“Water does not resist. Water flows. When you plunge your hand into it, all you feel is a caress. Water is not a solid wall, it will not stop you. But water always goes where it wants to go, and nothing in the end can stand against it. Water is patient. Dripping water wears away a stone. Remember that, my child. Remember you are half water. If you can’t go through an obstacle, go around it. Water does.”
– Margaret Atwood, The Penelopiad
Travelling about Europe, I was frequently reminded about the pledge we made at the Victoria Landfill 2 years ago to not buy single use disposable water bottles. My constant reminders came in the form of 2 sets of admonishing eyes. Thirsty from 90+ degree heat. And resisting. At one restaurant in London that only sold water in small plastic bottles, I had to convince them that I wasn’t trying to usurp their profits. My story about signing the water pledge at the Victoria landfill didn’t convince them. They looked at me sceptically.
But money spoke louder than ecological words. Blaming my ‘crazy’ behaviour on two cute kids, I also offered them a generous tip. They took it and promptly filled up two cups of London tap water. “Thank you so much,” I smiled at them.
They shrugged at me. I looked down at the cups of water. They were plastic, single-use disposable cups.
Travelling abroad is tricky for diets ecological and foodwise. To offset my carbon guilt I buy Carbon Credits. But there is so much temptation to resist. For example, on long haul flights, flight attendants come by every hour or so with water in plastic use cups. They don’t encourage folks to reuse. If we hadn’t taken the pledge, we could have used hundreds of plastic containers over the course of a few weeks. Reminders like “Down to the Last Straw” https://www.facebook.com/DownToTheLastStraw reinforce the commitment of the Pledge we signed. May this also gently and lovingly remind you next time you reach to quench your thirst. I was outraged recently by certain folks of certain large multinational monster corporations who think that water shouldn’t be a public good. But Hombre is it ever difficult when everywhere you go are plastic bottles offering to quench your thirst for a dollar or a Euro….
The best thing I saw the whole trip was the machine below when we got to Victoria.
I want to see more of these in airports everywhere! A counter embedded in the top right corner indicated that this device has thus saved the waste from 129, 909 plastic bottles.
Wunderbar! Or- Wunderbra (as my Dutch friend Trui deliberately mispronounces).