One of These Things is not Like the Other

22 Apr

photo: Brandon Bloch

Yoga people.

They know how to ‘om.’  They carry their yoga mats everywhere — in case a yoga opportunity arises. They go on retreats just to yoga-fy, and their family members outside of Los Angeles probably just call them hippies. And don’t get defensive, I’m one of them too (but I’d just as soon sing bad karaoke then om, sorry guys).

Generally speaking, I think yogis are a group of people very much in tune with mind, body and planet. They know how to be calm, still and relaxed, even with a leg stuck behind their head.  Know this: I’ve seen some strange things go on during yoga classes… sweaty, tattooed instructors ending classes by playing instruments ranging from wooden horns to accordions to triangles (more cowbell, please). Breathing exercises that involve sticking your tongue out and huffing and puffing like a panting dog… I’ve been told that massaging your jaw with your knuckle may cause hallucinations — that is, if one holds stress in their jaw. I’ve even been instructed to lay on my back and write positive things on the ceiling with my toes. And as silly as I thought all of that was, there’s something I see that’s much sillier. And that’s people toting in plastic bottled water to class…sometimes when there’s even a water fountain in the yoga room.

Is it possible that a group of people who advocate for maximum health of body and planet don’t realize how bad bottled water is for the Earth’s uh…zen?

Where’s the disconnect? It’s Earth Day, so this is  a good topic to revisit. Bottled water creates massive waste and usually comes with an equally massive carbon footprint.

But there are good alternatives to bottled water, so let’s talk about those. If a water fountain grosses you out too much, then grab an aluminum reusable bottle and fill it at home from a tap or filtered pitcher. It’ll keep your water nice and cold (and you can always refill it at the gym).  Remember, plastic single-use water bottles were not designed to be refilled and the plastic can begin to leach out all manner of yuckiness that you don’t want to drink, so don’t refill them and don’t allow them to heat up in your car in the sun.

There’s another great reason to return to tap water–it’s really cheap! Certainly much cheaper than buying a bottle of water for every gym trip. Sustainable food guru Micahel Pollan has made the argument that that money could be better spent on better, fresher food. OK, he didn’t say that exactly. What he said was that, while many people are averse to spending extra money to buy more local, more fresh or more healthy food, people seemed to make the adjustment to spending extra on bottled water pretty quickly. That could be becuase most people think bottled water is somehow better for them than tap water. Not only are there stronger regulations on tap water than bottled, but bottled water frequently is tap water, it’s just been filtered.

I saw a great ad on Melrose ages ago urging more responsible water use that read, “Hey Hipsters! If it helps, no one else is doing it.”

We can change that right?

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One Response to “One of These Things is not Like the Other”

  1. askahomebrewer April 25, 2011 at 3:58 am #

    Excellent article… There are collapsible reusable water bottles, too, if carrying around a heavier rigid bottle is too much of a pain. Although, most mat bags have a place where you can stow your H2O or you can clip it onto your bag with a carabiner.

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