The little things are the big things. The things that are woven into the fabric of our everyday life are so tightly that we don’t even notice that they’re there. Take water for instance. You need it. Based on the fact that you’re made up of 50-75% water.
I remember when bottled water was looked upon as some type of snooty thing for rich snobs. Today, it’s utterly commonplace for people to drink bottled water, to the point where people react in some surprise when you deign to drink tap water.
This is utterly foolish for a number of reasons. It’s hard to overstate the abhorrence of the unnecessary waste produced by delivering a good that already has infrastructure in place to deliver it right to our houses: plumbing. Also, the notion that bottled water is somehow safer than tap water is ridiculous. Most bottled water comes from municipal sources. Some of it has even been filtered. I’m not even going to get into the fear-producing marketing propaganda angle of this, but it’s oh-so-tempting.
And even if the water in your locale happens to be marginally unsafe, you are making a political move the moment you go to buy bottled water. You are saying, in effect, that you are not going to hold your governmental authorities responsible for the service that they are required to fulfill. It might not matter for you, since you can afford to buy water, but you are not the only person in the world, much less in your community.
It is the poor who will suffer as we continue to not pay attention to the quality of municipal tap water. They will get continually lesser quality tap water as the middle and upper class citizens opt out of caring about the water coming out of their taps, preferring to invest their money in the unsustainable practice of buying bottled water.
And this is completely ignoring the global crisis of inadequate supplies of clean drinking water…
For more info, see Think Outside the Bottle, an advocacy group who appear to have some relatively solid research going on.