Quinte, On. real estate agent: Am I the Only One Who Thinks This is Nuts??

Am I the Only One Who Thinks This is Nuts??

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;

 

Population:
With a population of more than 12 million, Ontario is home to one in three Canadians.

Size:
Ontario is Canada’s second-largest province, covering more than one million square kilometres (415,000 square miles).

Land:
894,639 square kilometres (344,092 square miles).

 

Water:
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.

 

Comment balloon 38 commentsMalcolm Johnston • June 28 2012 08:49AM

Comments

Malcolm~ The funny thing is,,, I've bought that water!!! Go figure...

Posted by Jon Kolsky, Licensed California Real Estate Broker (Kolsky Realty & Management) about 6 years ago

Try Glacier Clear Water.  It comes from a source in Greeneville, Tennessee - known for water so full of lime that it smells like rotten eggs.

Posted by John Dotson, The experience to get you to the other side! (Preferred Properties of Highlands, Inc. - Highlands, NC) about 6 years ago

Jon, so have millions of other people across North America.

No thanks John, the smell of rotten eggs doesn't appeal to me.

Posted by Malcolm Johnston, Trenton Real Estate (Century 21 Lanthorn Real Estate LTD., Trenton, Ontario) about 6 years ago

In the 1950's, as a kid, I lugged water to construction workers. When my mother found out that they gave me money she was appalled. "Dougie [she called me that] water is free. Who knew we'd be buying bottled water.

Posted by Doug Dawes, Your Personal Realtor® (Keller Williams Realty - Topsfield, MA) about 6 years ago

Malcolm -  I have been to Fiji and I did drink bottled water but it wasn't Fiji water . . .  it was Perrier which I did drink back in the day!   I have not purchased bottled water since Perrier had to recall all of their bottles in 1990 due to benzene contamination

I think bottled water in Canada is the biggest farce people have ever fallen for!  Great post!!!

Posted by Susan Emo, Kingston and the 1000 Islands Area (Sotheby's International Realty Canada - Brokerage) about 6 years ago

Malcolm- It doesn't make much sense does it.  We do filter our water in Delray Beach (as much as I love my town, it is Not because of the drinking water.) but I do marvel when I see the different varieties of water that are on our shelves.  Your post is one that makes you stop and think about what we're doing. 

Posted by Kathy Streib, Home Stager - Palm Beach County,FL -561-914-6224 (Room Service Home Staging) about 6 years ago

Malcom, I would love to give a shake to people who buy this.  How wasteful for them, and how damaging to our planet...  We have some of the best water on earth right here and they pay $3.99 or more for water from Fiji?  ... because it is in a "nice" bottle?  ... to impress others? ... to make them feel important?

... come on, don't give in the raging consumerism everywhere!

Posted by Chris Smith, South Simcoe, Caledon, King, Orangeville Real Esta (Re/Max Chay Realty Inc., Brokerage) about 6 years ago

Malcolm - I hear that when you drink Fiji water you have an incredibly urge to wear a grass skirt and crack coconuts...

But seriously, I couldn't agree with you more.  We have so much access to wonderful drinking water here, thanks to copious amounts of rain, run off from mountains, and many rivers.  To purchase a bottle of water is not only wasteful to the environment, it's positively absurd.  As consumers, we really need to write to our local grocery stores and demand removal of such harmful products.

Posted by Sally Weatherley, Vancouver Home Staging, Home Stager Vancouver, B.C (EXIT STAGE RIGHT) about 6 years ago

Safeway's BelAir water comes directly from a rusty pipe near Lone Pine, CA....their trucks come and fill it directly from a pipe coming out of the ground

Posted by Wallace S. Gibson, CPM, LandlordWhisperer (Gibson Management Group, Ltd.) about 6 years ago

Howdy and morning Malcolm

 Malcolm, I came by your outstaning blog post by way of our friend Chris's Re-Blog post of it. I always get a hoot out of everytime I see folks here buying bottle water. I don't know about our parts of the World or there in Canada. But here in the US it has been proven that most bottle water that is sold here, is not any better than the water that comes out of the tap at folks homes. Besides that fact, folks are just helping money hungry big wigs just to be able to laugh at them on their way to the Bank, plus folks that buy bottle water are helping to put even more plastic into landfills that does not go away.

