Thursday, September 3, 2009

tap water, no exceptions


Spiderman fights Green Goblin, Batman battles the Joker, the X-Men wage against the Acolytes. Enviro Girl? She's always up against the usual suspects: leaf blowers, plastic bags, dryer sheets & fabric softener (The Smell! Holy Moses, the sheer power of chemical odors brings our hero to her knees!), and invasive species like the fast-spreading Reed Canary Grass threatening to take over her fields. But one environmental villian is so blatantly obvious and evil that Enviro Girl is amazed she's still taking called on to fight it.

Bottled water. Friends, it's one of the main environmental pollutants. There are more empty plastic water bottles in roadside ditches than empty soda cans. It's clear that the depraved powers behind the seemingly benign bottled water have tricked people into paying for a product they can access for free in almost every home and business across America. Economically this makes no sense. Water is too valuable a resource to allow others to take it and sell it for their profit and it's silly that the general population is willing to pay for municipal water and then turn around and buy for a dollar the same water from a grocery store. Think about it. Taxpayers fund the infrastructure for wells and water systems, corporations then take the water from those tax-funded operations and wrap them in petroleum and sell them on every major intersection for $1 or more a pint. What's next? Nestle Corporation begins wrapping air packets in plastic and peddling them at the nearest 7-Eleven? Come on! Buying water in bottles is only convenient because Perrier and Aquafina have us convinced that grabbing a glass and turning on the faucet is too much work. Back in Enviro Girl's granddaddy's day people just got refreshment from a water fountain or brought along a canteen or thermos--the Old School equivalent of a Nalgene bottle. And by NO stretch of the imagination is bottled water cheap. It's obcenely expensive--so much so that it makes cigarette smoking look like a bargain by comparison.

But what really grinds Enviro Girl most about bottled water, besides the pollution and the economic tomfoolery is the slow leak of our natural resources at the public's expense. Enviro Girl has a friend who worked for years, investing thousands of her dollars and hours of her time in a war to keep Perrier out of her town. While the wretched Perrier spokesman sang a siren's song promising jobs and economic gain, she shouted back. What about the environmental cost when you drain our aquafiers and leave us without water for farming and drinking? What about the pollution from the trucks carrying the loads of our water away from our community? What about the impact of a low water table on our streams and rivers and lakes? What about the petroleum used to rape us of this supply, package it and transport it?

Enviro Girl's friend won that war, but that doesn't stop the giant. The only thing that stops the giant is YOU, the consumer, the drinker, the bottled water advocate. Stop buying into the lie. Bring your own water to the next family picnic or ball game. Don't buy bottled water for your next event--set out a pitcher of tapwater and some glasses.

And if Enviro Girl can't convince you of the ruthless wickedness of this arch-enemy, perhaps this 6 minute trailer for Tapped can:


20 comments:

  1. I grew up with the best tasting water on the planet. Clear, hard as a rock, no taste.

    Now.....when we run water in the bathtub it smells like a swimming pool. It's horrible and totally undrinkable. When I redo my kitchen, I really want to get some kind of filter put on my sink, but for now we buy the big 5 gallon bottles of spring water (we have lots of springs in Georgia). I use it for everything, coffee, tea, etc.

    Not a fan of the disposable one serving bottle, but as much as I feel like it's a waste....cannot go there with the tap water. It's just too icky.

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  2. It bothers me that these plastic bottles do so much damage; yet our gov't refuses to pass a tax on them that would reflect the real cost of our using them. Money talks; and the one way to get people to stop buying water in small plastic bottles is to raise the price. Remember the gas crisis last year? As soon as prices topped 4 dollars a gallon, suddenly everyone was doing the things environmentalists had nagged us to do for 2 decades: carpooling, buying more fuel-efficient vehicles, biking to work, telecommuting. That's all it took.

    Tax the hell out of plastic, is what I say. It should only be used for medical needs.

