Tuesday, October 13, 2009

Tapped the Movie

Like Food, Inc. recently did for American industrial agriculture, Tapped examines the economic, social, and environmental effects of another destructive industry - water. But Tapped zeroes in on the ruin visited upon us and ecosystems by the globalized supply chain and its commodification in single-use bottles. The makers of Who Killed the Electric Car? and I.O.U.S.A. ask us to consider a very pointed question: "Is access to clean drinking water a human right, or a commodity that should be bought and sold like any other article of commerce?" That's a loaded question.

The net effects of this seemingly innocuous little thing are disastrous. In the United States we sell 29 billion single-use plastic bottles annually. "In a time when we're looking at climate change, why are we shipping water around the world?" Why are we perpetuating an industry whose end product leads to 3.5 million tons of plastic trash in the north Pacific Ocean expanding over 9,000 football fields worth of area?

We need to change this system, and Tapped gives us more fodder. Where does your money go when you buy Dasani, Aquafina, Poland Spring, Fiji, or Arrowhead? In a nation as rich as ours, with as rich a water system as we have, why spend billions upon billions of dollars playing a water shipping shell game when we could be investing a fraction of that money into riparian systems' health, river and lake health, and ocean health? Why not update and secure our water supplying infrastructure for the long-term health of our people?

But it's also personal. Can you use less water? If you can, can your friends and family? What alternatives are there to corporate private water? How can we change what we do to be more sustainable people?

Can you be more mindful? Of course you can.

As a first step, you can go to the Tapped website and sign their declaration which begins, "By signing this declaration I promise to limit my consumption of bottled water..." Join me.

It is time for you and me to Take Back the Tap!

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