By Meg Imholt of Portland, Oregon. Meg is the Green Corps Organizer for Corporate Accountability International's Think Outside the Bottle Campaign, working to promote, protect, and ensure public funding for our public water systems.
It's no secret that Oregon's in the red. As government furlough days seem to be happening with regularity, every dollar begs the question: Do we really need this?
$90,000 of Oregon's dwindling dollars are headed straight for the bottle - the water bottle, that is, according to Corporate Accountability International's latest edition of Getting States off the Bottle.
Bottled water costs thousands times more than tap water. But that doesn't even begin to cover it's true costs. Add in waste generated, carbon emissions from manufacturing, packaging and distributing those bottles, groundwater drained in vulnerable areas, and the cost of relying upon corporations instead of our public water systems for the human right to water and $90,000 is just the beginning.
But wait, how else would Oregon s government hydrate during meetings, conferences, events, and other stately operations?
Ooooohhhhhhhhhhh, that s right. Tap water which happens to be regulated by our state government costs less than a penny a gallon, is far more sustainable, and supports public water systems. With that same $90,000 the state could have installed over 100 water fountains with filters to supply clean, sustainable water for reusable bottles, making a smart and sustainable choice.
So, lets revisit the question: Do we really need this?
It's a no-brainer. What we need is an Executive Order ending state spending on bottled water.
New York, Virginia, and Illinois have already taken action on bottled water. It's time for Governor Kulongoski to step it up.