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Science

See what researchers found when they tested a bottle of Fiji Water against a glass of tap water.

Is bottled water REALLY all that bad?

bottled water, fiji water vs tap, tap water

A young woman drinking bottled water outdoors before exercising.



The Story of Bottled Waterwww.youtube.com

Here are six facts from the video above by The Story of Stuff Project that I'll definitely remember next time I'm tempted to buy bottled water.

1. Bottled water is more expensive than tap water (and not just a little).

via The Story of Stuff Project/YouTube


A Business Insider column noted that two-thirds of the bottled water sold in the United States is in individual 16.9-ounce bottles, which comes out to roughly $7.50 per gallon. That's about 2,000 times higher than the cost of a gallon of tap water.

And in an article in 20 Something Finance, G.E. Miller investigated the cost of bottled versus tap water for himself. He found that he could fill 4,787 20-ounce bottles with tap water for only $2.10! So if he paid $1 for a bottled water, he'd be paying 2,279 times the cost of tap.

2. Bottled water could potentially be of lower quality than tap water.


via The Story of Stuff Project/YouTube

Fiji Water ran an ad campaign that was pretty disparaging about the city of Cleveland. Not a wise move. The city ordered a test of the snooty brand's water and found that Fiji Water contained levels of arsenic that weren't seen in the city's water supply.

How was that possible? Sarah Goodman of the New York Times explains:

" Bottled water manufacturers are not required to disclose as much information as municipal water utilities because of gaps in federal oversight authority. Bottom line: The Food and Drug Administration oversees bottled water, and U.S. EPA is in charge of tap water. FDA lacks the regulatory authority of EPA."

3. The amount of bottled water we buy every week in the U.S. alone could circle the globe five times!

via The Story of Stuff Project/YouTube

That sounded like it just had to be impossible, so we looked into it. Here's what our fact-checkers found:

"According to the video, ' People in the U.S. buy more than half a billion bottles of water every week.' National Geographic says for 2011, bottled water sales hit 9.1 billion gallons (roughly 34 billion liters).

A 'typical' water bottle is a half-liter, so that's about 68 billion bottles per year. Divided by 52 weeks would be a little over 1 billion bottles of water sold per week in the U.S. Because that's based on a smaller 'typical' bottle size, it seems reasonable that a half billion bottles a week could be accurate.

The Earth is about 131.5 million feet around, so yep, half a billion bottles of varying sizes strung end-to-end could circle the Earth five times."

4. Paying for bottled water makes us chumps.

via The Story of Stuff Project/YouTube

Beverage companies have turned bottled water into a multibillion-dollar industry through a concept known as manufactured demand. Bottled water advertisements used a combination of scare tactics (Tap water bad!) and seduction (From the purest mountain streams EVER!) to reel us in.

Well, we now know their claims about the superior quality of bottled water are mostly bogus. And research shows that anywhere from a quarter to 45% of all bottled water comes from the exact same place as your tap water (which, to reiterate, is so cheap it's almost free).

via The Story of Stuff Project/YouTube

5. Bottled water is FILTHY.

It takes oil — lots of it — to make plastic bottles. According to the video, the energy in the amount of oil it takes to make the plastic water bottles sold in the U.S. in one year could fuel a million cars. That's not even counting the oil it takes to ship bottled water around the world.

And once we've guzzled our bottled water, up to 80% of the empty bottles end up in landfills or noxious-gas-producing incinerators. The rest is either recycled or shipped to countries like India where poor people without environmental and labor protections have to deal with it.

On top of all that, the process of manufacturing plastic bottles is polluting public water supplies, which makes it easier for bottled water companies to sell us their expensive product.

6. There are 750 million people around the world who don't have access to clean water.

Photo by H2O for Life.

A child dies every minute from a waterborne disease. And for me, that's the core of what makes bottled water so evil.

The video wraps by comparing buying bottled water to smoking while pregnant. That may sound extreme, but after learning everything I just did about the bottled water industry, I can't disagree.

via The Story of Stuff Project/YouTube

If you're properly disgusted, here are a few ways you can help destroy the bottled water industry:

  1. Don't buy bottled water. Get a reusable water bottle. The savings will add up.
  2. Rally your schools, workplaces, and communities to ban bottled water.
  3. Demand that your city, state, and federal governments invest in better water infrastructure.


This article originally appeared on 5.7.15

Images provided by P&G

Three winners will be selected to receive $1000 donated to the charity of their choice.

True

Doing good is its own reward, but sometimes recognizing these acts of kindness helps bring even more good into the world. That’s why we’re excited to partner with P&G again on the #ActsOfGood Awards.

The #ActsOfGood Awards recognize individuals who actively support their communities. It could be a rockstar volunteer, an amazing community leader, or someone who shows up for others in special ways.

Do you know someone in your community doing #ActsOfGood? Nominate them between April 24th-June 3rdhere.Three winners will receive $1,000 dedicated to the charity of their choice, plus their story will be highlighted on Upworthy’s social channels. And yes, it’s totally fine to nominate yourself!

We want to see the good work you’re doing and most of all, we want to help you make a difference.

While every good deed is meaningful, winners will be selected based on how well they reflect Upworthy and P&G’s commitment to do #ActsOfGood to help communities grow.

That means be on the lookout for individuals who:

Strengthen their community

Make a tangible and unique impact

Go above and beyond day-to-day work

The #ActsOfGood Awards are just one part of P&G’s larger mission to help communities around the world to grow. For generations, P&G has been a force for growth—making everyday products that people love and trust—while also being a force for good by giving back to the communities where we live, work, and serve consumers. This includes serving over 90,000 people affected by emergencies and disasters through the Tide Loads of Hope mobile laundry program and helping some of the millions of girls who miss school due to a lack of access to period products through the Always #EndPeriodPoverty initiative.

Visit upworthy.com/actsofgood and fill out the nomination form for a chance for you or someone you know to win. It takes less than ten minutes to help someone make an even bigger impact.

America's Got Talent/Youtube

Kodi Lee has become an "AGT" fan favorite with his next level skills


Since 2019, Kodi Lee has wowed “America’s Got Talent” audiences with his next-level musical skills. That goes for whether he’s performing touching original works or putting his own personal touch on well-known songs.

For “America’s Got Talent: Fantasy League,” the music savant was guided by his mentor Howie Mandel to cover “Bohemian Rhapsody” by Queen.

It’s hard to imagine a version of this fan-favorite tune you haven’t already heard before, since the song has been covered quite a few times. But once again Lee delivered something epic and completely unique.


Even though judges Mel B and Heidi Klum still prefer Lee’s original songs, all applauded his haunting and emotional piano rendition of the rock-n-roll anthem.

Simon Cowell even said “You use these words ‘Star Quality’ a lot, but you genuinely, Kodi, over the years we’ve got to know you, you’ve just got better as an artist. You’ve never given up, and the Finals just wouldn’t be the same without you in it this year.”

Other viewers applauded Lee for one-of-a-kind performance, agreeing that he did freddie Mercury proud.

One wrote, “‘You can do whatever you want to do in my music, just don't make it boring’ -Freddie. What a magical performance.”

Another added, “Kodi has an amazingly rare talent to be able to sing across different musical genres. He owns them all!!!”

Last but not least, I think this comment sums up the general consensus pretty well: "This version is unlike anything anyone has ever seen before. It’s truly a masterpiece. Kodi is an amazing gift to our world. He continues to change the world just by being himself."

Watch below. And enjoy.

This article originally appeared on 2.13.24

Science

Bartender in Patagonia takes sustainability to a whole other level

Wait til you see how Federico Gil uses glaciers—yes, glaciers—to distill his signature gin.

Annie Reneau

Federico Gil puts his passion for sustainability into practice.

When people talk about sustainability in the food and drink industry, there's a lot of talk about plastic straws and reducing waste. But at Bar Pionero, the sustainability standard is set much, much higher. They do things I didn't even know were possible, and they don't do things a lot of people—those who put profit before protection of the environment—would do in the name of conservation.

And most of it comes down to the vision of elite bartender Federico Gil.

Gil and his brother founded Bar Pionero 14 years ago, after moving to Chilean Patagonia from Uruguay. The bar sits adjacent to the main lobby of the Las Torres Hotel, just inside Torres del Paine National Park, and with its wall of windows framing a towering mountain, just being in the bar is an experience. The food is good, and as someone who doesn't drink, I was delighted by the incredible mocktail offerings. But the highlight of the bar is Gil himself.


