[Spending the next twelve days in Aspen for both the Fortune Brainstorm and Aspen Ideas conferences. Looking forward to being in the mountains for a spell and spending the time, as is the case at Google every day, surrounded by people a lot smarter than I am.]
When you arrive to Aspen from either of the coasts, considering the town's elevation of 7844ft all the locals will admonish you to drink water, lots of water. Sage advice to prevent the malaise of altitude sickness. Shouldn't be a problem in such an idyllic setting with a rushing river passing right through it's heart, right?
Yet, it would seem that the water source of choice here in Aspen is bottles of Fiji water. A few months ago it wouldn't have occurred to me and I would have grabbed a bottle and chugged away. However, a fellow Googler recently sent me a photo that has forever changed how I think about bottled water.
The picture's author, David Coale of Acterra, calculated the amount of oil required to ship a bottle of water from its source to the Bay Area of California. Then he poured this amount of oil into each bottle:
Since seeing this photo, I have been virtually unable to drink from imported water bottles. To me, the water now actually tastes like oil! What do you think?