Former CEO, Surfrider Foundation
Photo courtesy of Surfrider Foundation // Jim Moriarty

Photo courtesy of Surfrider Foundation // Jim Moriarty

The Inertia

Globally, we spend more than $60,000,000,000 (that’s 60 billion dollars) on bottled water every year. 

In the U.S., that equates to 222 bottles of water for each person in the country every year.

We know that only 1 in 5 bottles are recycled so these figures represent a jaw-dropping amount of bottles in landfills, the ocean or elsewhere.

It wasn’t always this way. In fact, the bottled water industry didn’t hit the mainstream until the ’90s. Before that time, when people were thirsty, they went to drinking fountains and quenched their thirst for free.


Twenty years later, we are at the very beginning stages of coming full circle and returning to drinking fountains. The picture to the left is one I recently took in an airport.

I loved seeing the drinking fountain and loved seeing the visual graphic telling people this is built for refilling bottles even more. Most of all, I loved seeing the counter on the fountain.

From this single drinking fountain, 42,408 bottles were eliminated from waste.


Great to see this, albeit small, trend away from single-use plastic water bottles.

Read more from Jim Moriarty on his blog.


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