Is it time to turn to tap?


The Park Slope Food Co-op in Brooklyn announced this week that they would no longer sell bottled water. According to a report in the New York Times, that amounts to about 670 gallons of water every week since the co-op has nearly 14,000 members.

Meanwhile, across the river in Manhattan, New York Presbyterian Hospital has posted signs for several years advising patients to quench their thirst and even brush their teeth with bottled water and to avoid drinking the hospital's tap water. That's because two patients died from Legionnaire's disease in 2005 and the hospital is sill struggling to lower the level of bacteria in its water.

The hospital's experience is certainly bucking the trend, with a movement underfoot to call attention to the cost of bottled water, both monetarily and environmentally. I received an email not long ago from David Wilk, an environmental activist and publishing executive from Connecticut with whom I have collaborated. David founded Turn to Tap in 2007 to address the negative affects of bottled water. I asked him how much money you can save by switching to tap, and he emailed me his calculations for my family: