|Reusable water container|
Sadly, it appears publicly available water may be going the way of street cars and pay phones. Rather than the huge savings to individuals and the environment through the use of public services, businesses are cashing in on the public's desire for convenience and immediate gratification. It is impressive how advertisers have generated both status and perceived need for imported bottled water. What would have seemed absolutely absurd, purchasing a bottle of water, to those living just a generation ago has now become commonplace.
|Discarded water bottle|
Another recent example of commonly available services being degraded is pay phones. For only some pocket change one could make a phone call using public pay phones. These phones were readily available around the country at gas stations, stores and street corners. Now, with the advent of cell phones these public phones are rapidly going away. The monthly costs of much "needed" cell phones can be enormous.
Even television that doesn't require a monthly fee to watch seems to be going by the boards. I used to be a Twins baseball fan. However now to watch professional baseball, in their posh state of the art publicly financed stadium, requires an expensive monthly cable package. That's not going to happen for this guy.
So, while things may have become more convenient, they're also considerably more costly, both to the consumer and to the environment. It is time for us all to more carefully weigh the cost of convenience.