Concord, MA Revokes Bottled Water Ban

Massachusetts bottle water banAs you may recall, in April of last year, the town of Concord, Massachusetts banned the sale of bottled water, making international headlines as the first town in the United States, and maybe even the world, to do so. The ban was set to go into effect in January of this year. However, voters at the annual town meeting, this week, rejected the ban, passing instead a proposal that would educate citizens about bottled water’s environmental impacts. It’s interesting that the vote took place at the beginning of this year’s National Drinking Water Week.

The most probable reason for the ban’s rejection was the citizens’ right to choose bottled water over tap, which is not surprising, considering that Concord is known for being the host of the first battle of the American Revolution. Ironically, however, the voter turnout was very small. Out of the town’s 17,000 citizens, only 537 residents showed up to vote on the issue, which is evidence of the town’s apathy toward both environmentalism and liberty.

Either way, 83-year-old Jean Hill is not giving up. She filed the petition to ban last year, and claims that she’ll be back next year, as well.

By now, it’s clear that we at Filters Fast prefer filtered tap water over bottled water. However, we are also not convinced that an all-out ban is the ultimate solution. In general, most people want to protect their freedom to choose. We have written about the issue of banning bottled water in universities, and this is one of the major reasons why many schools have voted against a ban. What do you think? Should towns and cities ban the sale of bottled water?

The Boston Aquapocalypse

Less than a fortnight ago, we wrote an article on “How to Survive the Apocalypse” using many of the air and water filters that we sell. In it, we wrote this sage advice:

“Don’t wait until it’s too late, folks. If you call us the day after the apocalypse, we probably won’t be working. Play it safe and stock up on these filters now, so you’ll know how to survive the apocalypse when and if that day comes.”

We hope some Boston residents heeded our advice.

Sure, we didn’t coin the term “aquapocalypse” that is making its rounds in articles, tweets and status updates across the Internet, but all of the advice we gave on how to survive the apocalypse still stands.

So, how did the Boston aquapocalypse occur? A collar connecting two major water pipes ruptured on Saturday. The water being sent to many Boston-area homes was not safe as a result, and state officials urged residents to boil their tap water. The water was reported to be safe for bathing in and doing dishes, but not consuming.

As a result of the water crisis, many residents of Boston and its surrounding cities made a run for bottled water at stores. The demand for the bottled water was so great that many consumers fought over the liquid.

While it’s not a funny situation by any means, it is ironic that Concord, MA — about 18 miles away from Boston — has banned the sale of bottled water, starting in 2011. Adding further to the irony of the situation is that the aquapocalypse should come during National Drinking Water Week.

The writers of Universal Hub, a blog about all-things Boston, chose to make light of the situation as well. Adam Gaffin, the founder of the blog, worked with designer Holly Gordon to create an “I Survived the Aquapocalypse” logo. You can wear your survival like a badge of honor on a t-shirt, or you can purchase a coffee mug or mousepad bearing the logo.

The term aquapocalypse is pretty humorous, and we have to admit that our “How to Survive the Apocalypse” article was a bit tongue-in-cheek. But there’s no denying that many of the emergency water filters we wrote about in that article would be put to good use in Boston right now.

Top Ten Ways to Celebrate National Drinking Water Week

For more than 30 years, the American Water Works Association (AWWA) has celebrated National Drinking Water Week, recognizing the crucial role that a safe, reliable water supply plays in our everyday lives.  This year, National Drinking Water Week will be held May 2-8, and will provide an opportunity for both water professionals and community citizens to promote awareness.  The AWWA has suggested some general celebration ideas.  To jumpstart the effort, we have also compiled a list of some of our favorite ways to celebrate.

#10 – Update your Facebook Status

Nowadays, social media is one of the most used ways to promote awareness surrounding any cause.  You’d be surprised at how far a simple Facebook status update can go, especially if enough people participate.  Alert your friends, create groups, and use this platform to organize events related to water awareness.

#9 – Watch a Movie

Not just any movie.  Last week, we compiled a list of five must-watch water movies, all of which take an in-depth look at water issues that plague many people around the world.  Invite some friends over and pop some popcorn.  And instead of soda, drink water.

#8 – Go Camping

Celebrate alone or with friends in the wilderness.  A closer look at nature will remind us of how crucial water is to our world – to the survival of plants and animals, and to the sustenance of our beautiful environment.  Make sure you have access to clean drinking water while you’re in the woods.  This Katadyn MyBottle Personal Water Purifier will keep you hydrated on those long hiking trails.

#7 – Plant a Tree

After your camping trip, why not bring some of that nature home with you by planting a tree in honor of National Drinking Water Week.  According to a recent article in the Atlanta Journal-Constitution, trees are natural filters that play a key role in purifying our water supplies.  Your tree will serve as a reminder of the necessity of clean water to environmental sustenance.

#6 – Set up a Mall Kiosk

Call your local shopping mall and get permission to set up a mall kiosk for the entire week.  Use it as an opportunity to promote awareness by handing out pamphlets and other promotional materials.  You could also sell reusable water bottles and donate the proceeds to organizations that fund the creation of clean water supplies around the world.

#5 – Have a water gift exchange

Don’t wait until Christmas to have your next employee party.  Have one during National Drinking Water Week and include a gift exchange with “water” as the theme, where each person brings a “water-related” gift.

#4 – Host a water tasting

Instead of a wine tasting, why not do a water tasting using water from different sources – pitcher-filtered water, faucet-filtered water, tap water and even different bottled water brands.  See if you can taste any differences.

#3 – Contests

AWWA suggests a variety of contests for kids, including book cover art, poster, essay, and coloring contests.  Each of these can serve as educational tools, and prizes will motivate more kids to compete.

#2 – Host a Water Walk in Your Community

There are many annual walking events that promote awareness and raise money to find cures for diseases.  Why not host a water walk to promote awareness about water, and raise money to fund the building of clean water supplies around the world?

#1 – Boycott the bottle

You may think we’re biased, but this is our personal favorite way to celebrate.  Maybe you don’t have time to do any of the other things that we mentioned.  That’s okay.  You can do your part by simply drinking filtered water for the entire week.  Once you see how much money you save by not buying bottled water, you’ll never go back.

Any other ideas? We’d love to hear them.  Feel free to post them as comments below, and don’t forget to take our latest poll: “How will you celebrate National Drinking Water Week?”