Why we like this: Because of all the things that are emblematic of the halcyon days of the 1983-2007 economic expansion—McMansions, Hummers, the universal right to a $400 Nylon Handbag—we may look back on bottled water as the most ridiculous craze to overtake our nation
Sources: Guardian, Grist
Gist: The hazards of bottled water, both for our world and our wallets, have been well-known for a while. But now the Australian town Bundanoon is trying an unprecedented move to set the clock back to a simpler and more environmentally-friendly time—by banning bottled water altogether. Boston-based non-profit Corporate Accountability International says that this is the first town in the world that has tried an outright ban on bottled water.
America has already taken a few baby steps to protect us from plastic. Some towns have banned bottled water at civic meetings, for example. But for the U.S., banning bottled water entirely probably won't fly. Americans don't like being told what to do by bureaucrats, and they are especially wary of government mandates (see: universal health care). So our efforts to deal with bottled water will have to be unusual, creative and based on individual choice. Which is why we should follow the lead of a 31-year old British adventurer named David de Rothschild.
According to Grist, the son of one of the world's most powerful families is using his global clout to draw attention to the Plasticki, a ship he built that uses plastic bottles to stay afloat. By creating this environmentally-friendly vessel, he's hoping to draw attention to ways that we can create a new kind of economy that uses and re-uses materials creatively. He's not ready to join the Bundanoon city council though. Instead of railing against plastic, he simply wants us to be smarter about how we use it and dispose of it.
Of course, to truly transform the economy—and quit spending our dollars and carbon on unnecessary luxuries—we'll need people from all countries and of all viewpoints to get their heads together to tackle these problems. And we wouldn't be surprised if Rothschild eventually teams with his fellow environmentalists in Bundanoon—his ship's maiden voyage is a three-month journey to Australia. We're betting that the good folks of Bundanoon wouldn't mind temporarily suspending their ban should Rothschild and his crew bring their plastic-bottle laden ship through the town.
Photo by Aubrey [Raw Angles Photography]
The Stimulist is journalist Carlos Watson's original take on the daily news: a tasty mix of rising stars, provocative ideas, and inspiring stories. Enjoy responsively: