Seth Godin has been talking a lot lately about the Lizard brain. The conversation in your head that tells you no, don’t do it. In a recent interview with white spaces, he made an interesting comment. When he hears the lizard in his head (the resistance), he takes that as a signal to forge ahead and do it. In short, it is his way of choosing his path to create change and as he so eloquently states, challenge the status quo.

I love the conversation in my head. I found it both fascinating and powerful. I have written a lot about story telling. That’s because it is important. The conversations in my head talk about the future. Its constantly asking what if. What if I started a blog, what if Seth Godin would be kind enough to give us 30 minutes of his time, what if we had a third baby, what if I approached an unattainable brand, what if I gave something away for free. What if I stop using plastic bottles, what if I take a mug to the coffee shop.

What if I asked you to stop drinking bottled water. What would you do. Stop? Probably nothing. What if you knew these statistics.

We spent more money in 2009 on bottled water than on iPods or movie tickets: A whopping $19 Billion (USA).

We buy bottled water more often for the bottle – portability – than the water – quality. And we’re buying the story the water brand is telling us about its origin, magic powers from vitamins and minerals, and over priced flavors and fun bottle shapes. We all know about the rational and the irrational conversation and the little voice in our head that tells us its ok. Do we really buy things based on facts? Of course not, we buy things based on emotions.

So here are a few facts for you:

  • We spent more on water such as Evian, Aquafina, Cool Ridge, Mount Franklin than we spent on iPods or movie tickets — $19 billion
  • 29% of the bottled water we buy is tap water repackaged by Coke and Pepsi
  • Last year, 16 million gallons of “OIL” was consumed to make plastic bottles for water
  • In 2006, we each drank 28.3 gallons of bottled water – 18 half-liter bottles a month. We drink more bottled water than milk, or coffee, or beer
  • while the United States is the single biggest consumer in the world’s $50 billion bottled-water market, it is the only one of the top four — the others are Brazil, China, and Mexico–that has universally reliable tap water
  • if the water we use at home cost what even cheap bottled water costs, our monthly water bills would run $10,000
  • We pitch into landfills 38 billion water bottles a year – in excess of $1.2 billion worth of plastic
  • We’re moving 1 billion bottles of water around a week – a weekly convoy equivalent to 37,800 18-wheelers delivering water

The conversation in my head is wondering what the guys at CHARITY:WATER do about this. They dedicate their life’s work in finding clean water for developing nations and third world countries.

So, my lizard brain tells me not to write this article. After all, you guys obviously don’t care. Look at the stats. Everyone else is doing it then what difference can you make. Read Tribes if you need help to answer that question.

What does it take to change some one’s mindset? Children dying of thirst, proof of dirty drinking water. Maybe a video, a fan page on Facebook or something as simple as choosing to carry a container of tap water. For me it is facts. They hit hard.

I would love to hear your viewpoint on this. Share some ideas with our readers about what we can do to stop using plastic bottles. If you do have some ideas, head over to the Movement Project and tell the team about it, they can crowd-source your funding for projects to help create change and make a difference.

Now what is the conversation in your head telling you. I know what mine is telling me.

Ben Rennie