Snarky Behavior

Cindy Crawford Goes Green

August 6, 2008 · 2 Comments

The other day while  I was getting ready for work, I saw Cindy Crawford on The Today Show (I think) promoting her “Thirsty for Change” campaign, with the goal of encouraging Americans to give up their bottled-water habit.

At some point during the interview Crawford mentioned that she used to go through at least 6 bottles of water per day(!) 6 x 365 = 2190 plastic water bottles per year… she was her own mini-landfill!

Crawford got me thinking about my own use of disposable items…

Now, I’m not particularly conscious enough to carry around a Nalgene all day.  I’m the kind of guy who always loses his umbrella when it rains, so a Nalgene would be gone by day 2.  I’m also far too impulsive to avoid buying a single Vitamin Water when I’m thirsty and on the street.

However, I like to think that I’m not a bad guy.  When given the opportunity, and assuming little or no discrepancy in cost, I’d always prefer to conserve rather than waste.

The problem is that my trade-off considerations and decisions aren’t made in terms of conservation.  They’re made in terms of availability and immediacy.

For example:  If I’m thirsty and on the street, my only option is to purchase an individual plastic bottle of water.  I could certainly wait until I returned to the office, and drank out of my glass.  But that doesn’t solve my immediate conundrum:  the opportunity to be quenched, or if not, to remain thirsty.

If I had options within — if I could choose, for instance, to purchase a more permanent container designed for multiple uses, and pre-filled with cold water, I might just do that (provided it were low-cost enough).  And if those containers were widely disseminated, I might start seeing vendors of cold, filtered water who would fill up my bottle direct.

My point is, as a consumer, I don’t want to subsume certain values I may have based on a cardinal ranking of needs.  It’s not an accurate representation of my value system that thirst always trumps environmental concerns.  But if I buy a bottle of water off of the street, there is no room for negotiation.  Sorry earth… thirst wins.  I didn’t have any other choice!  My hands were tied!

Now that your brain is thinking, read this article about “Designing Better Choices.”

Categories: Opinion
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2 responses so far ↓

  • Rohit // August 7, 2008 at 2:23 pm | Reply

    I switched to a Nalgene last year, and haven’t looked back since. The combination of Brita plus Nalgene is not only environmentally friendly, but also significantly cheaper. When water is available for free, I do not see how we all got tricked into paying for it.

    Back in the day, I drank about two or three bottles a day during the week, priced at maybe $1.25 per bottle. That’s $3.75/day * 5 days/week * 50 weeks/year (roughly), or an astonishing $937.5/year. A grand per year on water? Unreal.

  • vicky // August 13, 2008 at 9:52 pm | Reply

    oh, the earth weeps twice. As you SHOULD have known, transparent Nalgene bottles as well as other transparent plastics are known to leak endocrine disrupting chemicals and carcinogens into ground water, especially when heated. the trendy replacement is now a metal water bottle, as shown in Stuff White People Like.
    http://stuffwhitepeoplelike.com/2008/02/26/76-bottles-of-water/

    Oh Jon, don’t buy water bottles! What about using a metal coffee mug you can fill at drinking fountains, at home, and you can drink coffee/ tea out of?

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