Tap’d NY Taps Into Environmental Conservation

worldofwaterThe negative ecological effects of bottled water are well documented. From draining aquifers, to propping up military juntas (greetings, Fiji water), to burning through large quantities of fossil fuels through international shipping, and of course the endless parade of plastic bottles which end up in our landfills and oceans, bottled water is uniformly ecologically unsavory for anyone who can safely drink their local water.

Yet, much as cell phones have rendered the street payphone all but extinct, the rise of bottled water has usurped the once familiar water fountain. Even if one has a refillable water bottle in tow, often there’s nowhere to refill it. In cities such as New York the situation is even direr because outside of parks public restrooms are non-existent. One must choose between sneaking into the bathrooms of a certain coffee chain or pay for the cheapest item on the menu at a local fast food establishment, even then one is faced with another problem. Often the sinks aren’t deep enough to allow one to refill a full sized water bottle.

While cities are increasingly bringing back old infrastructure – New York’s Green Market now features stalls with tap water to allow any and all to refill their bottles – sometimes one gets thirsty and need to purchase a bottle of water.

This makes Tap’dNY’s business model that much more compelling. Tap’dNY, a Brooklyn based company, bottles and proudly sells filtered New York City tap water within New York City. Operating from the premise that no water is better than New York City’s tap water – which locals will vigorously defend, claiming that it gives everything from pizza to bagels a distinctive tang – Tap’dNYs bottles feature tongue in cheek tag lines such as "water just like mom used to serve", "no glaciers were harmed in the making of this water", and "refills available at any new York city tap."

It’s founder says that by only selling the product locally – the product is bottled in Brooklyn - it reduces the environmental footprint generated by shipping bottled water all over the world. To be certain, its environmental footing is still unsteady – plastic bottles after all don’t biodegrade and are made from petrochemicals – it is a great example of out of the box thinking.

It’d still be better, however, if we all just grabbed a glass and drank straight from the tap.