Ethos Water, charity for the lazy.

I bought an Ethos water in a rush to get to my geography course, I like to sip water while learning. Now I don’t spend $1.95 on a 23oz water bottle very often, but I rationalized it to myself because Starbucks donates money to get clean water to children in places where sewage and drinking water freely mingle. So at some point during class I read the side of the bottle and was surprised that out of the $1.95 I spent, only 1 nickel makes it way to the children. That’s a measly 2.6% for those of you who don’t want to do the math.

Ethos is bottled by Safeway under their Lucerne brand and distributed by Pepsi. Starbucks basically owns the brand name, which they bought in 2005. While this all boring news, I still thought to myself, couldn’t 3 profitable corporations who peddle their quite expensive charity water donate more than 2.6% of the purchase price?

Maybe they use really good water I said to myself. It turns our however, that they use the same spring water that I can get out of a Safeway brand water bottle for less than half the price and almost twice the volume. Then I thought, well since they are helping kids, maybe they care about the environment too. Maybe their recycled plastic cost more than regular plastic. Again I was disappointed. It turns out, unlike other Pepsi distributed plastic bottled waters, Ethos bottles are virgin plastic.

So let me summarize this all:

  • Ethos water is the same water as store brand.
  • Unlike other water that Pepsi distributes, it’s bottled in virgin plastic.
  • Only 2.6% of your $1.95 goes to the children.
  • You can buy twice as much of the same water for half the price.
  • I am a sucker and was ripped off by Starbucks.

So if you really want to help the children buy a Safeway water or really any store brand water and donate 50 cents each time to a charity of your choice. You’ll save money, get more money to the charities, drink the same water, and maybe even get a recycled plastic bottle in the process.