Sealed Water Bottles for School – A Rant

I was going to post on saving money for investing today, but instead I’d like to go on a rant.  (Those who don’t wish to indulge me, please feel free to skip today’s post).

I hate bottled water.  Unless I am going on a hike or a picnic and I want to be able to throw everything away when I’m done, I see no reason to buy water in little plastic bottles.  I feel stupid buying it.  I hate than many places charge more for it than for soda (I know, the soda really only costs the company supplying it a few pennies, but still you can’t get soda for free out of any faucet).  I think it is a really stupid idea that we are bottling up water from the great lakes or the Dallas Municipal water supply and shipping it all over the country when it falls from the sky, literally.  You can fill a refillable bottle and carry it with you.  You can even put it in the refrigerator and make it cold if you wish.  It will cost you like a penny a bottle (or less) instead of $1.00, or even $.25.

Now, if you are visiting an area where the water is really terrible (like Orlando), maybe it is worth picking up a few bottles.  If you live there, you should get a water filter or buy big jugs of water.  You still should not be buying a case of the little bottles that you finish off in like ten seconds (or worse, take a few sips of, leave it out, then throw it away because it’s warm).

So imagine my dismay at the announcement from my son’s school that kids can bring water, but only in sealed water bottles.  Apparently there is concern that some kids were bringing something besides water in their bottles.  I don’t know if this was alcohol.  Maybe some kids were smuggling in soda or, heaven forbid, grape juice.  Still, it seems like they could deal with the kids who they found drunk or hyper on Gatorade.

I mean really.  Are they going to check and verify that the bottle is sealed before class each day?  Can’t a kid open a bottle, replace the contents, and then say that they opened it right before coming in the door?  Do I really need to throw away my money buying water in little plastic bottles to save my son from dehydration?  What about the kids on the “reduced or free lunch programs”?  Do they get their little plastic bottles of water for free?

Here’s an idea.  Assuming I’m spending $.50 each day on water (two bottles at $.25 each), I could pull him out and home school him and save about $2.50 per week.  At $2.50 per week, that’s about $100 per year I’d be saving.  Putting that money under the mattress, that would be $700 by the time he was ready for college – enough money for a nice bicycle to ride around campus or a cheap car.  If I invested the money, that could easily be $1500 by the time he leaves home.  That would probably pay for books for a year or two.

I probably won’t pull him out, but I might just start sending him with a Nalgene full of water.  I’d be happy to discuss the matter and the economics with the principal.  I’d be happier to do that than to waste money shipping water across the US.  Where is GreenPeace when you need them?

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Disclaimer: This blog is not meant to give financial planning or tax advice.  It gives general information on investment strategy, picking stocks, and generally managing money to build wealth. It is not a solicitation to buy or sell stocks or any security. Financial planning advice should be sought from a certified financial planner, which the author is not. Tax advice should be sought from a CPA.  All investments involve risk and the reader as urged to consider risks carefully and seek the advice of experts if needed before investing.

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