Have a good one

Dale in New Hampshire

Posted by Dale Baker, New Hampshire Relocation Real Estate Information (Baker Energy Audits and Commercial Properties Inspections) about 6 years ago

You are so right Malcolm this is LUDICROUS!!! For so many reasons as you stated! Please stop the stupid people!

Posted by Al & Peggy Cunningham, Brokers, Our Family Wants To Help Your Family! (RE/MAX West Realty Inc., Brokerage) about 6 years ago

I have had that water before.. and as bottled water goes, it really is the best I have had.. I had no idea about the statistics of that area though.. I don't buy bottled water.. ( I was given some before... i did not buy it).. I like my water from my Brita just fine!

Posted by Sheila Newton Team Anderson & Greenville SC, Selling the Upstate since 1989 (Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices - C. Dan Joyner) about 6 years ago

I only buy water when I am driving and need some refreshment.  This bottled water phenomena is upsurd to me.  When a bottle of water becomes a status symbol we need better symbols for our society, don't you think.  Mark me down as NO on Fiji water

Posted by Larry Lawfer, "I listen for a living." It's all about you. (YourStories Realty Group) about 6 years ago

Thanks for the Ah-ha moment!
Featured you in my Weekly Post!

Posted by Kathy Streib, Home Stager - Palm Beach County,FL -561-914-6224 (Room Service Home Staging) about 6 years ago

OK I'm busted I buy Poland Spring and I don't even know if it comes from Poland.  I hope not but then where is Poland Spring from?  I'm going to check, if it's from New Jersey I'm going to be very unhappy.

Posted by Liz Wallace, Broker C21 Sherlock Homes, Rockville Centre, LI, N (Century 21 Sherlock Homes) about 6 years ago

Its kind of  foolishwhen we stop and think of some of the items we purchase.

Posted by Carolyn Crispin, Crispin Team Sells Branson Homes Land & Commercial (Keller Williams Tri-Lakes) about 6 years ago

Good morning Malcolm.  I remember when the whole bottled water thing started, my immediate reaction was.......who would ever pay for water when they can just go to the sink and turn the faucet?  Boy, was I ever wrong!  

Posted by Linda Blumenthal, NYS Licenced Real Estate Salesperson, CBR (Hampton Crossing - Licensed Real Estate Salesperson - 631-466-4087) about 6 years ago

Hi Malcolm,

Your post reminds me of a comment I heard a long time ago.

"The Baby Boomers are so used to being marketed to. I'll bet you could even sell them water if your marketed it effectively"

That statement seemed preporsterous at one time. Not any more!

Phil

Posted by Phil Leng, Phil Leng - Retired (Retired) about 6 years ago

ha ha, that is really crazy, but you know what, I've bought it too!!!  I'm going to stick to the home grown stuff for now on.  Thanks for the eye opener.

Posted by Cindy Edwards, CRS, GRI, PMN - Northeast Tennessee - 423-677-6677 (RE/MAX Checkmate) about 6 years ago

Good morning Malcolm,

I came over from Kathy's Ah-ha moment post this morning and so glad I did! You are exactly right..we just buy we don't think and certainly we are not respecting our environment or the people less fortunate than ourselves. Truly an Ah - ha moment!

Posted by Dorie Dillard, Serving Buyers & Sellers in NW Austin Real Estate (Coldwell Banker United Realtors® ~ 512.346.1799) about 6 years ago

Malcolm... what may surprise you even more would be if you knew that in some of the "better" grocery stores in FiJi... they sell a brand of bottled water named "Trenton."  Of course, it is imported from Trenton, Ontario, CA... and costs $4.99.

AND... by the way... Happy Canada Day to You !

Posted by Karen Anne Stone, Fort Worth Real Estate (New Home Hunters of Fort Worth and Tarrant County) about 6 years ago

Today’s description of Capitalism in Action:

Bottled water shipped from Fiji by a company which plans to make a profit by exporting an asset to which one half of the countries inhabitants do not have access.

