The bottled water industry is booming—last year, this rapidly growing sector raked in revenues of an estimated $11 billion. But as Slate points out, there is a growing conflict between those who want to drink clean, pure water and those who want to breathe clean, pure air.
Several Bay Area restaurants are boosting their environmental street cred by giving away tap water instead of offering marked-up bottled water to customers. Among the restaurants pioneering this new trend are Chez Panisse, Incanto, Poggio and Nopa. Kudos to them. From a PR standpoint, it not only shows that they’re taking into account global warming issues (like environmental costs of bottling and transporting water, and reducing the amount of plastic in our landfills) but also that they’re taking their customer’s values into consideration rather than just how to make a profit.
Certainly this is a stark contrast to the flip side of the spectrum, with some manufacturers offering hyped-up “luxury” water products like Bling H2O, with bottles that come bedazzled in Swarovski crystals and a steep price tag of $35 a pop.