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The world’s last virgin ecosystem?

Waya IslandFor drinking water lately, I try and buy natural spring water from a source as close to where I am as possible. I worry about buying water in plastic bottles, because that really can’t be good, but natural spring water is probably the best water to drink (see the post Detoxification Through Water – Step 5 and the documentary Water). I also worry about how this bottled spring water gets trucked and flown all around the world – that can’t be a good thing either.

Well, I was in Singapore recently and I bought some “Fiji” brand water and something written on the bottle really made me worry.

Fiji water – from the world’s last virgin ecosystem?

When I checked out the Fiji company’s advertising, I found the following;

On a remote Pacific island, 1,600 miles from the nearest continent, equatorial trade winds purify the clouds that begin FIJI Water’s journey through one of the world’s last virgin ecosystems. As tropical rain falls on a pristine rain forest, it filters through layers of volcanic rock, slowly gathering the natural minerals and electrolytes that give FIJI Water its soft, smooth taste. The water collects in a natural artesian aquifer, deep below the Earth’s surface, shielded from external elements by confining layers of impermeable rock. Natural pressure forces the water towards the surface, where it’s bottled at the source, free from human contact until you unscrew the cap. Perfected by nature. Untouched by man. The Nature of Water™.

Singatoka Sigatoka Sand Dunes FijiIt was the phrase “through one of the world’s last virgin ecosystems” that made me sad and worried. I know this is probably marketing distorting the truth but, if there is any truth in it, it’s really sad. I instantly thought ahead – what if, in the future, we’ve destroyed all the virgin ecosystems in the world and there are none left for our grandchildren and great grandchildren? That’s a really sad thought and make me ask “what are we doing?”.

Could it be the last virgin ecosystem?

While searching around to find out more about ecosystems I found this interesting page – 10 Island Ecosystems of the World. This is coming from a tourism site, but I found it very interesting. These island ecosystems look wonderful in the true sense of that world, they fill me with wonder. The world we live in, the natural world, is such an amazing place. It must be our responsibility to live in this world, enjoy it and rejoice in it, without destroying it. Destroying it wouldn’t serve any purpose would it? Apart from making short term profits in something like the artificial money we’ve created.

virgin ecosystemWhy are ecosystems special?

Looking around for more information on ecosystems, it’s interesting to look at this wikipedia page on ecosystems and this page from the University of Michigan. To me, it sounds like an ecosystem is just a normal part of nature left alone to work like it was designed, without unnatural disturbances coming from humans. If this is correct, some could say that ecosystems are not that special because they are just normal nature. But actually, they are incredibly special because there are less and less places in the world each year that aren’t disturbed by humans. We should treasure ecosystems like the most valuable things on our planet.

Is Fiji Water a good and trustworthy company? 

Digging into Fiji Water resulted in some surprises. First, Dr. Mercola has written a post suggesting that the company is taking advantage of the troubled Fijian islands, and he also questions the sanity of bottling water in plastic and shipping it around the world. Even the UK’s Daily Telegraph has a story calling into question the way the company is run and their claims of environmental friendliness. And this post on dailyfinance.com really gets stuck into the management of the company and the problems of bottling water in plastic.

So, this reasonably quick search suggests that Fiji Water is not as nice as the label and the marketing suggest.

Where to from here?

Obviously, the Fiji Water company has some very good marketing. I started drinking it because its pH is listed as 7.7 and I’d prefer to drink alkaline water when I can. I have to admit, that the marketing did have an effect as well. At least this bit of research that I’ve done has blown the effect of the marketing out of the water (no pun intended).

I’m still not sure whether to buy bottled water to not? I like the idea of getting water from natural springs (there’s an interesting documentary called “Water” that suggests that natural spring water is the best), but putting it in plastic and shipping it around the world are not good things. At the moment, I try to buy water from the nearest natural source I can, but I’m going to keep looking into the various options for water.

The main point of this post is that the text on the back of the Fiji Water bottle – “through one of the world’s last virgin ecosystems” – has given me a renewed awareness of the importance of untouched nature on our planet and urgent need to protect all virgin ecosystems that are left in this world. We owe it to future generations.

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