Posted by John Juarez, ePRO, SRES, GRI, PMN (The Medford Real Estate Team) about 6 years ago

Malcolm, I rarely buy bottled water. It makes my head hurt to think about how many resources we're using up to make the plastic bottles that just get piled into a land fill or the oceans.

Posted by Eric Michael, Metro Detroit Real Estate Professional 734.564.1519 (Remerica Integrity, Realtors®, Northville, MI) about 6 years ago

I agree with you, I had no idea!  I am was a fan of Fiji water...tastes superior to any other bottled water I've tried.  And yes, I do believe I could tell the difference.  I don't buy it because it's too expensive, but I have said more than once that if I won the lottery, I would buy Fiji water.  That said....you make a very good point and out of respect for the Fiji people I will not buy the product.  I use filtered water from my refrigerator most of the time, only using  bottled  for "to-go" purposes.

I wonder....kind of playing devil's advocate....what percentage of Fiji people are employed by this company and how much they rely on this business???

Posted by Sharon Tara, New Hampshire Home Stager (Sharon Tara Transformations) about 6 years ago

Haha Doug, I wonder what your mom would make of bottled water today?

Susan, I also think its a farce.

Kathy, it made me look up some facts about Fiji.

Chris, this type of consumerism seems very counter productive.

Sally, it just seems odd to me that there's even a demand for this product.

Wallace, it's the rust that makes it taste so good.

Dale, it's the same here, bottled water hasn't proven to be any better than tap water.

Al and Peggy, people should just be a little more thoughtful, that all.

Sheila, the Brita filter does make for tasty water.

Larry, yes, I will also buy the occasional bottle of water from a gas station on a hot day, but really only when I need to. It's more expensive than gas.

Thanks Kathy, now I know why there's so many comments on my blog.

Liz, maybe you have been drinking Jersey water for a long time now.

Carolyn, yes, we do make some silly choices.

Linda, yes, you sure were wrong, and so was I and millions of others.

Posted by Malcolm Johnston, Trenton Real Estate (Century 21 Lanthorn Real Estate LTD., Trenton, Ontario) about 6 years ago

Malcolm:  Question:  Are you writing your above responses to our comments somewhere else, and dragging and dropping them into the Active Rain comment box here, and then hitting "Submit?"

The reason I am asking... is that what I just received from you, or Active Rain... is this... and I am just wondering if I am doing something wrong, of if my Gmail is messed up ?

---------------------

<p>Haha Doug, I wonder what your mom would make of bottled water today?</p> <p>Susan, I also think its a farce.</p> <p>Kathy, it made me look up some facts about Fiji.</p> <p>Chris, this type of consumerism seems very counter productive.</p> <p>Sally, it just seems odd to me that there's even a demand for this product.</p> <p>Wallace, it's the rust that makes it taste so good.</p> <p>Dale, it's the same here, bottled water hasn't proven to be any better than tap water.</p> <p>Al and Peggy, people should just be a little more thoughtful, that all.</p> <p>Sheila, the Brita filter does make for tasty water.</p> <p>Larry, yes, I will also buy the occasional bottle of water from a gas station on a hot day, but really only when I need to. It's more expensive than gas.</p> <p>Thanks Kathy, now I know why there's so many comments on my blog.</p> <p>Liz, maybe you have been drinking Jersey water for a long time now.</p> <p>Carolyn, yes, we do make some silly choices.</p> <p>Linda, yes, you sure were wrong, and so was I and millions of others.</p>

Posted by Karen Anne Stone, Fort Worth Real Estate (New Home Hunters of Fort Worth and Tarrant County) about 6 years ago

Phil, that's not preposterous at all, it's become the reality.

Cindy, it's cheaper and tastes the same.

Dorie, thanks, it was an aha moment for me.

Karen, that scenario would make more sense since we people in Trenton have access to all the water they need.

John, that's actually what I find so sad about it. It's not sensible capitalism at all, in theory this shouldn't be happening.

Eric, you'll be horrified to know where and how the bottles used by this company are made then.

