My, idea, #9 in the series, is: Plain water in restaurants, please
Water is my favourite drink. It was hard to find out in KL while growing up. If you wanted a drink while wandering around town it had to be something sweet. Times have changed. Bottled water is now abundant.
Too abundant. Have you noticed how many eating places now insist on serving bottled water? Ask for regular water and you'll get a snooty, “We only serve mineral water,” with a tone implying it's superior. That's ridiculous. My next question then is, “How do you wash your salad vegetables? Can't you serve me that same water?”
Bottled water is an extreme waste of resources. Petrochemicals and energy are used to make those plastic bottles. Then, more petrol is burnt transporting the plastic bottles to the bottled water producer. The bottled water producer fills the bottles with water, packs them into cardboard boxes (made with trees, energy and more transport) and then ships them to the shops, burning even more petrol.
Everytime you take a plastic bottle, you're creating an heirloom. It can last for a thousand years, even in a landfill. Your great, great, great ~... grandchildren can continue to admire it long after you've finished the water and long after you're gone.
All for something that can be had by just turning on the tap.
I wonder what's wrong with restaurant economics in Malaysia. Restaurants down south in Singapore serve plain water as a matter of course. Up north in Thailand you get bottled water, but that's because the tap water there isn't potable; and in any case, you're not charged an exorbitant amount. Why do restaurants in Malaysia have to make water a profit centre?
But let's accept that over-priced water is a necessary evil when eating out here. Let's do our part by insisting the restaurant serves us plain boiled or filtered water. Pay the restaurant whatever they want to charge for bottle water, but insist you don't want the bottle. Tell them they can serve you plain, boiled or filtered water. Don't force the restaurateur to give you a bottle. That bottled water may not be pristine anyway. Wasn't there a study not long ago that found quite a few brands of bottled water were “just” tap water? And remember upmarket Perrier that did a recall when benzene was found in its bottles?
Over to boo_licious for #10 in the series. I hope she'll keep the kettle boiling :-)