I cannot stand buying water in plastic bottles. It completely pisses me off that it is so easy to create such waste and for what? No, I’ve had enough and I am definitely committed to working hard to take water whenever we are out and about. But I can do better. I must do better.
I also get pissed at restaurants/cafes that insist on selling me bottles of water, versus supplying water freely. Waste, waste, waste, waste! Too much bloody waste!
But you see, I can make this choice, because I am lucky. I have mostly lived in countries where it is safe to drink water out of a tap. In case you are not aware, the majority of the world does not have that luxury. I know, I’ve been exposed to the water.
I’ve had Pharaoh’s Revenge in Egypt, Delhi Belly (many times) in India, Montezuma’s Revenge in Mexico, Bali Belly in Indonesia, the Kathmandu Quick Step in Nepal, and well, you get the flavour. I don’t know what it’s called in China, but I’ve had it there too and it’s not fun when the cramps hit. At that point, you have no choice but to unleash in public toilets without walls.
And I mean no walls. Zero. It’s a big room with a drain. You squat over the drain and you go. The problem is a blonde woman in China in 1995 attracts a crowd. I can never explain how it feels to have an audience watch you squirting for your life, and there is nothing you can do about it. Friendly people though. Very curious. Especially 20 years ago…
Wait, my colleague Howard has directed me to a Wiki page on travellers’ diarrhoea.In China it’s called ‘pulled stomach.’ BORING!
Anyhoo, back to the point. It’s World Water Day today, March 22nd, and this day is about a lot of things (please check it out and support them), but for me, it’s about waste.
Apart from many of the places listed above, the biggest water bottle waste comes from countries where we have the privilege of drinking clean water out of a tap. Criminal.
We need to stop buying bottled water and we need to do it now. We need to put Coke, Pepsi, Nestle and all of those other big companies on notice and get them to shut down these facilities. It is bloody bullshit that we – and yes WE – have ever created an industry where we buy bloody water. We’re all guilty and it has to stop.
Remember when the CEO of Nestle made a preposterous claim that access to water was not a human right? Remember how pissed we were about that? And yet we buy bloody water. What sort of idiots are we? Seriously.
What can we do? Well we can all buy high quality metal water bottles (not shitty plastic ones please), that come with a little bag, and then make sure we never leave home without our own water receptacle. We buy them for our kids, why not ourselves?
Then we need to insist that any business of any description has a water cooler – you know, the metal ones, not the plastic ones – and the water comes out cold. Governments should legislate this as a requirement like they do with fire alarms. You have a business; you must make water accessible to anyone visiting your establishment. Additionally, you must not supply plastic cups either, because hey, everyone has a water bottle right? Governments can legislate this for all businesses – it’s an action they can take.
Naturally, this will take some time, of course, but we can all take action right now. We can be responsible for carrying our own water with us. If we are regulars at bars, restaurants, cafes, etc…. we can insist they stop selling water in plastic bottles and provide jugs the customers can easily access. We are customers, we can make them change. I’ve started doing this around town. I’ve had enough.
If we live in a country where it is not going to kill us to drink water out of a tap, we owe it to ourselves to take responsibility and take action. We can all make small changes that add up to big changes.
And don’t forget, as the next two billion people move into middle class status over the next couple of years, the first thing they’re going to do is buy bloody water in bottles, because they live in countries where the water is shit and now they can afford to buy bottled water. We’ve got to change this today. We must. Another two billion people contributing to plastic waste? We will all choke.
Can we stop the madness one person at a time? What do you reckon? Are you with me? Shall we make it our pact today, on World Water Day?
Yours, without the bollocks