No More ‘Freedom’ Water

Water Bottles (taken by shrff14 on Flickr)
Water Bottles (taken by shrff14 on Flickr)

Living in a place like Yosemite, it’s easy to get passionate about protecting the environment. I’m fortunate enough to belong to a team of similar-minded people who get together regularly throughout the year to talk about ways that we can help conserve energy, reduce waste and make our operations more earth-friendly.

The most recent meeting was last Wednesday and I left feeling proud of the progress that we’ve made. Sure, we’re part of a big company, and that means that sometimes (read usually) we run into the red tape and delays that comes with any big company, but there were lots of new things going on that I think we can be proud of.

One of them is that we’re getting rid of imported bottled water in our stores. I mean, really. We have some of the cleanest, sweetest, most pure water coming straight out of our taps, why in the world do we need to ship gallons of water from France?

Of course, no change is immediate, so we’re conducting a short trial first to see if European visitors will balk at having to buy domestic bottled water instead of Evian. But why would they? Tom has even heard a French woman scold her sons for picking Evian up because even though it was a brand that was familiar to them, it isn’t environmentally friendly to be drinking it here.

Assuming there is no mass uprising caused by the absence of French water, we’ll settle nicely into our perfectly adequate selection of American water and call it good.

In some ways, that may not seem like a big change. We aren’t installing solar panels in a multi-million dollar project, or going off the grid. Maybe it won’t make the front page of the newspaper, but I’m really proud of the movement that lies behind it. It’s a change in awareness, a quiet, simple re-evaluation of what we do on a day-to-day basis that says that we’re committed to being earth-friendly, not because it will get us press or give us a reason to toot our own horns, but because it’s the right thing to do.