Aren't we a sophisticated bunch?
About the time of the First World War, people purchased sealed bottles. Manufacturers convinced them that opening the bottles during the night would ensure of a supply of fresh air. Yes, people paid for bottles of air.
During the time when many African nations were on the verge of independence, a new product appeared -- The Independence Box. People were told that the boxes contained all the wonders of independence: freedom, security, success, comfort, but on condition it be not opened until independence was realized. For sure, by then the vendor was gone.
Today, many people pay for bottles of water they can acquire next to free from a faucet in their kitchens. Dansani, the top-selling bottled water in the U.S. is municipal tap water. Aquafine is sourced from the local water supply.
Need we be reminded of the words attributed to B.T. Barnum? "There's a sucker born every minute."
What may be next expect? One of today's modern aggravations is noise. Given that some people willingly pay for air that is free, water that is next to free, soon they will pay for silence. Cartons of bottled silence will soon appear in supermarkets. Whenever people want quiet, they need only open the bottle and enjoy the emerging silence.
* * *Evian, amid great fanfare, announced the opening of a carbon-neutral factory in France. So now, they will charge more for a product that costs to produce. The same report cites the Global Footprint Network, "It is environmentally absurd to sell bottled water when tap water is cheaper, better and far less energy intensive." They might have added that tap water requires no plastic bottles many of which foul our waterways and add to recycling costs.