Confusing eco-friendly with eco-promotion, again

This was a salesclerk who sold pills invented to quench thirst. “They save so much time,” the salesclerk said. “Experts have calculated you can save fifty-three minutes a week.”

“If I had fifty-three minutes to spend as I liked,” the little prince said to himself, “I’d walk very slowly toward a water fountain…”
~”The Little Prince,” Antoine De Saint-Exupery

So Dargon mentioned “water bottle filling stations” to me the other day. Of course I immediately think “water fountain,” although apparently you’re supposed to fill up your water bottles using this device.

I really like the “water bottles filled” indicator. It screams to me “ONLY A BAZILLION MORE TO GO BEFORE THIS DEVICE CREATES A NET SAVINGS IN RESOURCES.” Because, really? Just fill your shit up at the water fountain. Sure, it takes a while, and you can’t fill it up all the way if it’s like mine and approaches a foot tall. But while you can fill a bottle out of a water fountain, you can’t drink out of a bottle-filler-upper.

Or you can just do as I do and leave the water bottle at home and just drink straight out of the god-damned water fountain. Seriously. IT’S NINETY FUCKING DEGREES PLUS OUTSIDE, I RIDE A BIKE FOUR MILES TO WORK, AND I CAN WAIT LONG ENOUGH TO GET THERE TO DRINK WATER WITHOUT DYING OF DEHYDRATION. I think the rest of you can fucking MANAGE. You don’t have to spend all day sucking on a water bottle like it’s your mother’s tit or something.

Many quoted “convenience.” Someone else said that people don’t think about filling up at a water fountain. Well, neither of those are problems that need to be solved by producing a huge hunk of plastic to save lots of little things of plastic. I want to know exactly what the net savings of this device is. I refuse to acknowledge it as “eco-friendly” until someone proves to me that it will actually save resources sometime in the near future. (And anyone else notice the irony of the title? “The world needs more of these.” Too bad some kids in Africa would be happier with a well of clean water, much less a water fountain, much less a filler-upper for water bottles they don’t own.)

The meaning behind the title of this post is actually the fact that if this DID save resources the device itself is not environmentally friendly. It (supposedly) promotes an eco-friendly action, which to me is not the same thing. Maybe I’m being nitpicky, but I get annoyed by this shit. Especially when the truly green action has nothing to do with the product being promoted (in this case, filling up at a water fountain).

This is merely someone promoting a solution to a problem that’s not really a problem. And the “solution” is probably a bigger problem that the original “problem.” God damn.

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