Watching Gil speak about sustainability was mesmerizing, even with him speaking in Spanish and me only understanding a few words of what he said. For the details, I needed the English-speaking translator, but Gil's passion for sustainability needed no translation; it was genuine and palpable.

bartender standing in front of a table full of drink-making materials.

Federico Gil shares how Bar Pionero creates its sustainable cocktails.

Annie Reneau

On a practical level, here are some of the zero-waste practices the bar has implemented:

- Not only do they not use plastic straws but they use signature copper straws. Chile is the world's largest copper producer, so the metal is plentiful. It's also naturally anti-bacterial (though they have a sanitation process they use to clean them, of course).

- They repurpose bottles and jars into drinking glasses and tools for the bartenders. Sometimes they even combine them with copper. Check out this gorgeous glass made from an upside down glass bottle top and copper.

Cocktail glass sitting on a table

Cocktail glass made from a glass bottle top and copper

Annie Reneau

- They make their own mixes, spirits, bitters, vinegars, etc. from the plants that grow naturally in the surrounding landscape as well as from the organic garden on site.

- They also make vinegar by capturing and repurposing the dribbles of beer that come out of the tap after a draft beer is poured.

- They brew their own beer using pure glacial water and hops grown in the garden. The byproduct of the brewing process then goes back into the garden as fertilizer.

glacier

Glacier in Torres del Paine National Park, part of the Southern Patagonia Ice Field

Annie Reneau

- They distill their own gin in small batches, using glacial water, 13 botanicals from the natural landscape and the clay left behind from the moving glaciers. Gil says his goal with the gin is to convey the "spirit of the ice." Glacial gin. Who knew?

The gin is so unique, Gil could certainly make money distributing it around the world, but he refuses. Same with the beer.

"The world doesn't need one more gin or one more beer," he says. The most sustainable way is not to sell it outside the hotel, where it would have to be shipped and transported. "We're not thinking about how much we can sell, but what impact we have," he adds.

It's literally putting their money where their mouth is, knowing they could have a lucrative product on their hands but not capitalizing on it because of the environmental impact that would have. And it's not just a guess—Gil says the bar actually keeps track and calculates their environmental impact using various measures.

bartender painting a rock held in tongs

Federico Gil painting a lemon extraction onto a frozen rock from Torres del Paine National Park

Annie Reneau

On top of all of that, watching Gil craft a cocktail is like watching an artist at work. He's as passionate about creativity as he is about sustainability, and it shows. I watched him light herbs on fire and set a glass bottle top over the flame to capture their essence, then paint a homemade cold extraction of lemon onto a frozen stone from the park, then shake together various liquids created from park botanicals and put it all together into glass made of layers of jar and glass tops.

I'd never seen anything like it, and I've rarely seen anyone who walks the sustainability talk so clearly in their work. It not only gave me hope for the conservation of Torres del Paine and Patagonia (which is stunning—a place bucket lists are made for, seriously), but also made me realize how much we have to learn from one another as we strive to protect our beautiful planet.

If you'd like to see Federico in action, check out this video from my experience there:

This writer was a guest of Las Torres Patagonia. This article was not reviewed by the hotel or anyone associated with it before publication.

Photo by Taylor Heery on Unsplash

People are right to complain about being charged a cleaning fee and being asked to do chores.




In 2016, My husband and I started renting our basement apartment out as a short-term rental on Airbnb. We live in a college town and figured we'd get some guests during football game weekends and graduations. We didn't realize how many people come to our town to visit their college kids or check out the school, so we were pleasantly surprised by how regularly we were booked.

In 2019, we bought the house next door and now rent out both floors of the old house as separate units. We love being Airbnb hosts and have had a very successful run of it, with hundreds of 5-star reviews, Superhost status and lots of repeat guests.

We also don't charge a cleaning fee or make guests do check-out chores. In fact, we find both things rather loathsome.


