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.

3 thoughts on “No More ‘Freedom’ Water”

  1. I’ve very glad to read this. Frankly, I’d really like to see all bottled water taken off the shelves here in Yosemite, likewise the entire US.

    I’m philosophically opposed to paying for water, something that is such a basic human need. Clean water from the tap is a basic human right, especially when there are places in the world were greed and corruption prevent the implementation of water treatment. One of the largest causes of death of children is dysentery, caused by impure drinking water. Thousands of deaths could be prevented each year by simple and cheap water purification.

    Remember, the ongoing tragedy in Darfur is all over water rights.

    Second to that is the huge amount of waste plastic; Even with a refund of 5 cents per bottle, I still see water bottles being thrown away, and by the sides of the road.

    By a reusable water bottle, and don’t pay money for something that is freely available.


  2. I agree Edie.

    I grew up on well water and it tastes much better to me than bottled or city water.. I’ll drink bottled water when travelling, but I prefer the natural stuff.

    One great point about living in Yosemite is we don’t need much here.


  3. Thanks for the comments, guys, and I’m glad you’re as psyched as I am with the news. Stay tuned – there are more cool things in the works!

    While we may not be able to solve the clean drinking water problem world-wide, it’s nice to celebrate the small victories. If we keep taking steps in the right direction, we’ll get there eventually.

    And Mike, you make a great point about how *good* the water here is. My neighbor has well water, and it’s amazing how good it tastes. Even better than the well-water from home.

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