Tuesday, September 11, 2012

1% Steal Public Water, Sell It Back In Plastic To The 99%.

Nestle's "Back to School" ad co-opts images of powerful women & girls and their lifeblood, free access to potable water. I mean, which would you rather be? The cute, affluent, pink sweatered mom and daughter above...

or these youngsters spending hours each day carrying water for their families in Uganda? Source: The Guardian
From the facebook post of the first photo:
Back-to-school for your family? Don’t forget to stock up on Nestlé® Pure Life® Purified Water!
From the moment I learned decades ago that  Nestlé corporation was profiting from the starvation of infants they hooked on formula that was costly, unsafe, and destructive of their own mothers' milk supply for them (supply and demand being deeply, inextricably linked in this case) I have been on a boycott of all things Nestlé.

In the 80's and 90's bottled water became fashionable -- remember the  cachet of Perrier, and Calistoga Water in northern California, and Poland Springs in Maine?

But then I learned that Nestlé owned the Poland Springs brand and, far more importantly, its access to the great aquifer of the northern reach of Appalachia.

A decade or so ago I saw a film in which water rights activist Maude Barlow said that the most powerful thing a private citizen could do to protect common access to pure water would be never to buy it bottled, as a commodity. And I thought, now there is something that I can do.

Still struggling. Doing it most all the time except when traveling, and beginning to get my act together there, too. #1 Dump out metal water bottle before submitting to the hell that is TSA. Once in gate area, refill bottle and take it on plane. #2 Fill bottle from friend's Brita pitcher when staying over at her place. #3 Purchase portable Brita bottle to fill from taps when out and about, and then squeeze water through filter on demand. #4 Think about what it would take and what kind of grant to write to get my tiny little school off the endless supply of shrink wrapped "Poland Spring" water in plastic bottles that Nestlé supplies "free" while trucking off the Maine aquifer. And so on.
Source: Emily Posner / Eric Ruin Block Print 10 Plague Series
Thank the goddess there are fierce advocates for the 99%, defenders of water rights right here in my woods who have kicked some Nestlé butt in the past, blocking the corporation from further access to pump out the water table from under the citizens. Right now I'm helping them bring pressure on the PUC for a public hearing before granting Nestlé even more access in Fryeburg, up in the western mountains, where they are already pumping. Defending Water for Life in Maine shines the light I will follow into the gathering darkness, my kids not wrapped in the plastic cocoon of ignorance.

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