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  3. I don't buy bottled water. Period. If I get thirsty while I'm out, I find a water fountain. Most often, however, I already have my reusable bottle with me.

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  4. Oh noes..! you said "PLASTIC"!!! *haha!* I hate plastic too. Now I'll be obsessing on that all morning.
    Nah...I won't obsess.
    ::twitch::

    I martyr myself over excessive packaging of any kind...man, it is really out of hand with the "individually wrapped portions" plastic-wrapped and then bundled in MORE plastic (or paper, or tyvek, or whatev.)...like those stupid cheese-n-crackers "packs" with the little splooge of hydrogenated cheese product on one side and 3 or 4 crackers on the other side...heinously sealed in plastic. I hate that!!

    I blame a lot of it on manufacturers trying to make things "convenient" for kids' lunches. Pfft.
    Suck it, Big Petroleum!!
    * ; D

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  5. I am sooo guilty of this. I used to buy bottled water all the time. My Dad thought I was crazy - "we live in the Pacific Northwest!" He'd say.

    Our water is wonderful better than most places on the planet.

    It was the convenience factor that got me. A Grab-n-Go. I've really worked hard to turn my back on the dark side - sometimes I fail. But hearing and SEEING these pics is soooooo motivating.

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  6. Thank you! I don't drink bottled water but I do use too much plastic. I'd given it up for Lent but have fallen off the wagon since. You've inspired me to hop back on and pester others as well!

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  7. I hear you on the water bottles. And water snobs--those people who are all, "Ew, how can you drink tap water?" really annoy me. If I were ruder, I'd say, "Ew, how can you clutter up the earth with all those plastic bottles?"

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  8. We refill water bottles, but I keep an emergency stash of plastic water bottles in the trunk for "soccer emergencies" if we run out. I will even rethink this now. Thanks

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  9. Have you been following the dryer sheet letters in the local paper? I switched to anti-static dryer balls a while back and I love them.

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  10. Here in So Cal, we're moving toward paying for plastic bags at the grocery store. This is to encourage people to bring their reusable cloth bags to the store. Maybe something along the same lines is in order for plastic bottles.

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  11. Hey, do those rubber dryer balls work? I saw some here, never heard of 'em before. Our water in Trinidad was from rain tanks, soft and delicious, so I am learning about water stuff now. Drinking tap water so far, it tastes fine and everyone else drinks it here in the UK. Maybe I should get a filter jug?

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  12. Can you hear my teeth grinding?

    A friend told me this morning, that apparently half of all food in the UK is disposed of between the farm and the supermarkets....?

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  13. This is a great post. It is so important to get the word out. Thanks for doing it.

    XO

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  14. We have a stinky algae bloom every year, but a Brita filter seems to solve the issue.

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  15. I remember thinking, when bottled water started to get popular that it was an extrememly stupid concept. My mom brought home bottles of water in blue (glass, actually) bottles and I read the label. It was from freaking Wales! I live in the land of 10,000 lakes. Why on earth would stores here even carry water from across a continent?

    A lot of bottled water is really essentially tap water anyway, so I don't get the "ick" factor.

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  16. My mom won't drink anything but bottled water. They have her convinced it's superior.

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  17. ...I had NO idea about this!! I've only ever heard that if u leave a bottle and it gets hot, it can leech chemicals into the water...I need to tell people!
    I've also always thought it was strange that my family even bought bottled water at all since we have a personal "well" for our house cuz it was built long before anything around us...I think we've always seen bottled water as the best-and purest(I knew the filtered wasn't, but for sure thought the ones like Evian were). I'm disturbed.

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  18. I love my Kleen Kanteen. I filter my water at home. I very rarely buy bottled water, but I do pick up a pack of gatorade every now and then.

    My next bad habit is ziploc bags. I just don't know if I can do it. By the time I put all those glass bowls in the kids lunch box, they are going to need a cart to get it to school.

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  19. I'm with you on this one for sure!!

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Spill it, reader.