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: