Is There An Alternative To Bottled Water In Our Airports?

Porter Airlines Bottled WaterMy wife and I recently enjoyed a trip to Ottawa for a friend’s wedding. Porter Airlines, our favourite airline, made the experience as enjoyable as 3 airports and 2.5 hours of flying each way can be, but we did struggle with finding an alternative to bottled water.

We were looking for drinking water that wasn't wrapped and steeped in plastic.

If you haven’t heard of Porter yet, or enjoyed flying with them, you really should check them out. A throw back to the good old days; Porter stewardesses wear pillbox hats and provide complimentary beer and wine, boxed lunches (with Lindt chocolates), gourmet snacks, coffee and plenty of smiles on their flights. And what really impressed my wife and I was the all-female crew including pilot and co-pilot on one of our flights. I was so excited I took a picture for my 6 year old daughter.

Porter also boasts one of the classiest lounges you will ever have the chance to enjoy without a special membership. My favourite part of the lounge is the help yourself goodies like shortbread, biscotti, espresso and a cafeteria style cooler full of bottled juice, soda and water, bottled water that is. My research into bottled water, especially plastic packaged bottled water since co-founding Elua has instilled in me a new level of discipline when it comes to where I get my drinking water from and finding an alternative to bottled water.

If my Elua water bottle runs dry, I can usually find filtered drinking water at a restaurant or worst case, switch to another beverage altogether that is packaged in cardboard or glass like milk, juice or even craft beer (always looking for an excuse). But when you  are behind security at an airport or boarded your flight, it can be difficult to find somewhere to refill a water bottle. Washrooms aren’t the most sanitary of choices and I fear public fountains are only marginally better, especially after seeing that 4 year old with a drippy nose slurping away at it. So….if Porter can offer a help yourself espresso machine, why not a help yourself filtered drinking water faucet? A real alternative to bottled water?

An alternative to bottled water.

A water filtration system with counter top bar faucet would be easy to install, (perhaps beside their awesome espresso machine), be out of the reach of kids, easy for staff to monitor and keep clean (the snack/beverage counters at Porter are always spotless) and would allow those seeking to avoid plastics and reduce their impact on our environment a better option when it comes to drinking water. Heck, it might even encourage people to reach for the filtered water instead of the cooler full of bottled water! Include access to those classy Porter branded glasses used for wine and beer on the flights and staying hydrated with Porter would reach a new level of refinement.

Offering filtered drinking water stations as an alternative to bottled water would also mean reduced costs for Porter, less garbage for Porter staff to handle (filled with empty plastic bottles right now – yes, Porter has somehow overlooked adding recycling containers to their lounges) and happier, better hydrated Porter customers. And while I admit to being biased, as I skimmed through Porter’s Facebook page while writing this blog, I was happy to see another comment just posted recently asking for filtered drinking water by a customer wishing to avoid plastic bottles and be more environmentally responsible.

So Porter – what do you think? Maybe we can run a pilot program together in one of your lounges and give your customers an alternative to bottled water? Together we can reduce your environmental footprint and your operating costs while improving the health and happiness of your customers.

Readers? Would you like to see an alternative to bottled water offered by airlines and airports?

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