The Bottled Water Scam

Is bottled water better than tap water?

Environmentalists and health experts have stated that drinking bottled water is not, necessarily, any better for us than drinking and using water straight from the tap. The fact is that a large amount of bottled water is in reality nothing more than repackaged tap water.

Bottled water does not deserve the nutritional halo that most people give it for being pure. If you are not an exclusive bottled water drinker, you may find it worthwhile to check into filtering your tap water to save money. Though in most places this should not even be necessary unless you want to remove the slight trace of chlorine and such.

In a test on 1,000 bottled of 103 different brands of bottled water man-made chemicals, bacteria and arsenic were found in 22% of the bottles. Purer than tap, as the advocates of bottled water claim? I hardly think so.

It would therefore appear that while tap water may not be immune from contamination it may be a much safer option that bottled water. Apparently also the hygiene standards for bottled “spring” water a far, far lower than those for domestic tap water in the developed, especially the Western world, and often such bottled water falls very much below the worst tap water standard.

If you want to be real sure as to nothing being in the water and be secure of real purity then get and use a filter, be this a British Berkfield ceramic filter or the simple filter jug such as Britta, Kenwood, or derivatives of the same. While the filter on the British Berky, so I understand, basically lasts for ever and can be cleaned, the filters in the jugs are active charcoal, sand, etc. and have to be replaced once every month or so. But this makes it still by far cheaper than buying bottled water.

This is also my advice to anyone who may be concerned about the fact that most tap water is chlorinated. However, the traces of chlorine in the tap water is, in most instances, minute, though you may still be able to taste and smell the chlorine. I know I can smell chlorine in the water in many places but I also know that it is harmless. Knowing that I can smell and taste chlorine in the water to me is a good indicator that the water has been treated and therefore can be assumed to be to at least 90% safe.

If you are storing water as a preparedness measure you, more than likely have added a small amount of chlorine to the water that you are storing in order to keep it safe and fresh, and especially in order to prevent bacterial production.

Bottled water and our immense use of it is also NOT good at all for the environment, and that on two levels:

1. The extraction of this spring/groundwater, where it comes from the source, puts a great strain on our water resources.


2. The plastic bottles, the PET bottles, cause a huge problem everywhere and use, for starters oil, a non-renewable resource, in their production and while they can be recycled into fibre from which fleece jackets and blankets are made the great majority of such bottled, about 80% of then, end up in the landfill sites, thus putting yet another strain on the environment.

Anyone of us who is concerned about living a frugal life and/or about the environment should get away from the use of bottled water as much as at all possible and use tap water instead in our own reusable canteens. This is better for you, your pocketbook and the environment.
Do you really want to pay 65pence ($1) to £1.20 ($1.80) for a 500ml bottle of water that could in fact repackaged tap water, after all? I for one am not.

© M V Smith, May 2007

Analysis of English Waste Strategy

May 24 2007

Commenting on today's publication of the English Waste Strategy, Friends of the Earth's senior waste campaigner, Dr Michael Warhurst said:

"David Miliband's waste strategy is a step forward. The Government's renewed commitment to recycling and composting is very welcome - particularly the promotion of weekly food waste collections and the proposal to give councils the opportunity to reward those who recycle more.

"We are also pleased that the Government realises that the best way to generate 100 per cent renewable energy from waste is by putting food waste into anaerobic digestion - not resource-wasting, climate-damaging incinerators.

"But, we are very disappointed that the Government has set a recycling target of just 50 percent by 2020 - tackling climate change requires more ambitious targets. The Government's own analysis has shown that a rate of 60% by 2020 would be much better for the climate. Cambridgeshire County Council already recycles over half its waste, and across the channel in Flanders they recycle nearly three quarters, and we believe that the UK should be aiming for 75% recycling by 2015."

Friends of the Earth:

  • Is very disappointed in the proposed recycling and composting target of 50% by 2020, when our neighbours across the channel in Flanders, Belgium, are already recycling more than 70%, and when the Government's own calculations showed a higher rate would be better for the environment.

  • Welcomes the promotion of 100% renewable energy from anaerobic digestion of food waste, rather than the Government's previous focus on incineration, an out-dated technology that wastes resources and damages the climate

  • Supports plans for weekly food waste collections, as the food waste can be used to generate 100% renewable energy. Currently most of this food waste is ending up in landfill, where it breaks down to produce methane, a greenhouse gas.

  • Supports proposals to permit councils to incentivise recycling, through rewarding those who recycle more. Such schemes are common in other countries, but are currently illegal here. Such schemes should only be introduced where an effective recycling and composting scheme is in place, and should ensure that poorer families are not disproportionately affected. This government has stated that they would wish these schemes to be revenue-neutral.

