February 26, 2012

Why do we spend money on things we used to get for free?

In an earlier article, How do I get rich now - the unusual ways?, we have learned about the unusual ways people got rich. One way to make money from "nothing" is to sell water on bottles to people who can get water to drink from a tap. The comedian Chris Rock made a show with this theme about how we spend money on things we used to get for free - such as ring-tones and water.

One famous brand of bottled water is San Pellegrino from Italy. Those bottles are actually filled in Italy before they have to be shipped by truck, boat, and then truck again to the grocery store. Here are some basic facts about that water and other general facts about bottled water:
  • The bottles weigh more than the water they contain
  • The bottles have to be washed before they are filled. They are washed in the same water that goes into the bottles for people to drink
  • The bubbles in the water comes from another spring. The company has to harvest the carbon dioxide from that spring, purify it, compress it, truck it north to Pellegrino, and inject it into the water again
  • The equivalent of 40,000 18-wheel trucks are necessary to bring all bottled water to the US each week
  • Bottled water is 3000 times more expensive than water from a tap
One recent trend is to prevent companies from selling bottled water at universities in the US. Several universities have begun to give away empty bottles for the students to fill with water from special taps. One thing to remember is that they do not want to ban Coca Cola and other soft drinks. Coca Cola is actually 95 percent water as well and you need 2.5 liters of water to produce 1 liter of Coca Cola. Banning bottled water may result in an increased sale of other products such as these soft drinks.