Late last year, Artefact shared with us a unique concept for a reusable water bottle. It was nice to look at, to be sure, but the truly innovative twist was it reinforced the virtuous choice to forgo the plastic variety: a built-in dial would allow users to keep track of how many plastic water bottles they were saving from a landfill, and an app would help them visualize their environmental impact. Back then, our question to Artefact’s Fernd van Engelen was: “How much money would you need to bring this concept to reality?” He replied in the form of a Kickstarter campaign, through which he hopes to raise $99,999 to bring his 999Bottles into production.
Per the Seattle-based studio’s press release, van Engelen says:
While most people understand and agree that disposable bottles are expensive and harmful to the environment, many of us still succumb to their convenience. With 999Bottles, our goal is to close the gap between understanding and actual behavior, and to explore ways in which, through design, we might help people see the impact of their choices and motivate them to change their behavior.
With a three-digit dial on its rubberized base, the 999Bottle allows you to count the number of plastic bottles you don’t buy by virtue of carrying your reusable bottle. The companion app will translate your non-consumption into easy-to-understand graphics and messages of positive reinforcement: “You’ve saved 1,063 bottles! That’s equivalent to the height of the Eiffel Tower. Oui, oui!” Using the app to tap into your social network could provide additional encouragement, as you compete against your friends or join forces to measure your group’s collective impact.