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raccoon Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Dec-14-07 09:57 AM
Original message
Bottled Water Boycotts--this is good news!
Published on Thursday, December 13, 2007 by Earth Policy Institute

Bottled Water Boycotts: Back-to-the-Tap Movement Gains Momentum

by Janet Larsen

From San Francisco to New York to Paris, city governments, high-class restaurants, schools, and religious groups are ditching bottled water in favor of what comes out of the faucet. With people no longer content to pay 1,000 times as much for bottled water, a product no better than water from the tap, a backlash against bottled water is growing.

The U.S. Conference of Mayors, which represents some 1,100 American cities, discussed at its June 2007 meeting the irony of purchasing bottled water for city employees and for city functions while at the same time touting the quality of municipal water. The group passed a resolution sponsored by Mayors Gavin Newsom of San Francisco, Rocky Anderson of Salt Lake City, and R. T. Rybak of Minneapolis that called for the examination of bottled waters environmental impact. The resolution noted that with $43 billion a year going to provide clean drinking water in cities across the country, the United States municipal water systems are among the finest in the world.

While the Mayors Conference fell short of moving to stop taxpayer money from filling the coffers of water bottlers, a growing number of cities are heading in that direction. Los Angeles, which has restricted the purchase of bottled water with city funds since 1987, now has more company. By the end of 2007, purchasing bottled water will be off-limits for San Franciscos departments and agencies, saving a half-million dollars each year and reducing greenhouse gas emissions. St. Louis is poised to ban bottled water purchases for city employees in early 2008.

At the launch of Corporate Accountability Internationals Think Outside the Bottle campaign in October, Mayor Anderson of Salt Lake City described the total absurdity and irresponsibility, both economic and environmental, of purchasing and using bottled water when we have perfectly good and safe municipal sources of tap water. He urged city government departments and restaurants to stop buying bottled water.

In November, the city council of Chicago, beleaguered by swelling landfills and a stretched budget, placed a landmark tax of 5 on every bottle of water sold in the city in order to discourage consumption. That same month, Illinois state agencies were banned from purchasing bottled water with government funds. With 86 percent of used water bottles in the United States ending up as garbage or litter instead of being recycled, switching from the bottle to the tap helps to alleviate the trash burden.

New York City is urging residents to drink tap water, which is naturally filtered in the protected Catskill forest region. In Kentucky, the Louisville water utility hands out free bottles for residents to fill with Pure Tap. Dozens of other local governments are talking up tap water and are looking into banning the bottle. (See list of other cities and initiatives.)

Tap water promotional campaigns would have seemed quaint a few decades ago, when water in bottles was a rarity. Now such endeavors are needed to counteract the pervasive marketing that has caused consumers to lose faith in the faucet. In fact, more than a quarter of bottled water is just processed tap water, including top-selling Aquafina and Coca-Colas Dasani. When Pepsi announced in July that it would clearly label its Aquafina water as from a public water source, it no doubt shocked everyone who believed that bottles with labels depicting pristine mountains or glaciers delivered a superior product.

(snip)

http://www.commondreams.org/archive/2007/12/13/5817 /

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eleny Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Dec-14-07 10:21 AM
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1. We gave up the Aquafina
It started out that hubby and I just wanted something super convenient to carry with us while driving. Keeping a case of Aquafina by the door so we could grab a bottle on the way out worked great. No, we didn't want to stop to fill our own bottle with water. Grabbing one on the way out was what we decided.

One thing led to another and we were grabbing the bottled water all the time. It crept into our day like a bad habit.

Now, I'm freaking out about plastics and trying to get rid of using as much plastic as I reasonably can. The water in the bottles went first. I have some glass bottles from an iced tea drink that we recycled for water. Works fine.
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blondeatlast Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Dec-14-07 10:27 AM
Response to Reply #1
3. Just this week we bought a zero waste RO system and love it.
I finally told Mr. that I couldn't tolerate the tremendous waste of the bottles. When we found out about the zero-waste (no extra water is needed to process it thru the filter) we were sold.

We got the entire system installed for less than $400 including the system and labor.
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raccoon Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Dec-14-07 10:33 AM
Response to Reply #3
5. My sister and her husband have one. They live in a coastal area where the tap water

is said to be drinkable and maybe it's safe, I guess, but you'd have to be pretty thirsty to tolerate it.
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eleny Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Dec-14-07 11:03 AM
Response to Reply #3
8. Thanks! I'm going to look into this
Edited on Fri Dec-14-07 11:08 AM by eleny
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blondeatlast Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Dec-14-07 11:08 AM
Original message
Ours is from Watts (the factory is near us). I think Costco sells it as well for
a pretty good price.

