OK, you’ve read all the info and recognize how bad bottled water truly is for the environment. You’ve done your research and found a reusable bottle that you want to use (or better yet are reusing something you already had). And now you are ready to once and for all kick your plastic water bottle habit for good.
The first few days go pretty well. You’re at home or at the office and you know where you can find good clean drinking water. But then you have a day of running around the city. It’s hot. You’re drinking a lot because that bicycle you’ve been riding is giving you a workout. Suddenly, you find yourself out of water with nowhere to fill up.
Depending on where you live, this can actually be a bit of a problem. Many areas don’t have water fountains anymore (anyone been to Vegas recently?) and many others have them but they can be hard to find, or worse yet, easy to find, but not well maintained.
That’s where TapIt comes in. TapIt is an organization that started in New York City in 2008. By visiting their website, downloading their iPhone app (search TapIt in the iTunes store), or printing out their city maps, you can easily find cafes, shops and restaurants who have agreed to make drinking water available to the general public. How cool is that? And while New York City was the city they started with, they are now offering information on cities in 10 states, and that number is growing.
Can’t find info on water sources in your city or state? Well then jump on board and contact them about enlisting businesses in your area that want to help out. It’s a win-win situation because citizens get access to drinking water on the go, and businesses increase their foot traffic, bringing new prospective customers into their establishments. And by the way, if you own your own business and want to be a part of the network, you can sign up here as well.
While TapIt’s goal is definitely a cool one, they go one step further by educating people to the water problems at hand. A recent view of their Facebook page had a story about how to supersize your water savings, a piece on water scarcity and global security, and a story about Sana, Yemen becoming the first capital city in the world to run out of water. It’s a wealth of knowledge, and once you join their group, that info will come right to your digital doorstep.
So check out TapIt, join up, hydrate, and pass it on.
Dave Chameides is a filmmaker and environmental educator. His website and newsletter are designed to inspire thought and dialogue on environmental solutions and revolve around the idea that no one can do everything, but everyone can do something. “Give people the facts, and they’ll choose to do the right thing.”