Sunday, October 25, 2009

Anti-Bottled Water Campaigns

Name: Anti-bottled Water Campaigns

Location: Throughout the US, mostly in major cities

Years: 2007-present

Funded by: City governments--mostly New York City and San Francisco

Starting in 2007, there has been a movement against bottled drinking water, and it has been gaining momentum ever since. One of the most effective parts of the campaign is a website called “Tappening”. This website provides a host of articles and information that support the theory that people should drink tap water. They provide statistics about how safe and good for you tap water is, and they also provide information about how wasteful bottles of water can be. In addition to Tappening, there is also a sister website called “Start A Lie” where people can email fake ads to their friends along the lines of “bottled water is the main source of restless leg syndrome” or “bottled water: 98% melted polar ice caps, 2% polar bear tears”. These funny and untruthful ads encourage people to think more carefully about their water drinking habits.

The anti-bottled water campaign has also had help from municipal governments across the United States. For example, in San Francisco, California, Mayor Gavin Newsom passed legislation in 2007 that outlawed the purchase of any bottled water with city money. Similarly, in 2007, New York City launched an ad campaign called “Get Your Fill” that encouraged New Yorkers to drink tap water rather than water in plastic bottles. They bragged that New York tap water is like the champagne of all tap water—i.e. that it tastes wonderful and is perfectly safe. The overall campaign cost $700,000!

I think it’s great that cities are taking a stand against bottled drinking water. Here in the United States, we are so fortunate that we actually do have tap water that is clean and safe to drink, yet sadly so many people choose not to take advantage of it. I think it’s a great idea to encourage people to consider the alternatives, like carrying a metal canteen around with them that they can continuously fill up with safe, healthy tap water.

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