By Jenn (TinyChoices.com) | June 8, 2010
I’ve recently been fulfilling my patriotic duty of serving on a grand jury, and while the experience is far from fun, it has been incredibly educational. This has been my first experience being surrounded by law– police officers and assistant district attorneys and defendants and witnesses, not to mention first degree, second degree, and third degree. It’s been fascinating!
I’ve also learned a thing or two about my fellow Brooklynites, seeing as how I’ve been cooped up in a fluorescently-lit room with 22 other jurors for the past week and a half, mostly folks I generally wouldn’t have crossed paths with otherwise. And let me tell you– this cross-section of Brooklyn drinks a LOT of bottled water.
If this cross-section is any indicator of what’s going on in the rest of the country, then I guess I’m just restating the obvious when I tell you that Americans drink a LOT of bottled water.
Many of my fellow jurors are buying new bottles of water every day from the vending machine in the lobby, instead of refilling the ones they already have or using refillable bottles. Not only is that an eco-no-no, it’s also really expensive! As Annie Leonard points out in The Story of Bottled Water:
“Bottled water costs about 2,000 times more than tap water,” says Annie Leonard, the film’s narrator and director. “Can you imagine paying 2,000 times the price of anything else? How about a $10,000 sandwich?”
While bottled water always bugs me, it’s especially buggy now, what with that crazy lil’ oil leak in the ocean going on. And what’s the real cause of that oil leak? It’s fueled (hah!) by our dependance on petroleum products, of which plastic water bottles are a massive and, in most Westernized countries, completely unnecessary waste. If your tap water is healthy to drink, then there is generally no reason to buy bottled water, except for the occasional real-need situation.
As Karina wrote yesterday, it just doesn’t seem like most people are making the connection between cause and effect with this environmental calamity. Sure, faulty engineering and/or safety precautions could have prevented or minimized the oil leak– but the reason we’re drilling for black gold in the first place, at such great depths and in such extreme locations, is because we are utterly dependent on the stuff.
Since internal combustion engines aren’t going away, we can drive in ways which enhance gas milage and combine trips to conserve fuel and greening our driving. We can cut our reliance on disposable plastic shopping bags by bringing our own to stores. And we can severely limit the number of disposable/”recyclable” plastic water bottles by bringing our own refillables, and by searching out public water fountains and sink faucets wherever we go.
I know I’m kind of preaching to the choir with this post, but it was just really surprising to see how many folks are still actually falling for the bottled water scam.
I’m doing what I can to engage people in conversation about this issue, and wondering how you approach people about the subject of bottled water?
[Image by Moffet via Creative Commons]
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