Tap into WaterAid

A St. David’s pub is cutting its carbon footprint by urging customers to bypass bottled water and turn the tap onto an initiative by charity WaterAid.

Grove WateraidThe Grove on High Street, which is taking part in the Welsh Assembly Government’s Climate Change Challenge, is asking customers to avoid ordering carbon-intensive bottled water by opting for tap water and making a small donation when they request a glass or jug.

‘Tap into WaterAid’ will use the money to help some of the world’s poorest people access clean drinking water. One in eight people in the developing world do not have access to safe water, 4,000 children die every day from water-related diseases and just £15 could enable one person to access safe water, improved hygiene and sanitation.

Transporting bottled water in Britain is estimated to produce 33,200 tons of carbon dioxide emissions, equivalent to the annual energy use of 6,000 homes- a town the size of (insert Welsh town). Millions of bottles end up in landfill sites each year.

Bottled water costs around more than 800 times as much as tap water but a study published by independent consumer association Which? found that 50 per cent of people can't taste any difference between tap and bottled water, while 18 per cent actively prefer tap.

The Brains pub and hotel became part of the Welsh Assembly Government’s Climate Change Challenge in April 2009. They are competing in a friendly rivalry against The Turf in Wrexham and The Castle Inn in Caldicot to find innovative and fun ways of reducing their carbon footprint and saving money at the same time.

To date, the Grove has given free energy saving light-bulbs to customers, started a vegetable patch in its garden and is having regular energy and water audits from Carbon Trust and Welsh Water.

Jeanette White, manager at The Grove said: "We’re really pleased to be able to support such a worthy cause while cutting down our carbon footprint at the same time. We wouldn’t have been able to encourage regulars to drink tap water in our last pub in Spain but the Pembrokeshire water tastes beautiful and I’m sure our customers who choose it over bottled won’t taste the difference."

WaterAid's Deputy CEO, Andrew Cook, said: "Water is essential for life, yet here we are in 2009 and more than 1 in 8 of the world's population are without access to it. This and the lack of safe sanitation, results in over 1.8 million people dying from water-related diseases every year.

"We're so lucky here in the UK – we just turn on a tap and our fresh water is there. We are urging people to and ask their favourite pub or restaurant to give Tap into WaterAid a go. To find out how to take the campaign forward, please visit www.tapintowateraid.org."

WaterAid is running a ‘Coast Along for WaterAid’ on Saturday 12 September 2009 along the stunning 185-mile long Pembrokeshire Coastal Path. Organisers are basing themselves at The Grove and are aiming to get at least one team of between two to seven people walking each of the paths to raise over £100,000 for WaterAid.

Teams can register at www.coastalongforwateraid.org