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Innovation for Change: A Look at Water

It seems like each morning we wake up to more news about the world’s current state of water, ranging from water waste from farmlands to a lack of fresh water in unexpected places, like these 100 French towns that are suddenly without fresh drinking water.



Photo Credit: Mad Max: Fury Road


In the midst of this seemingly constant water news, the Vidlet team had the opportunity to conduct a study involving water filtration. In this particular study, we learned that many participants live with the solutions they have always known for water filtration and do not consider their so-called “solutions” as pain points. Let us give you an example. Many water dispensers in refrigerators will fill a reusable water bottle at a glacial pace (pun intended). Just think about the time you spend filling your water bottle. It’s a lot of time, isn’t it? The individuals we spoke with had not considered this as an annoyance until it was pointed out to them. No wonder so many people still opt for single-use water bottles— it really is faster to just grab one and go.


As a challenge, we encourage you to walk through the rest of your day with clean drinking water in mind. Think about the many compromises you make in terms of purity, flow, temperature or portability. This lack of innovation can lead to downfall, like what we have seen in the 100 French towns and with the massive excess of plastic waste that we all know by now is driving carbon emissions through the roof.


People aren’t stupid—they know that single-use plastic bottles aren’t the best option environmentally. The thing that is frustrating is the lack of innovation in water filtration, with few solutions coming out to make reusable water bottles the fastest option.


For example, is a $400 retro container really the solution? It does seem to be well advertised for the moment but impractical in the long run.


When we get to work with a client like Elkay on a subject as important as drinking water, we realize that just a slight change in asking the question about something that we all consider a commodity, turns drinking water into something we want to cherish. "Elkay has provided Vidlet the opportunity to reframe how we need to think about water in our daily lives," says Paige Guge, senior design researcher at Vidlet. “Water is one of our most precious resources, and that means that innovation that leads to change matters”.


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