Posted by Simon
It wasn’t many years ago that if you wanted a drink of water in public it was free at a drinking fountain. Now a store will sell you a bottle of water for a $1.00 and most of the fountains are gone.
A cause for concern?
What happened? Briefly it was the convergence of a few separate issues:
- It was chic for those who could afford it to drink Evian (spelled backwards is naive!)
- Immigrants from countries with bad public water systems demanded bottled water.
- The worrying class started being concerned about the quality of tap water.
Within a decade most of the public water fountains were gone and we were all paying for something that used to be almost free.
A very old drinking fountain in Taos
Now the same worrying class whose motto is “I worry, therefore I am (better than you)” are concerned about all of the plastic bottles that they helped to cause. This article in National Geographic Traveler is an example.
We were laughing about this worrying class dilemma one night at dinner with Dahlia and Joel G and Rebecca and came up with a brilliant solution.
The companies who sell home water filtration systems, Brita, Pur and others could sell branded fountains to cities along with contracts to change the filters regularly. With this product everybody benefits: the environment because there are many less plastic bottles, the cities because they don’t have to clean up all of the bottles and they can be green and the public because they don’t have to buy expensive bottled water.
The way for Brita etal to start this sort of program would be to choose a few already green cities (Pasadena, Seattle, Madison for example) and give them some fountains to start the program. With a good public relations firm they wouldn’t even have to advertise. It would catch on quickly and they would have a new revenue stream.
Another good idea free from “Mr B”