A detail of an immense canvas of Water Lilies by Claude Monet in the Musée de l’Orangerie (photo by dr. fil)

Time flies and it is the fourth time in a row that this blog is part of the annual Blog Action Day event. Other entries:  2007, 2008, 2009.

This year, the topic is Water. The precious liquid that rendered life possible and still does. I’m sure fellow bloggers will cover it thoroughly, discuss the importance of the issue for world peace and repeat the mantra of turn off the tap while brushing your teeth, take a shower rather than a bath, use efficient washing machines etc.

What really gets to me personally is the cult of bottled water. Yes, there are places around the world where tap water is not safe to drink and people must resort to using bottled water, but in most European cities where waiters will try to push a plastic bottle, the tap water is just fine. For years now I’ve been refusing to drink bottled water whenever I could (and it was safe to do so).  I have actually walked out of restaurants because the waiter would refuse to serve (expensive) food with tap water after I explained that the reason for my choice were environmental concerns and not its price.  I must add that lately, during the last six months or so, I have been having much less of a problem in this respect than before.

So much energy is used to bottle the water, produce the bottles themselves and then transport them half way across the world or at least continent to be consumed in place of perfectly good water flowing from a safe, controlled water supply system. What a waste! Ah, and water in glass bottles is only better with regard to its packaging, but no different when it comes to the energy used in its ‘production’ and transportation.

So my contribution to today’s topic is a call to shun bottled water whenever safe tap water is available. Since I’ve just spent a month in Paris, here’s my tip when in France. With your meal, ask for tap water by saying “une carafe d’eau, s’il vous plait”.

(and don’t forget to tip)