  • Considers that the proposals to deal with business waste are too weak, and too focused on voluntary measures. In particular, we believe that a ban on the landfill and incineration of reusable, recyclable and compostable waste would encourage more sustainable waste management within companies.

  • Welcomes the plan to set targets for local authorities to reduce residual waste (the amount which goes to landfill or incineration). However, the waste levels suggested are too high - we can recycle, compost and prevent more than is proposed, as the proposal only assumes 50% recycling and composting and a stabilisation of waste quantity).

English Waste Strategy

Energy White Paper reaction

May 23, 2007

Today's Energy White Paper is a huge missed opportunity, Friends of the Earth said today. The environmental campaign group said that it should have set out tougher polices on energy efficiency, renewable power and cleaner transport to make the UK a world leader in developing a low carbon economy. The group also said that the UK can tackle climate change and keep the lights on without building new nuclear power plants.

Friends of the Earth's Energy Campaigner Neil Crumpton said:

"The Government has missed a golden opportunity to make the UK a world leader in developing a safe, clean and low-carbon future. Building new nuclear plants would be a costly, dangerous and ineffective way to cut UK carbon emissions. It would also divert valuable resources from sustainable solutions for tackling climate change. This White Paper should have set out ambitious policies on energy efficiency, renewable power, carbon capture and cleaner systems of transport. Unfortunately Ministers have been taken in by the nuclear lobby yet again."

Friends of the Earth is also calling for the Government to strengthen its planned new climate change law, which will set legally binding targets for cutting UK carbon dioxide emissions. The environment campaign group, which has led the campaign for a new Climate Change Bill through The Big Ask campaign, says that it must include UK international emissions from aviation and shipping, and also ensure that UK emissions are cut by at least three per cent each year (

White Paper

Even if every policy in today's White Paper works according to plan it would only deliver a cut of 14-20% on 1990 levels by 2020. The Government says this cut, combined with other existing policies, would make a cut of around 26-32% by 2020, and then 60% by 2050. But research by the Tyndall Centre has assessed that this falls far short of what is needed and would, if replicated around the world, lead to a 4-5 degree rise in global temperatures.

Friends of the Earth says that the necessary emission reduction targets can be achieved and the lights kept on without building new nuclear power stations [1]. This could be achieved by pushing ahead with energy efficiency programmes, renewable energy and efficient fossil fuel technologies and carbon capture and storage demonstration schemes. The group also wants a moratorium on new centralised gas power stations (CCGTs) until Combined Heat and Power (CHP) construction is back on target, and says that no new coal schemes should be built which do not capture and store their carbon emissions.


1) Friends of the Earth say that the following electricity generating technologies should be prioritised in policy:

  1. Renewables - additional funding to ensure 20% or more of electricity is generated by renewables by 2020

  2. Combined Heat and Power (CHP) - regulatory and fiscal support to ensure at least 20% by 2020 is CHP or 'decentralised' power

  3. Carbon Capture and Storage (CCS) demonstration schemes should receive incentives and preferably be located on large industrial sites with potential for heat usage (eg Teeside Progressive Energy/Centrica IGCC scheme)

  4. CCS equipped centralised power stations (likely to be cleaner coal rather than gas due to high capture costs from gas power stations)

  5. A moratorium on new gas-fired centralised CCGT stations until significant advance on CHP consents and construction (CHP is around 33% more efficient than latest CCGT)

  6. NO new coal stations without CCS fitted as standard (ie NOT 'capture-ready' schemes eg proposed clean coal schemes at Kingsnorth, Tillbury)

  7. NO new nuclear capacity



Plan Envisions a Vibrant, Mixed-use Neighborhood with Affordable Housing, Office and Retail Space, New Parks and Playgrounds, a Public School and Convention Center

Largest "Green" Development will create 6,100 Permanent Jobs, 20,000 Construction Jobs and Have a $1.5 Billion Impact On the New York City Economy

Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg today unveiled the Master Plan for the Willets Point peninsula located on the Flushing River between Shea Stadium and Downtown Flushing in Northern Queens. The Plan includes the transformation and remediation of the contaminated 60-acre area - one of the most contaminated in the City - into a vibrant, mixed-use district with affordable housing, office and retail space, new parks and playgrounds, a new public school, cultural and community uses and a state-of-the-art convention center and hotel. This will be the first neighborhood, and the City's largest development project to incorporate "green" building technology. The redevelopment will create 20,000 construction jobs and 6,100 permanent jobs for a total positive economic impact on the New York City economy over the next 30 years of more than $1.5 billion. Joining the Mayor at the announcement at the Queens Museum of Art were Queens Borough President Helen M. Marshall, Deputy Mayor for Economic Development and Rebuilding Daniel L. Doctoroff and New York City Economic Development Corporation (NYCEDC) President Robert C. Lieber.

