Green Fork Blog

Want to Be Sustainable? Ditch the Bottled Water

Last month I attended a talk by Dr. Peter Gleick at the Columbia Water Center at Columbia University. Gleick’s talk, "The World’s Water Crisis – Peak Water and Moving To A Sustainable World," was especially interesting given the many water crises we’re facing here in the United States. Gleick is one of the World’s most outspoken critics of bottled water (and author of a book on the subject due out this spring) yet, there on his table sat a bottle of Poland Springs water, standard fare for guest lecturers.  What better symbol of how, in just a very short time, bottled water has become insidiously ubiquitous in our lives.

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What to Make of the Latest Article Warning of Scary Tap Water

Charles Duhigg’s recent New York Times article, That Tap Water Is Legal but May Be Unhealthy, was certainly scary. It let us know that drinking water systems in the United States are in sorry shape and, with over 60,000 chemicals in our industrial inventory, “…not one chemical has been added to the list of those regulated by the Safe Drinking Water Act since 2000.”

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Take Back the Tap and Keep Supporting Municipal Water Systems

Noting the problems associated with large scale consumption of bottled water, the Take Back the Tap campaign asks people to choose tap water over bottled water, but a recent New York Times article by Charles Duhigg,  Toxic Waters: Clean Water Laws Are Neglected, at a Cost in Suffering, might give some people the impression that tap water is not always safe. Before consumers rush to fill their pantries with bottle water, however, there are a few important points to consider.

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