NYC mayor Michael Bloomberg has caused quite a stir by proposing a ban on super sized sugary sodas. I’m not personally convinced that prohibiting the sale of soda over 16 ounces will take a bite out of obesity.
Tonight I got the chance to talk about Bloomberg’s proposal and about how soda undermines your health on the Green Street radio show on W-BAI 99.5FM. The mayor has a big fight on his hands, even though he’s a billionaire, the beverage industry has even more resources than he does. The American Beverage Association is a very well funded industry group that fights soda taxes and shouts “nanny state” whenever someone tries to possibly cut into the massive profits that the soda industry enjoys.
While talking with Patti and Doug Wood, the hosts of the radio show, about what Bloomberg could do that would be more helpful than banning big containers of soda, it hit me. Something he could do to leave a lasting legacy that would help folks to be healthier.
Water fountains. Free, clean water. **PLEASE NOTE: NYC needs to take the fluoride out of their water system so that its clean and safe for everyone. Councilman Peter Vallone and other groups are working on that one.
Instead of focusing on what we don’t like, the crappy soda, why not focus on a drink that is beneficial instead? Water is the best beverage out there and NYC has some of the best tap water (except for the fluoride) anywhere. The water flows into NYC from pristine upstate sources in the Catskills. And fortunately, they’re not fracking there, yet.
I’m not talking about bottled water, which is not all that great. I’m talking tap water out of drinking fountains. For free. How radical is that?
As it turns out, a caller gave us a very viable answer. There’s a project called 100 Fountains. The goal of the 100 Fountains project is to make urban public drinking fountains functional, lovable, and accessible to all. What a great opportunity to create new icons for New York City, icons that express sustainability, community, and chic urbanity.
If Bloomberg were to support this 100 fountains project, people in NYC would have access to a non-soda, healthy beverage for less money than the price of a super cheap super sized stupid soda.
It reminds me of a quote by Mother Theresa:
“I was once asked why I don’t participate in anti-war demonstrations. I said that I will never do that, but as soon as you have a pro-peace rally, I’ll be there.”
Water fountains are a win win win for everyone in NYC.
Here’s what you can do to help.
Pass the word on 100 Fountains as the solution to super sized soda.
Contact Mayor Bloomberg’s office and tell him he could leave a sustainable healthy legacy by saying yes to clean water that is free of charge.