"For far too long, the Willets Point peninsula in Northern Queens has been an area marked by unrealized potential and neglect, inhibiting growth in Downtown Flushing and Corona and steadily becoming more and more polluted," said Mayor Bloomberg. "Today, finally, we're doing something about it. Our plan will revitalize the area, creating a new, vibrant neighborhood with thousands of new jobs and a mix of uses, including affordable housing, parks and open space, cultural institutions, retail amenities, office space, a public school and a convention center and hotel. Through the remediation of heavily contaminated land, the use of innovative green building technologies and the development of considerable parks and open space, Willets Point can and will serve as a model for sustainable development."

"I'd like to thank Mayor Bloomberg, Deputy Mayor Doctoroff, EDC and the team of city agencies that has worked together to plan for the future of Willets Point," said Queens Borough President Helen Marshall. "My office has been working closely with the mayor's team for the past five years on this project. And, as chair of the Advisory Committee, comprised of elected officials from the area, I look forward to working with everyone to build the Willets Point of tomorrow."

Today, Willets Point is among the most heavily contaminated areas in New York City. It is saturated with widespread petroleum contamination resulting from decades of spillage and neglect. Environmental hazards have been exacerbated by the area's high water table, which spreads pollution throughout the site, allowing it to seep into the groundwater and contaminate Flushing Bay and Flushing River.

The Master Plan unveiled by Mayor Bloomberg calls for the remediation of the 60-acre, waterfront site and outlines a comprehensive vision for its future. The planned uses include:

· 5,500 residential units, affordable to a mix of income levels
· 500,000 square feet of office space
· One million square feet of new retail space, including restaurants and shops
· Open space, parks and playgrounds
· Dedicated community and cultural space
· A convention center and hotel

"When we look at Willets point, we need to look at it in the context of the surrounding area - including a resurgent and thriving Downtown Flushing and the new Citi Field nearby, and we need to look at it in the context of building a greener, greater New York," said Deputy Mayor Doctoroff. "We need to reclaim and remediate brownfields and we need to foster the development of green buildings and create mixed use neighborhoods. When realized, this master plan will do precisely that, and it will dramatically augment Downtown Flushing's continued growth."

Borough President Marshall will lead a special task force of elected officials, labor representatives and advocacy groups to create a plan designed to promote minority- and women-owned business participation and local hiring as part of the redevelopment of Willets Point. The task force will convene this spring with the goal of releasing a series of recommendations by fall 2007.

As part of the Master Plan, the City is also creating a dedicated Business Relocation and Workforce Assistance Plan for the roughly 250 businesses located in Willets Point today. The businesses, which include about 225 auto-related repair and about 25 light industrial and manufacturing establishments, employ approximately 1,000 workers earning about 40% less than other similar auto-related workers elsewhere in the New York City. The assistance plan, which is being created by NYCEDC and the Department of Small Business Services and is expected to be announced this summer, will include one-on-one targeted relocation support, financial and technical assistance, job training and placement services, legal immigration services, English as a Second Language (ESL) and General Educational Development (GED) test preparation, and other social services.

"With the opportunity to unlock the potential of Willets Point comes a responsibility to support and retain the existing businesses and employees located in the area today," said NYCEDC President Lieber. "In the coming months we will announce a Business Relocation and Workforce Assistance Plan that will include an array of services designed to help local companies and workers."

In 2002, the Bloomberg Administration identified Flushing as an area of tremendous potential for growth. That year, the City formed the Downtown Flushing Task Force comprised of local and state elected officials, community members, advocacy groups, local business leaders and community board representatives. After a yearlong community based planning effort, the task force drafted a three-pronged plan to reconnect Downtown Flushing, revitalize the Flushing area waterfront, and redevelop Willets Point. Based on that work, in 2004 the City created the Willets Point Advisory Committee (WPAC), chaired by Borough President Marshall, to help advise planning for the redevelopment of Willets Point. Through the consultative development process, the City created a series of goals and guidelines used to shape the Master Plan unveiled today. Throughout the process, the City conducted extensive outreach, hosting or attending more than 60 meetings with the public, elected officials, community groups, local business organizations, existing Willets Point businesses, environmental advocates, housing advocates and labor groups.

