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How to Shame Friends into Giving Up Bottled Water

Do you cringe every time a pal buys a bottle of water, knowing how bad they are for the environment? Guilt them into switching to tap with these tactics.


  • Step 1: Make them feel guilty If you’ve learned one thing from your mother, it’s the art of the guilt trip. Use it to your advantage with this shame-inducing info: Americans buy almost 30 billion plastic water bottles each year, and 80 percent of them end up in landfills, where it takes hundreds of years for them to decompose.
  • Step 2: Make them feel silly Mock their naivete. Do they really think the water in that plastic bottle came from a magical, icy mountain stream? Please! Up to 40 percent of bottled water comes from the same place tap water does; it's just been purified. And bottled water manufacturers are under no obligation to tell you that.
  • Step 3: Appeal to their sense of style Appeal to their sense of style. Toting around designer label water is so 10 years ago! Don't be left behind in the aughts; everyone who’s anyone these days uses refillable bottles.
  • Step 4: Gross them out Image angle not working? Go for their gag reflex and explain that some bottled water contains more bacteria than tap water. Tests on bottled water have turned up mold, fecal bacteria, parts of crickets -- even arsenic! Still thirsty?
  • TIP: Bottled water has been recalled for contamination more than 100 times, but only about one-third of the recalls were made public.
  • Step 5: Pass the shame Now that you’ve convinced them to break the bottled water addiction, enlist them to join you in shaming others to quit. Guilt is best when it’s shared.
  • FACT: Americans drink more bottled water than milk or juice.

You Will Need

  • Guilt trips
  • Mockery
  • Way with words

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