I just hate the bottles!
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eleny Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Dec-14-07 11:11 AM
Response to Original message
12. Thanks again for the follow up
We were recycling all the plastic bottle with the Shriners since they have a recycle dumpster a few blocks from our home. But I'm happy now to be using the glass bottles for benefits like being able to stick them in the dishwasher and how nice beverages taste from a glass container. :)
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raccoon Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Dec-14-07 10:35 AM
Response to Reply #1
6. I have my personal water bottle, but sometimes when I don't want to take it
somewhere--it's pretty large--I re-fill an empty plastic water bottle, Aquafina or whatever, that I've kept.
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Retrograde Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Dec-14-07 02:02 PM
Response to Reply #6
20. same here
I have a cute little bottle (got it at some company picnic or other) that fits in my purse.

I have been known to buy bottled water when I'm traveling, but I try to reuse the bottles when I can find a good source. I refuse to drink anything from the Colorado River, though: by the time it gets to Orange County I think it's been recycled 5 or 6 times!
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LiberalFighter Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Dec-14-07 10:55 AM
Response to Reply #1
7. I would rather use the plastic container for on the run instead of glass.
To prevent breakage.

Buying one and reusing it over and over.

The only time I ever had bottled water was when the water was contaminated at the company. Then they provided us with bottled water for free for that day.
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eleny Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Dec-14-07 11:08 AM
Response to Reply #7
9. I've been reading about the dangers of certain plastics
From what I learned, the safest plastic is the kind that sounds a little like glass when you tap on it. The squishy, soft bottles have a chemical in them that isn't that safe to use. Until I find a bottle that's the very hard plastic I'm sticking with the glass bottle for taking in the car or on our recumbent bike.

Plastics are really scaring me and they're everywhere. It's not easy finding alternatives but it can be done for lots of things. I just don't know how I'm going to replace my plastic storage bags. I love them so!
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A HERETIC I AM Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Dec-14-07 10:24 AM
Response to Original message
2. I've always found it interesting that the one major city that consistently ranks highest in water
quality is also the largest - New York.

Bottled water is a sham, in my opinion. Lewis Black did a great bit on this idea. Can't get to the link just now but it is easy to find on YouTube
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ProfessorGAC Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Dec-14-07 10:30 AM
Response to Reply #2
4. Yes. That Lewis Black Bit Is Must See
Of course, he makes me laugh until my ribs hurt. So, i think everything he says is funny. maybe i'm not the best judge of Must See TV.
The Professor
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seemslikeadream Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Dec-14-07 11:09 AM
Response to Reply #2
10. I had to go find it
Edited on Fri Dec-14-07 11:34 AM by seemslikeadream
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eleny Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Dec-14-07 11:15 AM
Response to Reply #2
13. I saw that Black bit on the Comedy Channel
His appearance was on the cable this year. Great stuff!

And I remember watching one of the science shows where they spotlighted the water tests and NYC came out on top almost all the time. I'm originally from NYC but our neighborhood in Queens had well water. Then over the years it was supplemented with "city water" which I always thought was too sweet. I liked the mineral flavor of our well water.
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Wilber_Stool Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Dec-14-07 11:10 AM
Response to Original message
11. Britta.
I've been a Britta guy for over ten years. Sometimes I forget to fill it but that's the only problem I have. Just get the chlorine out and any water is good.
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rucky Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Dec-14-07 11:16 AM
Response to Reply #11
15. 'Zactly. n/t
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raccoon Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Dec-14-07 11:19 AM
Response to Reply #11
16. I use Brita too. Sometimes when you get tap water from a tap or a fountain,
it smells like fricking Clorox.
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RebelOne Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Dec-14-07 11:22 AM
Response to Reply #11
17. I use the Britta pitcher with the filter.
My tap water is undrinkable. I even filter my dogs' water.
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Wilber_Stool Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Dec-14-07 01:31 PM
Response to Reply #17
19. It's too bad you can't answer every one at once.
Cooking. Anytime you have to use water that isn't going to be boiled, use Britta. You won't believe how much different your beans will taste when you hydrate them with chlorine free water.
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AndyTiedye Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Dec-14-07 11:16 AM
Response to Original message
14. How Do You Remove Chloramine?
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Tarc Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Dec-14-07 11:28 AM
Response to Original message
18. Admittedly, I'm kinda hooked
on the Dasani flavored water. I've wanted to try a homemade version since all it is is splenda and some sort of flavoring additive, but haven't seen a good recipe online. If anyone here knows of one, I'd be much obliged.
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