Local Bottled Water: Green(er) or Greenwashing?

One company is bottling local municipal water. Is it green, or is it a scam?

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The passionate debate about bottled water is thus: On one hand, bottled water is healthier than soda and can be cheaper to produce. Bottled water companies say that their industry is supporting the economy of countries that export water, like Fiji. On the other hand, there's plenty of evidence that bottled water is a very un-environmental product, using large amounts of energy and resources to package and ship something that flows from our tap nearly for free. Now, one additional business model for bottled water has thrown its hat into the ring.

Tap'dNY is a company that bottles and sells local New York City tap water, which is often rated as one of the best-tasting tap water sources in the country. By bottling and selling it locally, the company has cut out the emissions from transporting water halfway around the globe. They encourage their customers to drink water from the tap when they're near one. Tap'dNY wants to be the second-choice alternative - a brand that people will reach for when they are on the street and don't have a refillable water bottle at hand, but don't want to purchase an unhealthy soda. The bottles are designed to be reused, and the company, of course, encourages recycling. Their advertising is starkly honest, and there's no deception about the source of the water inside.

The greenest option of all is to bring your own reusable water bottle with you. There are many people who would argue that bottled water is an unsustainable industry, no matter how local the water is, or how many carbon offsets are purchased. But what do you think - is local bottled water green, or greenwashing?

This poll is now closed, but the debate continues in the comments section.

Would you buy local bottled water?

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