Water… are our actions part of the solution or part of the problem?
On a recent trip the issues around water and plastic ocean pollution became crisp. I found myself in Chicago's O'Hare airport... parched... in need of a drink of water.
I looked for a fountain and saw a long line of people queued up in front of this.
They were filling up reusable bottles (note the simple adaptation and graphic on the fountain). Instead of spending $4 for a glass of water... they filled up here. In the 5 minutes I spent waitling about $25 was saved by people filling up their bottles.
The recycling rate for single-use plastic bottles is less than 10% so in addition to the economic benefit, 4 or 5 fewer bottles will end up as trash in landfills or the plastic pollution in the oceans.
I was stoked to see this movement in mainstream culture, then I found myself looking up at the billboard below.
Fail. In my opinion this is the equivalent of selling bottled air. Water is a natural resource, the core ingredient to our survival, and we've turned it into a commercial transaction.
Shame on celebrities for selling water in a single-use plastic bottle that has less than a 10% chance of being recycled.
This celebrity-endorsed campaign is contributing to the problem... and the above simple drinking fountain modification is part of the solution.
Which will we support with our actions and habits?