This in-room ad from Evian is a common one in chain hotels. Some supply a couple of plastic water bottles for free, even when the tap water is fine. Others charge you for it. Some do both, which was the case with this hotel in Lima, Peru. There was a bottle of the local brand for free, or this Evian one for 24 soles: that’s more than $8 U.S.
To put things in perspective, within a few blocks you could buy a whole lot of things for $8: a 3-course meal, going online at an internet cafe for 12 hours straight, a good bottle of wine, a bottle of rum, a good cigar, a taxi to central Lima from Miraflores, a hostel bed, more than 20 bus rides, or an Inca Kola t-shirt.
Here’s the kicker though. The note on the ad, in both English and Spanish, says you don’t even need this product. “Our hotel’s water is 100% drinkable but we also recommend you to enjoy the healthy taste of evian natural spring water.”
Or course that’s a lie. Evian water is not healthier than any other purified water and if you add in the environmental impact of processing it and transporting it across the Atlantic Ocean, using fossil fuel at every step it’s very very unhealthy. And that’s before the plastic goes into a landfill, to stay for centuries or more.
This is so wrong.
If you want to be healthy, and more wealthy, don’t spend money on bottled water in single-use plastic bottles. It’s indulgent madness. Carry a water purifier and your own bottle.