Tap’dNY Bottled Water Must Think You’re Stupid
Because only a moron would spend $2 on purified New York City tap water in a bottle! Now I’m not usually inclined to rant, but holy crap, Tap’dNY has me seething with pent-up rage! Every sentence deserves an exclamation point! Or even two!!
According to the label, Tap’d is “the anti-bottled water bottled water.” Turns out they’ve deluded themselves into thinking that their product is a radical departure and even, gulp, environmentally responsible. Their website provides advice on a “new way of drinking,” including a suggestion to “drink tap whenever and wherever possible.” But aren’t they in the business of bottled water? Indeed they are, and their true intent quickly overshadows any higher message of abstinence: “if you do need a bottle of water, drink Tap’dNY–it’s local!” Sadly and superficially, that argument might just resonate with consumers merely looking to do the right thing. Sure, next to Fiji’s trans-Pacific haul Tap’dNY’s transportation emissions are miniscule, but that comparison misses the pressing bigger picture.
As we struggle to digest the environmental effects of years of unchecked pollution and excessive consumption, what we desperately need is a new mentality, not another bottled water. In recent history, we have looked for societal solutions in the form of consumer goods. But what must define the 21st century is not products as solutions but rather product-less solutions. It may be hard for manufacturers to hear, but sparing the world their hip new product is often the most powerful contribution they can make. So when I see a free public commodity being needlessly repackaged in a non-biodegradable polyethylene plastic bottle, it makes my heart sink. For fans of Tap’d, I definitely suggest following your instincts and drink tap water. But buy a reusable bottle and fill it with the free kind!
P.S. Oh, and just in case you’ve forgotten how bad bottled water is for the environment, here are a few statistics. According to advocacy group Think Outside the Bottle, “producing bottles to meet Americans’ demand for bottled water required more than 17 million barrels of oil last year–enough fuel for more than 1 million U.S. cars for a year–and generated more than 2.5 million tons of carbon dioxide.” Tap’dNY’s wasteful product also reminded me of a pseudo-brilliant 12-part online documentary called Toxic Waste Island, in which a bunch of hipsters sail the Pacific searching for the fabled “Great Pacific Garbage Patch.” The patch, it turns out, is not so much a floating island of garbage but even worse: miles and miles of marine sludge composed of harmful plastic particulates. Hopefully, Tap’d is discontinued before the bottles make their way out to sea.