Utne Blogs > Environment

Think Outside the Bottle

by Danielle Magnuson


Tags: Peter Gleick, Island Press, Nina’s Coffee Café, June Berkowitz, bottled water, locavore, environment, Bottled and Sold, Danielle Magnuson,

WaterMy neighborhood coffee shop, housed in a historic red brick edifice on a shady intersection, no longer sells bottled water. The barista posted a small, handwritten sign explaining why:

Thank god, I say. Or more accurately: Thank you, café owner June Berkowitz. Inviting customers to drink their fill of free water is such a novel concept after decades of cafés, fast food joints, and movie theaters, when asked for “just water,” either handing over a tiny Dixie cup that lasts two gulps or making patrons pay for a disposable plastic bottle.

It will have to be a tandem effort between patrons and businesses if we are to break our dependence on bottled water, writes Peter Gleick in his book Bottled and Sold: The Story Behind Our Obsession with Bottled Water (Island Press, 2010):

I’ll leave it up to someone else to come up with the “local water” version of locavore, but in the meantime, a loud round of applause to Nina’s café for taking the tap water pledge, regardless of its effect on their bottom line. With plastic water bottles leaching cancer-causing toxins and being disposed of at a heart-stopping rate of 85 million bottles per day in the United States alone, I am thrilled to bring along my BPA-free, stainless steel bottle and fill it at your watering hole.

Source: Bottled and Sold 

Image by Dan4th, licensed under Creative Commons.