What are some things New Yorkers take for granted? Sanitation, transportation, electricity, water… New Yorkers do enjoy complaining about things when they are not instantaneously fixed or cause a 5-minute inconvenience in their day, but what happened if it stopped? Say what you will about ConEdison—it’s troublesome in the summer for sure and certain areas of the city too have their own bones to pick with the company—but it does its job in providing the city with electricity to keep it running. While it has its failing moments, I never worry that the lights will just not turn on or the stove will not ignite. In some parts of the world, a candle remains the best and only source of light at night and families use a fire pit for their cooking. Similarly, I never worry that water won’t flow from my faucet, while in other countries people travel miles to get fresh water every day.
My first thought for what I would do that was environmentally conscious was to turn off the lights and fan in my dorm room whenever I left it, this included cooking in the kitchen or visiting my friends’ rooms down the hall. It later dawned on me that I didn’t have really any impact in the building where lights in the hallway stay on 24/7. I would just give myself extra stress by constantly being surrounded by bright lights, not helping in my goal to be environmentally conscious. So instead I’ve decided to stick to bottled water for the rest of the semester. I will be honest and not begin to claim that I always drink fountain water. That I don’t own a case of water bottles that I keep in my room, but I am committing myself to change.
New Yorkers, I believe, take water for granted the most. We have some of the cleanest tap water in the world here in the US and easily some of the best in NYC. Thinking back to the inhumane debacle featuring the Flint, MO government and their conscious decision to not fix a problem plaguing an entire population was an insult to their human dignity and still maddens me today. In New York people complain about water leaks and have issues fixed in a matter of days, but imagine years—the whole lifetime of a toddler who now has mental problems from too much exposure to lead like those children from Flint.
There is nothing wrong with NYC tap water and unless someone knows their water for some reason is unsafe, no one should fear it as being unclean. The Story of Stuff Project’s video titled “The Story of Bottled Water” takes on many of the lies that bottled water companies spew in order to promote business; they make it clear how environmentally “un”-friendly the companies are. Fiji, Aquafina and Dasani, among others, fool us into believing that they are purer. That their water is shipped from almost magical island waters. They’re bottled water comes straight from river water freshly rushing down a mountain stream. That’s just not true. For the semester I’ve decided to make it my mission to drink tap and fountain water and break my bad habit of buying $1 water bottles when I see them being sold on the corner.
The Story of Stuff Project. “The Story of Bottled Water (2010).” YouTube. Ed. Free Range
Studios. YouTube, 17 Mar. 2010. Web. 04 Sept. 2016.