The tide may be starting to turn on water...bottled water. I can see the days of all of us loading up on and carrying around our own personal Dasanis, Crystal Geyers, Arrowheads and Aquafinas nearing an end.
On the face of it, it is rather ridiculous: spending hard earned money on something in a compact plastic bottle that's been trucked or even flown thousands of miles - when you can get the exact same thing virtually free from your tap, without all that waste.
Although many San Franciscans might think the war on bottled water sprang from the head of cost-conscience, publicity-magnet and up-for-re-election mayor Gavin Newsom this past spring....the idea actually first seeped out of Salt Lake City last winter from it's eco-friendly mayor, Rocky Anderson.
It is amazing that San Francisco has some of the best tasting and cleanest tap water in the country, yet has spent nearly $2 million since 2003 on bottled water. And to think how many playground bathrooms that money could have been spent on......
Although San Francisco is often seen by the rest of the country as a wacky West Coast liberal enclave, the move to reduce or eliminate use of bottled water is actually gaining steam and starting to flow freely through a country that's looking to cut not only waste, but costs.
It helps that this summer, traditionally a slow news season, the media has started giving the issue some serious attention. The debate has been heard on NPR's Talk of the Nation, recently, as well as KQED's Forum. ABC's World News Tonight as well as all the other national newscasts and newspapers have covered the story - pointing out the silliness of our bottled water habit.
While green-types are battling bottled water from an environmental stance - consumer watchdogs are fighting it from a truth-in-marketing point of view. As you can read in this MSNBC report, the push is on to force bottled water makers to make it clear on their labels if their product actually comes from a municipal water source....you know....a faucet like the one in your kitchen.
The bottled water industry is, of course, fighting back. And they have the dough to do it, considering many of our favorite "brands" actually come from Coke and Pepsi.
However, speaking of marketing, and in the spirit of full disclosure, The Kansas City Star reports that a new "Refill Not Landfill" campaign urging us to sign a pledge promising not to use bottled water, is actually coming to us courtesy of Nalgene, the company that makes those trendy, reusable polycarbonate bottles that are popping up everywhere.
Always a buck to be made somewhere.
Do you buy bottled water, or have you stopped buying bottled water? What has influenced your decision most: environmental concerns, taste, habit, cost? Click below on "Comments" and tell us what you're thinking.