Dave's Eco-nomics: Drink from the well

GREEN ALERT - Mains water used to be perfectly socially acceptable to drink - if you ignored the rumour that, in our major cities, your supply will have passed through several others en route to your tap. Nowadays, it's all about splashing out on spring water shipped from 'purer' parts of the globe, while many countries don't even have enough water to get by. For us eco smart-arses, such logic is spurious. According to Friends of the Earth, the bottled water industry uses about 1.5 million tonnes of plastic every year, most of which ends up in landfill; bottle production in the US alone is said to burn 1.5 million barrels of oil. Meanwhile, the WWF reports that 22 million tonnes of bottled water are transported each year between countries. The food-mileophobes must be spluttering in their well water, especially when the stuff can cost 10,000 times more out of a bottle than from a tap. Eau brother.

by Dave Waller, MT's resident eco-prefect

ACTION PLAN - Swim with the turning tide. The Drinking Water Inspectorate says British tapwater now meets stringent quality standards in 99.98% of cases. Defra provides jugs to encourage the use of tapwater in its canteens. It's even becoming trendy for gourmet diners to ask for tapwater in top restaurants. And if you want to save the taste of chlorine for the swimming pool, get a filter and freshen things up with ice and a twist of lemon.

GREENIE POINTS - Three out of 10 - why pay for something that falls from the sky?

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