Is it just me, or does this seem silly to anyone else?
I was shopping for groceries last night when I noticed a product that was stocked in the aisle where I buy my drinks. The name leapt off the shelf and lodged into my brain immediately.
Fiji water. Surely it's just the name of the product and not actually water from Fiji, that would be ludicrous wouldn't it?
I picked up the bottle, turned it around, and sure enough this product is actually from the Fiji Islands. It says right on the bottle that this water comes from an artesian acquifer in the Yaqara Valley of Viti Levu.
It seems like it's a pretty popular product, there was evidence on the shelf that many cases and individual bottles had been purchased.
I live in Ontario, and here are some pretty neat facts about Ontario;
With a population of more than 12 million, Ontario is home to one in three Canadians.
Ontario is Canada’s second-largest province, covering more than one million square kilometres (415,000 square miles).
894,639 square kilometres (344,092 square miles).
177,398 square kilometres (68,490 square miles), including 250,000 lakes and about one-third of the world's fresh water.
Thats right, 12 million people in Ontario share a full one-third of the entire world's fresh water supply.
One would think that there should be absolutely no demand for water from Fiji in Ontario. It boggles the mind.
Beyond the fact that it's not very environmentally friendly to bottle water and ship it half way around the world, I am worried about the ethical implications and the effect that this might have on the people of Fiji. I discovered a few facts about Fiji (a place I really have never given too much thought to before), and something really stood out for me;
Fiji ranks 92 out of 177 countries on the United Nation’s human development index. With 49% of Fijians living in urban areas and only just over 50% of the rural population having access to water sources adequate for drinking.
Why are we buying this stuff? Half of the rural poulation of Fiji can't get enough clean drinking water, and we in Ontario are buying the water right out from under their feet when we have an over abundance of it here at home. God Almighty, the fact that this is on the shelves of our grocery stores really highlights how little respect we have for the environment as well as people who are less fortunate than ourselves.
This is one product I will never buy.