Tapped. A Challenge to Myself.

13 Apr

Last night I watched a life-changing documentary, called Tapped. Documented by Stephanie Soetchtig, the film addressed the questions of big business in the bottled-water industry. “Is clean drinking water an inalienable right, or is it a privilege like every other commodity?”

I was really moved by the film’s expert sources, including chemists, biologists, humanitarians, professors, doctors, and those impassioned by the state of our environment.

It moved me (like so many good documentaries do) to be better, to protect myself and my family from the harmful chemicals in bottled water, and to be better about recycling, even though I currently live in a state that doesn’t have a Bottle Bill and makes little effort to educate the public about recycling, making it difficult to do so.

It also made me really mad at the way our society works. We are told that we need things and we buy it. It’s called “advertising” the exact field I work in. The problem is that these massive companies move into these little towns, rob them of their water, sell their water for 1900% of the costs of bottle packaging, then leave the town high and “dry” (pun absolutely intended), and don’t return any responsibility onto their buyers by aiding in  recycling efforts. Even cigarette companies have to educate smokers about the harmful effects of smoking, but water companies, which are viewed as healthy, don’t educate people about where the water was pulled from (typically TAP water), how (if) it was treated, or what chemicals are in bottle packaging that are also found in cancer tissues (also a leader in poor reproductive health).

Lastly, the documentary doesn’t even touch the surface of the bottled soda industry, but based on the statistics of the “blue gold” industry, I can’t imagine the effects our habitual soda consumption is having on our people and our environment. It’s disturbing.

The strongest point in the film though, was only briefly touched on. We as a society are so much more concerned with convenience, that “we don’t take the time to care for our belonging, cleaning them and reusing them” in order to save our earth and ourselves. We are so spoiled and adjusted to getting what we want, when we want it, then throwing it out, because it’s useless to us when we’ve used it all up. There’s a great correlation between our usage of bottled water and the way we treat everything else in our paths… seeking to get what’s good for now and throwing it out when there’s something better or the need changes, with no regard for what happens next. We treat everything like this, from celebrities to relationships, to trash…

This doesn’t mean that there’s no good in bottled water when it comes to emergencies, drought, or disasters, but we over-use our disposable products and pay for free commodities, just because it’s somehow more convenient.

I’m making a challenge to myself. Stop taking 2 minutes more to be lazy and create 2 minutes more to be productive. I’m going to do my best to save bottled water for extreme circumstances, wash my reusable containers (instead of leaving them in the car), fill them with filtered water from my sink and plan my days better, so I avoid self-induced “extreme circumstances” better. I can’t change the world by myself, but I sure can save my own money, and release myself of the personal responsibility that I could be contributing to a health / earth destroying bad behavior.

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