Sharon, they used to employ 400, but now it's less. http://online.wsj.com/article/SB10001424052748704584804575644011109095480.html

 

 

Posted by Malcolm Johnston, Trenton Real Estate (Century 21 Lanthorn Real Estate LTD., Trenton, Ontario) about 6 years ago

That's very strange Karen Anne, I'm just replying to the responses right in the box as I normally do. Maybe it's an AR glitch.

Posted by Malcolm Johnston, Trenton Real Estate (Century 21 Lanthorn Real Estate LTD., Trenton, Ontario) about 6 years ago

Thanks, Malcolm... and it isn't just you... it is about one third of the notices that I am getting today from Active Rain.  And I haven't been doing anything different, either.

Posted by Karen Anne Stone, Fort Worth Real Estate (New Home Hunters of Fort Worth and Tarrant County) about 6 years ago

This is insane, Malcolm, and I bookmarked it to reblog later in the week.  I can't believe that they are stealing water from their own people to send it to the United States.

Posted by Ron Marshall, Birdhouse Builder Extraordinaire (Marshall Enterprises) about 6 years ago

Hi Malcolm, this is just incredible. And that people still continue to buy bottled water, when it has been proven that some of the water is just another city's tap water.

Posted by Sandy Acevedo, RE/MAX Masters, Inland Empire Homes for Sale (951-290-8588) about 6 years ago

I am the dissenting voice. I buy bottled water, and am never without one wherever I go. I do like Fiji, but not my favorite. Thanks for your post today, p.s. I hope they never stop making bottled water.

Posted by Pamela Seley, Residential Real Estate Agent serving SW RivCo CA (West Coast Realty Division) about 6 years ago

Ron, the more I read about this situation the more ridiculous it seems to me.

Sandy, I'm not against bottled water as an industry, if people want to buy it, it's fine to me, this particular situation seems unethical, wasteful, and symbolic of how people spend their money on silly things at the expense of others.

Pamela, absolutely it's your right to enjoy whatever product you like. I'm just uncomfortable drinking water from a place where a large percentage of the locals don't have access to water, where an unelected military dictatorship sells this product to a corporate interest with very little benefit to the locals, and which is shipped halfway across the world when we have enough of it here.

Posted by Malcolm Johnston, Trenton Real Estate (Century 21 Lanthorn Real Estate LTD., Trenton, Ontario) about 6 years ago

I'm back . . .  It is one thing for people to buy bottled water when they are ignorant of the many reasons they shouldn't, but to continue to do so once they become informed is just another example of insanity and/or arrogance.   You've not even touched on the health consequences of the plastic bottles and the environmental damage that was mentioned in a few comments above  . . .      

I will also be reblogging this excellent post in the hope that foolish people will stop their foolish practice.  I look at bottled water consumers the same way I do smokers.  Supposedly, when you know better your actions will be better but there will always be people who feel it is their right to behave irresponsibly!

Who would have believed that some people would think water would be a status symbol?  Crazy times!!!

 

Posted by Susan Emo, Kingston and the 1000 Islands Area (Sotheby's International Realty Canada - Brokerage) about 6 years ago

sorry to say I have purchased FIJI water.  One morning early I drove past a warehouse in an industrial site where a company delivers water bottles to offices.  Lo and behold, I saw a guy filling the bottles from a water hose! 

Posted by Bruce Hicks, Your Lifetime Friend/Helper! (Best Homes Hawaii) about 6 years ago

This is hysterical. Yes, Fiji is actually pretty impoverished so why not take the water the poor people actually need? I also hope that the water has been purified before being bottled

Posted by Lyn Sims, Schaumburg IL Area Real Estate (RE/MAX Suburban) about 6 years ago

Those big tankers crisscross the ocean with not only water but many other things we could purchase much closer to home.  I love my filtered tap water with a slice of local lemon.

Posted by Norma Toering Broker for Palos Verdes and Beach Cities, Palos Verdes Luxury Homes in L.A. (Charlemagne International Properties) about 6 years ago

Malcolm -  just read this article about major UK grocery stores selliing bottled TAP WATER  Pretty funny but pretty sad!

Posted by Susan Emo, Kingston and the 1000 Islands Area (Sotheby's International Realty Canada - Brokerage) almost 6 years ago

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