Bioneers 2008: Food & Water Watch Takes Up with San Francisco Restuarants

bottled water in a restaurant photo

Photo via ogimogi

Yesterday I talked about the high standard Bioneers has set for the conference, including ditching bottled water and serving water only at stations. So, appropriately enough, Food & Water Watch had information about Taking Back the Tap at their booth, which also mentioned some interesting information about the city of San Francisco's restaurants.

San Francisco tends to be on the leading edge of environmental initiatives - at least as much as an urban area can be. That means putting the lid on plastic bags and cutting city funds for bottled water. But the city has also latched on to the Take Back the Tap campaign from Food & Water Watch.

It affects more than 3,000 restaurants in the city, as well as every restaurant visitor. The city of San Francisco and Food & Water Watch are working together to get San Francisco restaurants to head back to the tap when it comes to serving water in restaurants.

As part of the campaign, every single restaurant in the city will receive a how-to guide, and restaurant goers can download their own guide for which restaurants have hopped on the bandwagon.

Basically, the campaign requests that restaurants stop buying bottled water for these reasons:
- Tap water is no less safe than bottled water, especially if the tap is filtered
- Restaurants will protect customers from the chemicals and pollutants found in various brands of bottled water
- The city of San Francisco's water is tested more than 100,000 times each year, and it meets state and federal water quality standards that are stricter than bottled water standards
- It's cheaper
- It's better for the environment to end the manufacturing of plastic bottles
- Focusing on using tap water will refocus monies towards the repair and maintenance of our water infrastructure

Sounds reasonable, logical, and cost-effective. It seems that, to avoid hubbub, if a person is insistent on consuming only bottled water, they should be welcome to bring their own to the restaurant. And information about the reasons why only tap is served can be handed out upon request. Though, how often does anyone ask this anyway? It doesn't cross my mind - though it should - to ask the source of the water I'm served in a restaurant.

We'll follow up to see how the campaign is going as we find out more.

More on Bottle Water Versus Tap:
San Francisco Mayor Bans the Bottle
Tap Water or Bottled Water: Which is Better?
More on Bioneers 2008:
Bioneers 2008: How to Use Digital Media for Environmental Activism - Advice from the Experts
Bioneers 2008: High Tech High Students Creating Our Future
Bioneers 2008: Familiar Faces – Interface Carpets, WiserEarth, Nepalese Paper and More
Bioneers 2008: Mark Sommer Creates Educasts for Mobile Learning
Bioneers 2008: Opening Speech by Kenny Ausubel
Bioneers 2008: Nature and Technology Joining Forces
Bioneers 2008: A Green Conference Standard
Bioneers 2008: Solar-Powered Water Fountain a Great DIY Project

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