Today's Master Plan unveiling coincides with the start of the project's public scoping process. A series of public approvals are necessary through the City's Uniform Land Use Review Procedure (ULURP), including a rezoning to a mixed-use commercial zone, creation of an urban renewal plan, and several street de-mappings. The multi-month ULURP process, expected to begin this fall, incorporates the community board, Borough President, City Planning Commission and City Council and offers several opportunities for public comment on the plan. Pending approval through ULURP, the City expects to select a developer and begin the acquisition process in summer/fall 2008. Environmental remediation would begin in 2010.

Climate Change - What if it is not man-made?

The whole world and everyone in it is by now, probably, aware of Climate Change, aka Global Warming, and seems to take it as read and as gospel truth that human activity is to blame.

But what if, and let us just consider this for a moment, it has nothing – or little – to do with cars, the use of fossil fuels, and such?
What is it is a natural cycle which the earth goes through every 1000 or so years? What then?
For it will then make no difference whether or not we cut any emissions, as we will then not be able to do anything about it.

When we look at the history of our planet we can, in fact, if we are not blinkered by whatever agendas, see that there have always been periods of warm and periods of cold and they seem to appear in a more or less 1000 year cycle; the high points that is. We are, in all appearance, heading for such a point again in our planet's history.
If this is the case than there is very little, I am afraid, that we can do against it and we must rather prepare for this change. We can hardly turn off a natural cycle, should it be one.
That does not mean that we should not do everything in our power, each one of us, to lessen our impact whether in carbon emissions or in waste generation, just in case that this change in global climate and the weird and extreme weather that we are experiencing around the globe is, even partially, due to human activity. We must indeed do both, and that NOW and not next week, next month or next year, God forbid.
We all know what we should do and must do to lessen our impact on the environment; so let's go and do it NOW.

However, we must also remain serious: I saw a graph recently where someone tried to claim that one PC was using 1500 KW per hour. That is totally wrong. Even an electric fire does often not use more than 1500 watts but 1500 kilowatts; no way.
Some groups, we know, try to scare people into action, but to use untruths to do that is counterproductive. If, however, we, who care about and for the planet, remain in the realm of truth and reality we can, maybe, get the people to follow.

Even if, as I said, Global Warming/Climate Change is not due to human activity and the use of fossil fuels and such reducing our (carbon) footprint on the environment and Mother Earth will certainly be no bad thing.

We must, however, at the same time prepare for the worst case scenario, which is to say that it be the described natural cycle of our planet and we can do little or nothing to bring about a change.

- Be prepared for the worst and hope for the best! -

© M V Smith, May 2007

Domino's Delivers Pizza in a ZAP

World's Largest Pizza Delivery Company Begins Test of All-Electric Delivery Vehicle

LAS VEGAS, Nevada (May 8, 2007) - As part of the company's Worldwide Rally in Las Vegas this week, Domino's Pizza tested delivering its pizzas using ZAP (OTC BB: ZAAP) all-electric vehicles supplied to them by The Electric Vehicle Company. As the pizza delivery experts, the electric vehicle deliveries reinforce Domino's desire to bring cost-saving, environmentally friendly delivery options to its stores around the world.

On Sunday, Domino's made actual pizza deliveries around the Las Vegas area in the ZAP electric vehicles.

"Today it is not uncommon to have your Domino's pizza delivered by bicycle, scooter or car around the world," said Jim Stansik, Domino's executive vice president of Franchise Development. "Looking toward tomorrow, Domino's is committed to also being a responsible consumer of our planet's natural resources by testing the feasibility of using electric vehicles in our stores."

The Electric Vehicle Company (EVC) of Chicago is making its all-electric vehicles available to consumer product companies for use as an environmentally friendly and cost-efficient option for conducting deliveries, mobile advertising and event marketing programs.

It's ZAP (Zero Air Pollution) line of XEBRA cars, pickup trucks, ATVs and scooters are perfect for driving around cities and at special events - even indoors - with worrying about harming the environment. Their unique styling will definitely catch consumers' eyes and can be easily wrapped with signage.

"Mobile event marketing and advertising with an electric ZAP vehicle not only allows a company to send a message about its product in a unique and cost-effective way, but also delivers a message that the company cares about the environment," says EVC president Larry Spatz.

The ZAP XEBRA is the only federally declared, street-legal, 100 percent electric car that plugs into any 110-volt outlet - the same outlet that is found in and outside every home, garage and office. The XEBRA is considered by ZAP as a 'city-car,' an all-electric design for city-speed driving up to 40 MPH. The XEBRA comes in a 4-door sedan or pickup truck with a convertible dump/flat bed. It plugs into a 110-volt outlet for a full charge in up to six hours and a 50 percent charge in up to 1.5 hours. Range varies up to 40 miles per charge depending on charging, speed, driving conditions and other factors. Fueling is estimated to cost 1-3 centers per mile while maintenance costs one-third that of gas due to the reduction of moving parts, less wear and replacements.

