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Broken resolution


The William Morris “Anemone” water bottle

When TreeHugger reposted some of our TerraPass New Year’s Resolutions the author snarked an “about time” to my commitment to avoid bottled water for the year.

To the casual reader, I might have come across as an Evian addict who couldn’t so much as look at a faucet. But honestly, I’m really the opposite, and have been for years. I’ve never understood the bottled water phenomenon, even less the mildly flavored bottled water fad. Various stats on just how evil bottled water is (in my humble view) here.

The trouble is, that water in bottles is a convenience that all of us in the developed world have become very used to. I’ve always been perfectly happy with tap water, but never all that conscientious about carrying it with me everywhere I went. Knowing that you’re never all that far from a vending machine or convenience store makes it so easy not to worry too much.

And this was really the point of my New Year’s resolution. I wanted to prove that it was possible to anticipate every water need by carrying my own tap-filled bottle, all the time.

I’m sad to report that after three months of conscientious bottle-avoidance, I caved earlier this week. And I really don’t think I could have done much about it. It was only once I was on board the plane for a 10-hour flight back home that I realized I hadn’t refilled my bottle after drinking it all down before the security check.

The only water available courtesy of British Airways came in plastic bottles of assorted shapes and sizes (it was a small consolation that I didn’t touch the 0.2 liter bottle provided with the meal and had my cup filled from the bigger bottle instead). Really, the alternative of dehydrating at 34,000 feet didn’t seem a constructive approach.

I really had been doing well: camping trips, bike rides, a road trip in a Zip Car (I succeeded with the other resolution!). For each, my trusty TerraPass water bottle came with me. I even politely declined the nice (imported Italian) sparkling water at the fancy restaurant we went to on my birthday.

But as I’ve tried to remember hard to refill the bottle at every opportunity (trying to fit bottles under drinking fountains is an art that needs practice!) I’ve come to wonder what it will take to market tap water to compete with the silliness of branded bottled water.

I heard that a book soon to be published in the UK will provide wine tasting-style notes on the different tap waters available there. Meanwhile, manufacturers including Swiss firm Sigg and California’s Klean Kanteen are bringing some much needed style to water bottles. Back in the UK, London’s Victoria and Albert Museum is now selling bottles with some great designs.

As for the resolution, I’m feeling bad about it, but I have climbed straight back on the wagon, where I plan to stay. I’m already getting ready for the challenge of the return flight. Any tips for avoiding any further pitfalls would be much appreciated!

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