Last week’s news was that Minneapolis is embarking on an effort to promote its occasionally off-tasting tap water and that several of Parasole’s restaurants are now providing an alternative to it that isn’t environmentally degrading.
Manny’s, Pittsburgh Blue, and Good Earth have added special purification filters and will provide complimentary carafes of local tap water filtered of chemicals and with a more neutral taste. Its restaurants have not taken bottled water off the menu, but the effort will reduce their sales (and possibly soft drink/iced tea sales), all high-margin items for restaurants, so kudos to Phil Roberts and company.
The rap on bottled water is that shipping it all over the globe wastes tons of fossil fuels and contributes greenhouse gases to the atmosphere. Personal-size plastic water bottles are also a waste nightmare that few people bother (or are able) to recycle. (Some local restaurants are unable to recycle because their municipalities do not collect recycling from businesses.)
The Minnesota Monitor link above also notes that several local eateries are working to discourage the use of bottled water, but the Parasole alternative is an ingenious route that mimics several high-profile restaurants in the San Francisco region and New York City.
Of course, beef production is an environmental nightmare in many other respects, so Parasole’s efforts may be a drop in the bucket relative to the damage steak causes the planet, but clearly the solution to these climate, pollution, and fossil fuel situations will not come by people making massive lifestyle changes against their will, but in convincing folks to make small, relatively painless changes that add up to a real revolution.----------