"Rising energy costs have become a major concern when budgeting for mobile advertising and event marketing programs," added Bob Kopach, EVC vice president of sales and marketing. "At $3 per gallon gas and higher, driving an all-electric ZAP XEBRA makes a lot of financial sense."

Details about The Electric Vehicle Company and ZAP vehicles can be found at

About ZAP

ZAP has been a leader in advanced transportation technologies since 1994, delivering over 90,000 vehicles to consumers in more than 75 countries. At the forefront of fuel-efficient transportation with new technologies including energy efficient gas systems, hydrogen, electric, fuel cell, ethanol, hybrid and other innovative power systems, ZAP is developing a high-performance crossover SUV electric car concept called ZAP-X engineered by Lotus Engineering. The Company recently launched a new portable energy technology that manages power for mobile electronics from cell phones to laptops. For product, dealer and investor information, visit

About Domino's Pizza®

Founded in 1960, Domino's Pizza is the recognized world leader in pizza delivery. Domino's is listed on the NYSE under the symbol "DPZ." Through its primarily franchised system, Domino's operates a network of 8,394 franchise and Company-owned stores in the United States and more than 55 countries. The Domino's Pizza® brand, named a Megabrand by Advertising Age magazine, had approximately $5.1 billion in global retail sales in 2006, comprised of $3.2 billion domestically and nearly $1.9 billion internationally. During the first quarter of 2007, the Domino's Pizza® brand had global retails sales of $1.2 billion, comprised of nearly $770 million domestically and approximately $471 million internationally. Domino's Pizza was named the "Chain of the Year" by Pizza Today magazine, the leading publication of the pizza industry and is the "Official Pizza of NASCAR®." More information on the Company, in English and Spanish, can be found on the web at

Forward-looking statements in this release are made pursuant to the "safe harbor" provisions of the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995. Investors are cautioned that such forward-looking statements involve risks and uncertainties, including, without limitation, continued acceptance of the Company's products, increased levels of competition for the Company, new products and technological changes, the Company's dependence upon third-party suppliers, intellectual property rights, and other risks detailed from time to time in the Company's periodic reports filed with the Securities and Exchange Commission.


Dana Harville
Domino's Pizza
Public Relations Manager
(734) 930-3741

Bob Kopach
The Electric Vehicle Company

Alex Campbell
Public Relations
707-525-8658 x 241

The Most Powerful Wind Turbine Anywhere

Enercon GMBH of Germany, probably one of the most innovative wind power companies in the world, has just announced that it has begun selling a six-megawatt wind turbine! That is a good 20% more powerful than any other turbine currently on the market, producing enough power per turbine to power 4,000 homes, making it the most powerful wind turbine anywhere, at this moment in time.

Enercon does not waste much time figuring out fancy names for its turbines. Their most popular model, the E-40, has a turbine diameter of 40 m, while this new turbine, the E-112, has a turbine diameter of 112 meters. It is that simple. Who needs fancy names anyway for turbines?

Interestingly, this isn't the world's largest wind turbine; it just produces the most power, a testament to Enercon's innovative strategies. The turbine blades are specially designed, and Enercon's patented gearless generator keeps noise, friction, and maintenance to a minimum.

Holland gets recycling bins for so-called 'clean' plastics

Amsterdam In a move attracting wide attention from environmentalists, the small town of Halderberge was Wednesday to become the first in the Netherlands to collect and recycle small plastic bottles, tubes and containers. Consumers in the North-Brabant province town have been invited to deposit plastic bottles and other "clean" plastics - toothpaste tubes, small plastic cold drink bottles and cosmetics containers - at special recycling bins placed in several neighbourhoods.

Over the next two months, 20 other municipalities are expected to follow suit, among them, Nijmegen, Arnhem, Soest, Zeist and Harderwijk.

By the end of the year, Holland hopes to collect clean plastics in most of the country. The country has a well-established tradition of recycling various types of glass and paper and special recycling bins, but to date no recycling bins for so-called 'clean' plastics have been used.

The plastics are to be recycled into new plastics and packaging material, as well as car dash boards, golf balls or fleece fabric used for clothing.

The project was initiated and being coordinated by the Nedvang Foundation, which has been tasked with collecting plastics and packaging material on behalf of the Dutch businesses spread over around 200 municipalities.

The foundation has set a collection target of 55 per cent of all plastic bottles smaller than half a litre, and 95 per cent of all bigger bottles, the bulk of which are currently collected by deposit.