by Michael dEstries
Categories: Print.

snipshot_e41hp1ail1sa.jpgLast week, we picked on Jennifer Aniston for throwing her name and money behind a product called SmartWater. We bemoaned the detriments of a modern society consuming water in plastic bottles while perfectly good tap exists around every corner; and the money wasted that could do good elsewhere for those less fortunate. Some agreed that Aniston was making a silly move, while others thought it was harmless, and some still called on our own hypocrisy with Google Adsense advertising bottled water in ads below the post.

Some new information has arisen that makes me ponder whether or not Aniston knows the facts behind the industry she’s supporting. I’m questioning because the topic she writes about in the soon-to-be-released The Green Book is –ironically enough — all about water. Here are some excerpts,

“I take a three minute shower. It’s three minutes, or as short as possible, for a good reason, however. I even brush wash — brush my teeth while I shower. Now here’s why: I found out that every two minutes in the shower uses as much water as a person in Africa uses for everything in their life for a whole day — drinking, bathing, cooking, and cleaning…everything! When you become aware of all the things you do, and the effect those things have, you want to make small changes. Like with water.”

“It all goes back to awareness and knowing better and then making a simple shift in habit.”

“Obviously, when I learn about something new that I can do in my everyday life that makes a whole lot of sense and can help the environment, I do it.”

Is the Jennifer that’s supporting SmartWater and the Jennifer that’s campaigning for water conservation the same person?

About Michael dEstries

Michael has been blogging since 2005 on issues such as sustainability, renewable energy, philanthropy, and healthy living. He regularly contributes to a slew of publications, as well as consulting with companies looking to make an impact using the web and social media. He lives in Ithaca, NY with his family on an apple farm.

View all posts by Michael dEstries →
  • karo

    She can do whatever she wants to do.It’s funny but you guys were holding Hilary Swank up as a great role model.There are numerous pics of her on the net that show her carrying a bottle of water when she’s walking/jogging..Also where is the outrage for 50cents and Kelly Clarkson and others that promote VitaminWater by the same company.They also come in plastic bottles.Just don’t get you guys-she’s a beautiful and fantastic spokesperson for this company.And yes I drink the SmartWater and yes I recycle the bottles…Love that you owned up to carrying ads that sponsor bottled water…

  • michael

    Vitamin water doesn’t bother me as much because it’s flavored water — and best as I can tell, it’s not marketed as a replacement for tap. SmartWater however is clearly displayed in ad campaigns as a “smart” alternative.

    I’m not knocking plastic bottles, just the idea that water is better if it comes in a bottle and from a company that says, “Hey, this is worth your money because it has electrolytes.”

  • rebecca

    You’re not knocking the plastic bottles? I will!

  • moviefan

    Why does everything Jen does get picked on? I have drank so many sodas in my life people are thrilled when they see me carry a bottle of water. What do you all carry when you are outside-the kitchen sink. Give her a break, maybe she drinks some tap water when she is in the house. I hope she stays hydrated and also-you critics don’t forget your glass of water from the tap (when you are hiking)because you might need to drive back to your house in a air polluting car and get a refill. Thanks for listening

  • Letheia

    I don’t understand the tap water love. There is a huge difference between bottled water, or filtered water for that matter, and tap water. Where I live you can smell the chlorine coming off the tap water as soon as you pour yourself a glass, and the heartburn starts 10 minutes after drinking it. As long as you recycle the bottles, I don’t see the harm in bottled water.

  • Are you for real?

    I think smart water is a fine idea. Jen is just a person, like you and like me, she does good whenever she can, I buy the magazine ‘the big issue’ in London from homeless people but I also wear leather and I fly on holiday. Does that make me a terrible person? Jen has good intentions and that’s what most important. She does good when she can. What more do you want? You want her to go to Africa? We all know she will be compared with her ex’s lover. Aniston could be donating to oxfam secretly for all we know.

  • everydaytrash

    Well, given the Africa quote, she sounds like someone who would take seriously a letter pointing out this disconnect. Someone should forward Jen this post.

  • michael

    Roughly 40% of bottled water begins as tap water. Sure, it’s purified again and again, but it should be noted that bottled water is not regulated or subject to the same scrutiny as tap. In some cases, bottled water has been found to contain more pollutants than tap.

    Letehia — you bring up a good point, and one that I’m not discounting. There is definitely a place for bottled water in this world. However, do we need to spend $10 billion a year on it? A fraction of that money could change the water situation for millions of people in other countries.

    And look, I like Jennifer Aniston as well. I’m not sure how people get off on the whole Pitt/Jolie thing by bashing her. I’m using this situation, however, to point out that bottled water is a waste of money and resources. Someone like Aniston — someone in the spotlight and who means well — should know better. We all should.

  • Are you for real?

    everydaytrash I think her publicist has already read this post, in fact I’m 110% sure of it, they read blogs everyday to see what’s going with their clients (most celebs’ publicists do this, it’s normal). I think there is no chance she will be making a trip to Africa cause she knows she’ll get backlash from it. Like I said she could be donating secretly for all we know to oxfam. I don’t see why Aniston should be held responsible for bottled water? Sorry but I really don’t. Do you all wear clothes that’s free of child labour and cheap labour in Asia? Do you really?

  • Are you for real?

    What about Cameron diaz promoting a mobile phone that we don’t really know if it causes brain cancer? What about Paltrow promoting a drink that can give you a liver disease and what about Pitt promoting jeans that are made by people who are being paid terrible money for making them? Do we have to bash these people too? Cam does a lot for enviroment, paltrow is know for trying to be good to the environment (she used recycled diapers for both of her children), Pitt, we all know what he does for developing countries.

  • michael

    Anyone that partakes in modern society is a hypocrite, no matter how green their values. Anyone who admits otherwise is lying. However, that doesn’t mean we can’t live better lives and understand how industries — such as bottled water — affect the world around us. I don’t think anyone here is holding Aniston personally responsible for bottled water — that’s certainly not what was intended with the post. What is intended is to say “Hey, Jen, do you know the impact of the product you’re supporting?”

  • Are you for real?

    Someone who means well in the spot light does not have to be perfect! If we demand them to be ‘the perfect saint’, soon nobody famous would want to take a chance of doing something good or encouraging people to do something for the environment. I’m sure Leo flies all over the globe when he doesn’t really have to do it half of the time. He chooses to go places far away from the states with his girl. Are we meant to give the boy a rough time too?

  • Are you for real?

    I understand where you’re coming from michael :)

  • michael

    And I understand your point of view as well. It’s a tough call here on the site what battles to pick, what actions to call out, and what should simply be left alone. Our goal is not to bash people. We love promoting the good that’s being done — and there’s plenty of it. Our purpose is to inform. For all I know, Jen will take the millions she makes off of this deal and invest it in 2,000 wells for the needy one day.

    I feel that if she’s going to use her face to promote this industry, then I should take a moment to point out some impacts that the clever marketing folks won’t tell you.

    And on the flip side, there are some bottled water companies out there that take a sizeable portion of their profits and donate them to H20 projects in developing countries. I think Jen, with her power of fame, could most certainly inspire SmartWater to potentially develop a similar program.

  • Are you for real?

    If she does something like that she would do it quietly I’m sure. If she starts making noises about it, the media will compare her to you know whom. It’s difficult for her. I think it’s best that she keeps everything quiet. I think it’s a smart choice to mind her own business. But that’s just my view. :)

  • Water-miser

    I thought I was the only one in the world that saw the “three minute shower” quote by Jennifer- and then two days later- there was a giant side of the building advertisement of her with a SmartWater. It’s reassuring to find out that there are other folks who notice such things. Next time- I’ll be quicker to do a internet search.

    In all honesty- I have to admit that my disappointment at seeing the ad was primarily selfish. I’ve been working on an “internal water conservation campaign” at my office for about a year. The awareness is there- so it is time to move on to shooting for “behavior change”. The social marketing books advocate the “power of celebrity”- and I thought with Jennifer we could come up with some “attention grabbing” message. But with the bottle water building right next door- kind of ruined that idea.

  • Michele R. Lyons

    In DC (yes, our Capital, Washington, DC), the water is not drinkable and is dangerous, especially for pregnant women, children, and pets. The city has hidden the dangers of lead and chlorine in the water, but everytime the information “leaks.” The lead pipes that the city is ever slowly changing (and at each homeowner’s personal expense (our house was $4000!), still has not changed the lead levels in our water, as older pipes still connect to the newer pipes. Just last month, an independed non-profit discovered that the chlorine levels in the water are dangerously high, causing risks for cancer and seizures in our children. The city admitted knowing about these levels and hiding them! Children, especially in lower income families that cannot afford the expense of bottled water are in danger in our city, and more so, with the tactics of hiding the problems by our government. Developing countries are not the only ones with poor public water sources. To learn more about these and other issues affecting parents (especially pregnant mothers) and children (especially infants), read my blog at

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  • Jenjen

    Tap water in my town is contaminated with arsenic as well as high levels of chlorine (you can smell it on your hands after you wash them with it). I own a water filter, but don’t always bring enough water with me for my family and me to drink. In those situations, I decide often to buy water rather than drink the funky tap water.

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