An organization in San Francisco aims to build a movement by funding and installing water fountains across the city. 1000 Fountains plans to install, well, 1,000 drinking fountains in the city within the next seven to 10 years to encourage folks to stop relying on single-use plastic water bottles for personal hydration, as exercise enthusiasts call the act of drinking water.
The United States has increased its annual use of plastic water bottles from almost none 40 years ago to more than 50 billion (!) today, according to the 1000 Fountains website. Despite the feel-good sense of the recycling option – increasingly shown to be not such an available option – more than 70 percent of our plastic water bottles are never recycled, they say.
The small but ambitious 1000 Fountains team articulates a future vision where “everyone in an urban area can walk out their door and never worry about accessing safe, free, great-tasting water, anywhere, anytime.” We believe this demand will grow as cities become ever more pedestrian- and bike-friendly in our efforts to reduce pollution. San Francisco is a great place to inaugurate the drinking fountains initiative because efforts like the new car-free Market Street (a main business traffic artery in the city) mean more people outdoors, commuting on foot and on bike. In addition, 25 million visitors to the city each year bring increased demand.