog, but I could not find it. Recently on the TV, I saw a Brita ad that showed a draining glass of tap water to which there was a sound of a toilet flushing."

These ads are part of the "You deserve better Campaign" and I have a bone to pick with this campaign.

First off, We're extremely lucky to live in a country where our drinking water is as safe as it is. We don't need to worry about hepatitis in the water. And although we've had the odd e-coli scare in Canada in the past few years, our drinking water is still very safe. to compare our water to a cesspool or to compare it to dirty mop water. Yes, we pipe the same water into the whole house, but is this really a good idea?

Lets take the city of Winnipeg for example. Winnipeggers use an average of 400LCD (Litres per capita per day)1 To put this into perspective, If you are a family of 4, your household uses, per day an average of 1,600 litres of water. If you equate that into cans of soda, it works out to 4507 cans of soda every day, or 400 4Litre milk jugs everyday. 70% of this water is used, in order of most to least consumption 1. toilet, 2. shower, and 3. laundry1.

It's no secret that we have a water shortage on a global scale. With pollution and climate change and other problems the world is running out of potable water2. So why do we waste water so much? Brita makes a very good point, but I see it differently. We shouldn't be pumping the same water into our toilets and laundry rooms that we pump into our drinking faucets. We should be recycling water. Water run off that doesn't come from our toilet; shower, sink run off, laundry, and rain run off could easily be reclaimed and pumped back into non-drinking water supplies. There are current systems that use sewage run-off, recycle it and use this water to irrigate crops3. Singapore uses this technology to supply some of their drinking water4.

So when I think of this Brita ad, I'm appalled. Simply because Brita is using the fear factor to sell a product. Furthermore, they're corporation is doing nothing to further public knowledge. They want you go say "Ewwwww, I drink the water in my toilet!?!" and run out and buy a Brita.

In reality, we should be saying, "Yes our water is so clean and plentiful that we waste it by running it through our toilets." Now think of the African kid that walks for miles each day to get contaminated drinking water each day.

Do we really have it so bad?

Should we look at re-claiming water?

At very least, shouldn't we get ourselves informed before we buy into these advertising scams.

Stop, and think about things before you run out and buy.

Sources
1.http://www.winnipeg.ca/waterandwaste/water/waterfront/howuse.htm
2.http://tinyurl.com/qohm9
3.http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Reclaimed_water
4.http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/NEWater

4 comments:

Anonymous said...

Agreed. I thought the Brita ads were scare mongering trash as well. But we are all sheep for these companies anyhow.

Anonymous said...

'outraged'...'appalled'...jeez, overreact much? It's just a company trying to sell a product. Only a child would not realize that all advertisers exaggerate for dramatic effect. And on the other extreme calling the SEVEN deaths in Walkerton "the odd e-coli scare" is quite an understatement, and a more 'appalling' thing to say than anything the Brita ad did.

GermanPickle said...

There's nothing wrong with a company trying to sell a product, however I find it unethical to sell your product by putting misplaced fear in the public. First off, a standard brita system doesn't protect against microorganisms.

As for the e-coli scare; Walkerton was more than a few years ago. I was referring to scares such as the one in my area where wells were "at risk" and a boil advisory was issued. But if you want to go to Walkerton, I'll take that bait. First off, your numbers are incorrect. Twenty One people died in Walkerton, not seven. Although seven died from e-coli directly, another 14 elderly died due to complications. Although you may view this as a tragedy, you neglect to take this into perspective that World Wide, in 2004 2.2 MILLION people died due to contaminated water world wide. there's an estimated 1.1 BILLION people out there with inadequate access to drinking water. Twenty one is a fairly insignificant to that number, furthermore stressing the point how safe our water supply really is.

By all means I mean no disrespect to the families of those who died in Walkerton, but when you look at the big picture, the number is insignificant.

Anonymous said...

'Fear' is quite an exaggeration -- it didn't show the woman gagging and falling to the floor dead. If anything they are just using 'ikky-ness' tactics. Walkerton was only in 2000 -- hardly ancient history. So MORE people died than I thought? OK, so your comment was even worse. All those other 'boil water' advisories have Walkerton in mind I'm sure. So do you boil your water when they suggest? Even during advisories I'm sure our water is better than in a 3rd world country, but do you take the risk because you simply consider it a 'scare'?

Here's the deal: the Brita filter commercial was in OUR country NOT some crappy backwater African nation like where some of those 2.2 million come from. The big picture worldwide does not matter -- we are only talking about THIS country. Hell you could find all sorts of ads offensive if you kept comparing what they are marketing to what is available in 3rd world countries.