Seattle Says: Let them drink tap!

March 21, 2008

Tap It

Last week, Seattle Mayor Greg Nickels announced a ban on city-funded bottled water in an effort to help the environmental cause. After spending 58,000 in taxpayer dollars on pre-packaged H2O last year, Mayor Nickels and his squad of green watchdogs took a look at the true cost of individual agua. According to their research, only one in 10 bottles finds its way to the recycling center; the rest, they presume, end up in the landfill.

Moreover, with such high-quality groundwater available in the Pac NW — Seattle’s city water comes from the Cedar River and Tolt River watersheds — it seems nonsensical to forsake the tap. Certainly, this initiative has received criticism; just check out the vitriol in the comments over at Collin Dunn’s TreeHugger post:

Sheesh, whatever happened to watching out for Big Brother?

and

And i thought we originally went to plastic because it was recyclable and good for environment! Time to stop using the ‘environment-friendly’ as a term for anti-capitalist!

Yikes. Check out the rest; see what you think.

Challenge time! Take the Think Outside the Bottle Pledge, and swear off the bottle. Green crusader Bill McKibben, “America’s #1 Populist” Jim Hightower, and even Papa Martin Sheen have taken the oath, along with a handful of U.S. cities. Care to take it with them?

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6 Responses to “Seattle Says: Let them drink tap!”

  1. tazdog said

    I about choked on my bottled water when I saw this, lol..

    I’m glad I dont live in that city, I don’t think Mr Nickels really knows what he is doing. Maybe he just wants to be like SFO with their plastic bag ban, and he want’s some spotlight attention in the country.. hmmm This is just dumb to me…

  2. Ryan said

    Here’s a tip if you don’t like the taste of tap water: Starbucks uses filtered water, so when you’re getting coffee (or just near a Starbucks) ask them to fill your water bottle for you.

  3. tazdog: What seems dumb about this decision? The fact that it is getting the Greg Nickels props? Personally, I’m glad my mayor is trying to do something — however small it may be in the bigger scheme — that does good by the planet. Certainly he isn’t banning bottled water from the city; he is simply stopping the flow of city cash that goes toward it.

    Ryan: Thanks for the tip. Here in Seattle, though, we’ve got pretty tasty tap water. An anecdote: My husband, who works for the city library system, recently had to arrange for the removal of his branch’s water cooler following the mayor’s edict. The branch denizens, who had been drinking bottled H20 since the branch’s relocation to a its current office ten years ago, were totally bummed that they’d have to drink the tap water, which had been deemed bad-tasting a decade before (hence, the city-funded water cooler). After the cooler had been carted away, the director of the branch filled up her cup with the dreaded tap water. Which tasted fine.

    Thus, for ten years, the city had been paying for bottled water, despite the fact that the tap water was perfectly potable.

    I wonder how many other city agencies will experience this. And I wonder how many taxpayer dollars have gone toward agua in lieu of other, perhaps more useful channels.

  4. […] 3, 2008 Following Seattle Mayor Greg Nickels’ recent ban on city-funded bottled water comes a new eco-policy: an initiative that will ding customers 20 cents for every paper or plastic […]

  5. Salina said

    This is all fine and dandy.. except he didn’t address the issue of high amounts of hormones and pharmaceuticals being found in our Puget Sound water! Can they filter those out?

    http://seattletimes.nwsource.com/html/localnews/2003645892_hormone01m.html

    Until they test our water sources (and not just the sound), I’ll be looking for a distiller!

  6. Thanks for sharing this article, Salina. However, according to it, the hormone and chemical levels are reported as low.

    While I’m not discounting the fact that we’re likely drinking our share of endocrine disruptors, I’m wondering if the alarm should sound re: “false” or “incomplete” testing.

    And, given that the article mentions plastics as one of the culprits behind these toxics, isn’t it better that we’re trying to cut down on our bottled water consumption? Fewer bottles in the city mean fewer bottles (and chemicals) in the Sound, right?

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