That deafening roar you hear is the collective masses railing against the evils of bottled water. Unless you’ve been on a media fast over the past few months, you’ve probably read stats similar to those that have come from the Earth Policy Institute showing that the amount of crude oil used to make the plastic for water bottles in the U.S. alone has risen to 10 million barrels per year.
OK, we get it, it’s bad, but even though the bottled water market is projected to reach $75 billion by 2010, there’s also the gentle hum of water technology progress beneath all that uproar.
Spectrum Water Coolers: For the office, Jessup, Md.-based Spectrum Water Coolers has developed the SWC-85 cooler, a time- and light-sensitive system that switches in and out of sleep mode depending on inactivity and how long the lights are on. As a result, it uses 65 percent less energy than traditional coolers (and of course, no plastic for bottles).
Bio Bottle: Maybe you just can’t give up plastic water bottles, but hate the fact that they’re made out of petroleum-based plastic. Startup Green Harvest Technologies has a corny idea (sorry) — use corn-based material to make more eco-friendly water bottles. The products are supposed to be available next year Bottoms up.
Solar Sipping: When you’re out pounding the pavement, there’s a slick alternative to those tacky store-bought bottles. Leave it to the Italians to invent the incredibly cool-looking Solar Bottle. It’s creating buzz not just for its form but its function: By using a process created by the Swiss government called SODIS, the Solar Bottle harnesses UV-A radiation to disinfect drinking water and prevent water-borne diseases. So go ahead and fill it up at that suspicious-looking water fountain at the park — just as long as it’s a sunny day.