Is green really the new black? When former Vice President Al Gore leapt into the ecological spotlight in 2006 with the film An Inconvenient Truth, many people in the U.S. and around the world took note. As celebrities began to preach the word of the environment and corporations changed product packaging and advertising campaigns, it became clear that a new way of life was upon us.
With the green movement in full swing, many might question its vitality. Is all of this eco-talk just a fad or is it really our future? I think in the past year, most people have realized that if we really want a healthy environment for ourselves—and future generations—we must be more environmentally conscious when it comes to our everyday way of living. In other words, green is here to stay.
While the sustainable way of doing things may require some adjustments to how you live your life and run your business, it certainly has opened the door for many new and unique opportunities that did not exist a few years ago. For instance, many companies today are changing the way their products are packaged in order to produce less waste. Nestlé Waters recently released its new Eco-Shape bottle, which is made of 30% less plastic, has a 30% smaller label and is easier to crush for recycling. Several other bottled water brands are doing the same.
For those consumers who do not want to take the bottled water path in order to avoid contributing to excess waste the bottles may produce, new water vending opportunities are in development that may potentially change the landscape of water vending by creating a true alternative to bottled water. A new water vending machine will be released here in the U.S. in the coming weeks that vends chilled water into handheld containers for immediate consumption. An environmentally conscious technology such as this could have huge potentials for the water-vending sector of our industry.
So now that the general public is paying attention to issues like the environment, they are aware of other issues such as water quality. With the release of the recent Associated Press study on pharmaceuticals found in drinking water supplies, it is clear that our lifestyles are having a negative effect on our natural resources, and the public is becoming more aware of the need for cleaner, safer water. This provides more opportunities to those of you involved in the residential water treatment sector because home filtering systems, whether they are point of use or point of entry, act as a final barrier and can further purify water for drinking. I think as public awareness of water quality continues to grow, the demand for water treatment systems will increase tremendously.
While I believe that the environmentally conscious way of life is here to stay, I can only hope that the public’s concern for water quality is more than just a passing trend. But with the efforts of public-awareness campaigns such as the United Nation’s World Water Day on March 22 and the Tap Project, a national movement that was held during UNICEF’s World Water Week, March 16 to 22, more people are aware of the need for safe drinking water and are celebrating the privilege of having clean, accessible water available every day. Even major corporations such as Starbucks, with its Walk for Water event, are making strong efforts to raise public awareness and support drinking water.
The public is paying attention and as the green way of life becomes permanent, this will only mean more opportunities for the water treatment industry.