This week NPR (the only place for real news in my opinion) covered a new campaign in New York urging the city to drink more tap water and say no to the bottled stuff.
According to the City Health Commissioner Thomas Frieden, NY paid top dollar for the city’s water system. The municipal water supply is safe, but many New Yorkers come from places where it may be unsafe to drink the water. Many American’s generally are just not as used to getting water from the tap anymore.
“New Yorkers have paid for a great water system. It only makes sense that they use it.”
Some controversy does surround the campaign. Many are skeptical about the campaigns real motives as it closely follows a rise in water rates.
Despite whatever the true motivation for the campaign may be, raising awareness about the harmful affects of wasteful plastics in my mind is a good thing. Consider that American’s consume an average of 200,000,000,000 plastic bottles each year. San Francisco has already banned the use of City funds to purchase single-serving bottled water (having already banned plastic bags). I would like to see more cities do the same. For now, I will implement the law in my own home!
Newsweek interviewed the San Francisco Mayor Gavin Newsom last month.
“The transportation and distribution, developing the plastic for the water bottles, the cost of the water, has a huge environmental and economic impact….the difference between bottled water and Diet Coke is that you can’t get Diet Coke from the tap. It’s not like any other bottled liquids. These people are making huge amounts of money selling God’s natural resources. Sorry, we’re not going to be part of it. Our water in San Francisco comes from the Hetch Hetchy [reservoir] and is some of the most pristine water on the planet. Our water is arguably cleaner than a vast majority of the bottled water sold as “pure.”
I personally stopped buying bottled water a few years ago when I moved out on my own for monetary reasons. My mother used to stock up on those small bottles of water from Costco and Sam’s Club by the case (I’m happy to say she has since stopped this bad habit). I no longer buy bottled water for the eco-reasons. Why waste plastic when I can get perfectly good H2O from the filtered water dispenser on the outside of my fridge. At work we have a reverse osmosis contraption that is fitted to the underside of the sink.
Living in the hot, hot Florida sun, I carry a stainless- steel container water bottle wherever I go. If you need some inspiration to help you say no to plastic head over to EnviroWoman’s blog, Living Plastic Free in 2007.