2010 Milan Design Show at Superstudio

Drink Tap Water

Water is an irrefutable necessity in our daily lives yet most of us take it for granted. That first glass of water when we wake up, the warm shower before work, and the steady flow of water to soak our dishes and wash our clothes are just some of the ways we use water on a daily basis. Water plays a critical role in our well being, especially our drinking water. We buy into the advertising and beautiful labels promising that the water we purchase comes from crystal clean mountain springs or melted glaciers, thus pushing Americans to spend billions a year on bottled water. Due to this advertising blitz, children are growing up believing that healthy water only comes from a bottle and that tap water is unsafe or impure. We spend a lot of money to get that bottle of water shipped over from Fiji or the highest icecaps to ensure that we are getting pure untainted water. Ironically, a third of the time we buy bottled water, all we get is filtered tap water that is less regulated than the water we could get from our kitchen faucet. In fact, two of the most widely known water companies, Aquafina (Pepsi) and Dasani (Coca Cola), provide filtered tap water. On top of receiving a comparable or inferior product, we are paying upwards of 300 times more for bottled water than tap water. Tap water costs about $.003 per gallon while bottled water can run $1-3 per gallon. That mark up is like spending $900 on a magazine that is typically $3. Besides the exorbitant price, the process of bottling water is highly inefficient. It takes three units of water to produce one unit of water in a plastic bottle. 17 million barrels of oil are consumed in the production of bottles every year which is enough oil to fuel 1.3 million cars for a year. Unfortunately, that number does not even include the oil burned in transportation and refrigeration of the water across the States. The transportation of bottled water also contributes to pollution and carbon emissions. Another problem with the consumption of bottled water is the waste created by the discarded PET bottles. Only one in five of us recycle our empty bottles. This adds roughly 30 million plastic bottles a day into our landfill and the bottles take thousands of years to break down. When PET breaks down it does not biodegrade, it photo degrades. It breaks down to smaller and smaller fragments, never being reabsorbed into the earth. These pieces absorb toxins which contaminate soil, waterways and eventually animals. Some of the bottles that don’t make it to the recycle center are incinerated, releasing toxic pollution. One way to end this waste is to embrace a cultural shift away from the use-and-toss mentality.

2011 Spark Design Award

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