On January 19th, Life Without Plastic was invited to attend the Ottawa launch of the campaign "Unbottle It!" by the Council of Canadians ("C of C"). The campaign aims at encouraging individuals to drink less bottled water and more tap water for environmental and health reasons. There is now so much reliance on plastic water bottles everywhere that schools, malls, offices are phasing out water fountains and municipalities are spending less money on water purification technology. We were told we must change this trend which encourages the proliferation of plastic water bottles.
I listened with great interest to what Maude Barlow, the President of the C of C, had to say and I realized to what extent I had been brainwashed by the plastic industry for years and years. She said that the common belief that we require 2 litres (8 cups) of water a day in order to be healthy is completely unfounded and is promoted by the plastic industry to encourage people to buy more plastic water bottles. This reminded me of an article I had read in the Winnipeg Free Press last year (http://www.winnipegfreepress.com/historic/32788919.html). In the article four physicans were asked questions about health myths people entertain on all kinds of subject. What struck me was the following question:
Do you drink eight glasses of water in a day?
Family: No. (Is it important?) No.
Oncologist: I drink about three. (Is it important?) No.
Surgeon: I'm drinking one right now... Probably six to seven.
General: No I don't! I drink when I'm thirsty.
I was surprised to read that three out of four doctors did not think it important to drink eight glasses a day. Quite the contrary. That started me thinking about my own drinking habits. Especially the fact that I always have to remind myself to drink because I am just not THAT thirsty during the day. I very rarely drink more than 5 glasses of water per day and I have always felt guilty for this. Not anymore. I just discovered that it is a myth that the plastic industry wants you to believe in and perpetrate. I am not saying water is not good for you. It is absolutely, you need it, but you do not have to over drink it if in the end your body will end up dumping most of it in the toilet. What convinced me of the plastic industry's hidden agenda was the following video which can be found on the Plastic/Chemical Industry's "Facts on Plastic" website:
In a way, I am relieved to discover I do not have to feel guilty anymore about not drinking water when I am not thirsty, but at the same time I am astonished and disappointed to learn I had been completely brainswashed by that message without ever questioning it.
Now I am wondering, what else do I do on a daily basis that is based on a false assumption propagated by some industry to make me consume more products?