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NedWater Turns the Water Cooler Into a Tool of Action

| Friday December 24th, 2010 | 2 Comments

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Many of you reading this have a glass of water sitting nearby. Water is typically seen either neutrally, something that just comes out of your tap, or contentiously, a wasteful carbon intensive purchase whose plastic containers generate huge amounts of waste annually.

What if your water purchase was actually beneficial to many people, and its delivery had no impact? That’s what NedWater is doing, right now.

Portland, Oregon based NedWater is taking what most of us take for granted, office water delivery, and turning it into a tool for change. As its video says, you as a NedWater customer get a voice in which organizations NedWater donates a portion of its profits to– as much as 15%. Every month the company contributes to three local, one regional, and one international charity. All of the local organizations are selected by customer votes.

What about the water itself?

Whereas store bought bottled water that’s from “pure” locations was often obtained via contentiously obtained rights, or is shipped from far off locations, the exoticness somehow conferring a “better” status while adding a huge carbon footprint, NedWater is sourced locally, via a 10,000 year old aquifer within Portland city limits. It’s then filtered, bottled in reusable containers, and delivered by the 600 lb capable bicycle based B Line couriers.

NedWater’s business model is a genius move: Take an activity or service that people are already accustomed to doing, and make it beneficial, participatory, and equal in cost to what they already spend for the service. When you add values to value, it’s a win all around.

Readers: Where else are you seeing sustainable, beneficial behavior being embedded in everyday activities effectively? Tell us below.

Paul Smith is a sustainable business innovator, the founder of GreenSmith Consulting, and has an MBA in Sustainable Management from Presidio Graduate School in San Francisco. He creates interest in, conversations about, and business for green (and greening) companies, via social media marketing.


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  • LeAnn Kurtz-Watson

    I LOVE this idea! I wish more people were conscious of the huge waste and carbon footprint of bottled water…not only is it eco-destructive, most bottled waters aren’t as regulated as tap water, so we don’t even know if they’re better for you. Bravo to this innovative company!

  • http://www.yellowbluedesigns.com Jessica Janes

    What a simple solution to this out of control situation. Best of luck to NedWater.