What makes us good hosts is that we've been Airbnb guests for years. As a family of five that travels a lot, we've found far more value in Airbnbs than in hotels over the years. We love having a kitchen, living room and bedrooms and feeling like we have a "home" while traveling. We even spent a nomadic year staying at short-term rentals for a month at a time.

When you've experienced dozens of Airbnbs as a guest, you learn what guests appreciate and what they don't. You see what's annoying and unnecessary and what's to be expected in comparison to a hotel. We started taking mental notes long before we started our own rental about what we would want to do and not do if we ever had one and have implemented those things now that we do.

As guests, we know the pain of the cleaning fee, so we don't charge one.

via GIPHY

It helps that my husband has a flexible schedule and grew up helping with his parents' janitorial service, so most of the time he cleans the apartments himself. We could charge a cleaning fee for his time and labor, but even if we were paying for outside cleaners, we still wouldn't put a separate fee onto guest bookings. It makes far more sense to us to just wrap the cleaning fee into the per-night price.

From a host's perspective, the one-night stay is where the cleaning fee question hits the hardest. Whether someone stays one night or 10 nights, the cleaning cost is the same. But spreading the cost over 10 nights is a very different beast than adding it to one night, especially from a guest's perspective. On the host side, if we had to pay cleaners without passing that fee onto guests, we've barely make anything on one-night stays. But on the guest side, a $100 a night stay suddenly jumping to $150 because a cleaning fee was added is painful, and often a dealbreaker. You can see the conundrum.

The way we see it, and as other Airbnb hosts have found, wrapping cleaning costs into the base price comes out in the wash over time, as long as you have some longer-term stays mixed in with the one-nighters. And it's a much better experience for the guest not to get hit with sticker shock on the "final cost" screen, which is already eye-popping when service fees and taxes are added on.

(I will say, this may only ring true for smaller units. If you're renting a huge home, cleaning costs are going to be higher just because it takes longer to clean. But I still don't think the full cost should be passed onto guests as a separate fee.)

As for check-out chores—asking guests to do things like start laundry, sweep the floor, take out the trash, etc.—those have never made sense to us. Hosts should have enough switch-out linens that laundry doesn't have to be started prior to checking out, and none of those chores save enough time for the cleaning people to make it worth asking guests to do it. I can see taking out trash if there wasn't going to be another guest for a while, but usually you'd want to clean right away after a stay anyway just in case it does get booked last minute.

The only thing we ask guests to do is to start the dishwasher if they have dirty dishes (as a guest, I've never found that an unreasonable request), lock the door and have a safe trip home. Don't need to pull the sheets. Don't need to take out any garbage or recycling. Those things don't take that long, but that's just as much a reason not to ask guests to do it. Annoying your guests by asking them to do something extra isn't worth the tiny bit of time it might save the cleaning people.

And you know what? This approach works really well. Approximately 95% of guests leave the apartments clean and tidy anyway. In seven years, I can count on one hand how many problems we've had with guests leaving a mess. That's been a pleasant surprise, but I think part of the reason is that guest are simply reciprocating the respect and consideration we show them by not making them pay extra fees or do chores on their way out.

To be fair, it probably also helps that we aren't some big real estate tycoon that bought up a bunch of apartments and turning them into short-term rentals run by impersonal management companies. People's complaints about how short-term rentals impact local housing economies are legitimate. We're more aligned with the original "sharing economy" model, renting out our home to guests who come through town. And in a small college town with a large university, there often aren't enough hotel rooms during busy weekends anyway, so it's been a bit of a win-win.

I think being right next door, having personal communication with our guests (but also leaving them their privacy), and not charging or asking anything extra of them makes them want to be respectful guests. From our perspective, both as guests and hosts, cleaning fees and check-out chores simply aren't worth it.

Representative image. Triplet babies in "Thing" outfits.

Many people believe that someone’s personality can be determined by their birth order within a family. Older siblings are often seen as more responsible and the youngest is frequently characterized as the most laid-back. Although there isn’t much research to back up these claims, there is evidence that birth order can affect someone’s intelligence.

So, does birth order have any effect on multiples? In a unique case like triplets, there can be a small, self-fulfilling prophecy effect. Parents and siblings may project stereotypes onto one another, such as, “You were born first, now you’re first at everything,” or “You were born last, no wonder you’re lazy.”

