VIRGINIA

Jay Fisette launches crusade to 'think outside the bottle'

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An Arlington County board member is launching a crusade to “think outside the bottle.” He wants residents to trade in bottled water for tap water, but many are refusing to part with it.

Arlington County Board Vice Chairman Jay Fisette admits spending most of his 56 years drinking bottled water, but last year something changed.

“I certainly could go the rest of my life without buying another single use plastic water bottle,” he says.

Fisette made the pledge last year after a neighbor showed him the documentary "Bag It."

“Is your life too plastic?” That is the question the film begs.

Now Fisette is on a mission to help others say no to bottled water.

“The reason for this is number one: it’s a waste of money. It’s horrible for the environment, and three: there are alternatives."

Fisette says the county won’t ban, restrict or tax bottled water. The Virginia Legislature isn’t on board. It shot down Arlington’s past attempts to tax plastic bags.

“This is working as a grassroots effort to educate people,” he says.

Fisette says a single water bottle costs one-thousand times more than tap water and two to four times the cost of gasoline.

“Only 20 percent of them are recycled," he says.

Ken Boysworth lives in Arlington and pays a visit to the bottled water isle in the grocery store often.

“Bottled water. Ask anybody in town. They have bottled water in their house. What’s the county tell you? In emergency preparedness, put back three or more gallons at least.”

“I find bottles of water everywhere in my house half-full,” says Titiana Wililams.

Williams says she could turn on tap water more, but questions whether her daughter could do the same.

“I play soccer like three days a week so it’s much easier to just grab a water bottle and go,” says Elena Williams.

Sue Gartner sides with Fisette and says that convenience is just money down the drain.

“I think it’s dumb to spend more money on bottled water when I’m already paying my utility bill and it includes drinking water so why would I go and buy bottled water?”

If you live in Arlington you can expect a campaign against bottled water soon. Fisette says he’s looking at launching an educational webpage and will use civic and community meetings to raise awareness.

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