Thursday, July 29, 2010

Healthy kids should mean healthy planet, too

Waterlicious® is the first vitamin- and fiber-enhanced fruit-flavored water specially formulated for growing kids, both in terms of nutrition as well as taste.

Waterlicious. Making water delicious? Clever. Good for kids and better than sugary juices and sodas? Absolutely. No high-fructose corn syrup? Yay. Natural and all-around good stuff. Hooray. 12-oz throw-away plastic bottles? BOOOOOO. Fail.

I know, I know, I KNOW again. It's convenient. It's good on-the-go. It helps make life EASIER. Giving kids something like this instead of enduring their screaming makes parenting EASIER. I completely grant that this is a better product to give kids than some of the alternatives. What I refuse to grant is why it must come packaged like this. I would be 100% behind this product if it were in glass bottles, in big sizes, so that you can keep it conveniently in your fridge and dole it out into reusable bottles when needed. But this product is not in glass. It is in light, cheap plastic that will be here long after your childrens' children are gone. Yes. The plastic bottle you are using to pacify your child when it really isn't necessary will be here still when your child... well, you get it. Is that what you want? I don't. I believe in the premise behind this drink, but I do not feel it is necessary and I do not agree with keeping cases of it in the home. Heck, why not make some mix that parents can add at home? (Oh yeah, like already exist?) And 25 bucks for 18 bottles? No.

Let's look at it. What is it? Well, it's flavored water. That doesn't seem outrageously novel to me. With the tiniest bit more effort, I'm pretty sure we have the technology to flavor water at home and take it on trips to the park. Seriously. People think I am being a little harsh on these products aimed right squarely at children. Scratch that. At parents. THAT is why I am against these products. They are NOT in the best interest of children. They are create solely for parents who need convenience and do not make the time to make an alternative for their kids. PERIOD! These are quick easy fixes to something that really isn't a problem. TAKE a few minutes and create some kind of flavored water yourself at home with your own water from your own tap. It is NOT that hard. Get the kids involved. The ONLY thing these products do is teach toddlers that it's perfectly OK to use these disposable bottles and that everything should be quick and easy and convenient and store-bought instead of made at home.

Parents are busy. They are hassled. They don't have time for their kids. They work a lot. They're tired. I get it. But I cannot, will not stand by and watch the planet get trashed. I will speak out. I will declare these products are irresponsible and unnecessary. And I will go one step further and say that if parents are not prepared to take a few extra moments out of their day to avoid these oil- and resource-consumptive products, then perhaps they should rethink the number of kids they plan to have... seriously. Kids deserve time and care. Why else have them??? It's all well and good but the rest of us live here too, and THAT is why I speak out. We cannot just go on doing whatever we please to the Earth, because some of us actually want there to BE a future for these kids.

We have a bazillion reasons why bottled water is not good for adults. Why should we think it's OK for kids???

It's really not.