Triplets on TikTok are going viral because they were never able to have any squabbles about their birth order because they never knew it until they turned 18. Janie Hilbert, 18, shared a video in February featuring her triplet brothers, Luke and Wright, that showed their reaction to learning their birth order for the first time.


The video is touching, but it didn’t reveal the actual order, just their reaction and it was still viewed over 20 million times.

x3 🤷😆

@janie.banie4

x3 🤷😆

After the post, TikTok was shouting for a follow-up video that revealed the results. A few days later, Janie posted a video that revealed their birth order, set to the theme song from “Full House.”

triplet birth order reveal!!!

@janie.banie4

triplet birth order reveal!!!

The post showed that Wright is the oldest, followed by middle child Luke and then Janie. Janie was not excited about being the youngest. “I did not want to be the youngest,” Janie told Today.com. “That’s the one thing I really hoped I hadn’t been waiting 18 years to be the youngest and then here we are.”

The triplets’ parents, Stewart Hilbert and Clay Hilbert, told Today.com why they decided to wait until their 18th birthday to learn the truth about their birth order. The decision was made because Clayton, their oldest child, was born three years before the triplets.

“He was also definitely precocious, a rule follower and very literal,” Stewart said, adding that he would probably tried to enforce an “olest gets the bottle first” mentality when the triplets arrived. “We just didn’t want to play his game, and we were like, alright, let’s just keep it a secret. It’ll be fun. They won’t have to subscribe to any of the stereotypes of oldest, middle, youngest, all that.”

It was tough keeping the birth order a secret for all those years, especially with the children constantly begging to find out the answer. “They definitely wanted to know, and that made it even more fun,” Stewart explained.

“We tried to figure it out for so long. We begged and begged. They wouldn’t crack,” Janie added.

The funny thing was that their father secretly revealed the truth in the family group chat which featured the children’s names in birth order. But the triplets never put it together. "I was so excited to try to tell them that it was in front of them the whole time," Clay said.

Representative photos by Aaron J. Hill and Greta Hoffman

Women choose being alone with bear instead of man in interview

There are often hypothetical scenarios that people get asked just to see what their answer will be. In most cases, the scenario is something that has a very slim chance of ever happening in real life, but it can be fun to allow your brain to wander. A hypothetical scenario is taking over social media right now and it has women nodding in agreement while many men are left scratching their heads.

Screenshot HQ took to the streets and asked random women if they would rather be stuck in the woods with a man or a bear. Overwhelmingly women chose to take their chances with a bear, some providing the inquirer with a reason as to why they'd chose a bear over a man. Unsurprisingly to most women, the participants saw the bear as the safer option.

Some men had a hard time understanding why women would risk being mauled by a bear, but several men did understand and took to social media to attempt to explain.


Some men seemingly easily knew why women would choose to be in the woods with a bear when their partners asked them the same question but the hypothetical woman was their daughter. In the video, one woman makes her case for choosing a bear.

"Well I've heard about bears, they don't always attack you right unless you f**k with them? So maybe a bear," she laughs.

Luis Torio responded to the video with an explanation for men who seemed confused by the amount of women choosing a bear. In his video he asks, "why would a woman choose a man over a bear when the number one predator of a woman is a man and not the bear?" He goes on to explain that if a woman is put in the woods with the wrong man, she could be in a much worse situation than with a bear.

@yourtango

Women were asked if they would rather be stuck in a forest with a man or a bear - and their answers are sad #manvsbear

YourTango jumped in on the debate and dropped a few facts with the most staggering being, "the 750,000 black bears in North America unalive less than one person per year on average. Men aged 18-24 are 167 times more likely to unalive someone." The woman in the video also cites assault statistics for women.

That's not to say that all men would be dangerous if trapped in the woods with them, commenters and content creators point that out. The concern seems to be more about the predictability of bears verses the predictability of an unknown man.

You can watch the original video that started this weeks long debate below:

@screenshothq

The question of being stuck in a forest with a man or a bear is circulating on TikTok right now and sparking some interesting conversation.... we know what our answer would be 🐻🌳 #manvsbear #tiktok #tiktoktrend #trending #challenge #streetinterview #voxpop