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Chief Penguin
Musings from the Academy’s Global Ambassador

July 16, 2012

New Technology Announced: The Faucet


Did You Know

Disposable plastic water bottles add greatly to marine and terrestrial pollution. They simply are a waste of resources. Importing water all the way from Fiji? Nuts.

In partnership with GlobalTap and the City of San Francisco, the Academy has installed a GlobalTap refilling station near the roof elevators on the public floor. Standard water fountains, unfortunately, make it awkward to refill reusable water bottles, while the GlobalTap station is designed specifically to make this easy. The installation also features an electronic counter, which records and displays the cumulative reduction in the number of disposable bottles used, as well as information about the various environmental and social costs of using disposable plastic bottles. The overall goal is to encourage visitors to bring and use their own bottles, and to show them their contribution to the overall reduction in plastic pollution.

Note for new users: Faucets are really easy to use. Don’t hold back. Just turn the handle or press the lever and water will come out the spout. It’s simple. It’s fun for the whole family. It’s easier than cracking the cap on a plastic bottle of water. You may make it a habit. Get to know a faucet near you. Most modern homes have them.

Filed under: Uncategorized — gfarrington @ 4:51 pm


  1. Thank you for writing this – it is so important that people STOP buying bottled water. I hope more places will install taps. I’ve shared your article on my Facebook and @PebbleinthePond too.

    Comment by Judi Tyabji — July 18, 2012 @ 5:21 pm

  2. Hey, I posted this and now I’m getting a lot of questions about your sources for this. Can you please post a list of sources? Thanks.

    Comment by Kirstin — July 18, 2012 @ 6:01 pm

  3. What a load of misinformation.
    STOP poisoning us with tap water and reusable bottles.
    All the information above is inaccurate and one sided.

    Comment by required — July 20, 2012 @ 4:46 pm

  4. I’m also getting source questions. I’m sure these numbers are rounded off, I’d love sources too. Science thrives on peer review, let’s get some responses :)

    Comment by Nick — July 21, 2012 @ 4:29 pm

  5. Thanks for your comments and ongoing discussions. Regarding the sources for the poster’s statistics:

    - Energy consumption: Gleick PH and Cooley HS. 2009. “Energy implications of bottled water.” Environmental Research Letters 4. http://dx.doi.org/10.1088/1748-9326/4/1/014009 (related press release: http://www.pacinst.org/press_center/press_releases/bottled_water_0209.html)

    - Landfills: “Bottle Recycling Climate Protection Act of 2007.” H.R. 4238 (110th Congress). http://www.govtrack.us/congress/bills/110/hr4238/text
    Recycling: This percentage reflects literature research during the creation of this poster (2010); since then, updated studies put this percentage in the 10-23% range.

    - Testing standards: “Fewer Regulations for Bottled Water Than Tap, GAO Says.” Sara Goodman. The New York Times. July 9, 2009. http://www.nytimes.com/gwire/2009/07/09/09greenwire-fewer-regulations-for-bottled-water-than-tap-g-33331.html

    - Production requirements: Pacific Institute. 2006. “Bottled Water and Energy: A Fact Sheet.” http://www.pacinst.org/topics/water_and_sustainability/bottled_water/bottled_water_and_energy.html

    - Cost: Worldwatch Institute. “Bottled Water Pricey in More Ways than One.” http://www.worldwatch.org/node/5063/
    Earth Policy Institute. 2006. “Bottled Water: Pouring Resources Down the Drain.” http://www.earth-policy.org/index.php?/plan_b_updates/2006/update51

    Comment by California Academy of Sciences — July 23, 2012 @ 11:38 am

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