December 27, 2007

Wherein My Latest Attempt to Go Green Turns to ... Brown

I have written a series of posts dating back to November 2005 that chronicle my baby steps to become green. These include studying green issues, attending green business conferences and seminars, investing in companies that produce green technology (such as solar panels), and suggesting common-sense steps that even non-committed, lazy people can follow to help save our planet and save themselves some money.

My latest step to go green is to forego bottled water in favor of filtered tap water. I have heard from the experts that discarded plastic bottles number up to 60 million per day, and most of these are water bottles. Moreover, plastic water bottles are made with petroleum. According to the Earth Policy Institute, it takes 1.5 million barrels of oil -- enough to fuel 100,000 cars for a year -- to make the plastic bottles to meet Americans' demand for bottled water. Therefore, reducing the use of plastic water bottles could help stem the skyrocketing price of gasoline.

However, my kitchen sink faucet is unusually large. My refrigerator does not have a water dispenser. Therefore, I could not find a built-in water filter that would fit. Instead, I went with the low-tech Brita pitcher that you fill from the tap and store in the refrigerator, and which contains a charcoal filter.

Unfortunately, the Brita pitcher has a design flaw. The flap that covers the spout refuses to lift out of the way when I tilt the pitcher to pour water. As a result, the water spills all over the place. I returned the pitcher yesterday and grabbed another one, hoping that it would work. However, when I took the pitcher out of the box and tested it in the store, the flap over the spout once again refused to open.

So now I am back to square one, pouring water from plastic jugs. This episode reminds me of what I heard over and over at a recent green business conference: that consumers want great products that work well, and they will not stand for substandard products no matter how "green" the products purport to be.

Do you hear that, Brita?


At 1:00 PM, Blogger Barbara said...

Everyone I know in DC uses a Brita pitcher successfully because the tap water in DC sucks. I think this is a good go-green start. Maybe you have inspired me to forsake buying all those ridiculous water bottles at Costco.

At 2:08 PM, Blogger media concepts said...

I was able to find a substitute (a complete knockoff, actually) made by General Electric. So I'm off the bottle again for now.

At 11:04 AM, Blogger Aileen said...

Hmmm...I have a Brita pitcher that I used to use with no problems. I don't need it now that I have filtered water from my fridge. Maybe Brita changed the design? How odd...

At 9:27 PM, Blogger media concepts said...

I know it's popular, that's what's so weird. Who knew that a company that makes fridges and weapons systems would do the water pitcher better than the company that only does water pitchers?


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