Imagine a cafe that actively reduces its profit to save the environment. Actually, you don’t have to imagine it. It’s real. But before we go on, a little background.
I love the mountains, and I hate the plastic that litters them. We’ve all read about how plastic chokes the environment. I no longer take the free bottle of water they offer on the Shatabdi train. I avoid bottled water in hotels and airports. I bring my own waterbottle from home, and refill it from safe water sources as I travel.
Why does this matter?
What travelers need is safe drinking water. There are many ways to find it without using up extensive amounts of plastic. Bottled water is the most convenient and irresponsible way to get clean drinking water. In a world where all airports come with water fountains and any home and restaurant you visit has a decent water filter, avoiding bottled water is about just a tiny bit of planning, and being just a little contrarian. A simple thing like carrying a waterbottle from home. It can be helped by buying a good waterbottle (so you dont lose it and refill it often) that fits perfectly into your bag or hand. If it’s expensive you’re less likely to lose it. Decathlon has a full range.
So, of course, it pisses me off when I walk into the average city restaurant and find sealed plastic bottles of water on every table. It’s a default sale for the restaurant. I always call the waiter and ask if they have a water filter. Eyes roll. But restaurants invariably do have potable filtered water. Of course, giving away anything free reduces profit. Even water. And restaurants are about profit maximization at any cost, it seems. So you can imagine my delight when I walked into Chandi Mati cafe in Mukteshwar the other day, and found this on the menu.
Wow! No bottled water sitting on each table. By default they serve filtered water. Here was a business actively reducing its profits by telling you not to buy something. Just because it is the right thing to do. And Chandi Mati is not some huge, successful enterprise. It is a young business working hard for its own success. Yet, it is clear on its principles.
So the next time you visit Mukteshwar, go to the Chandi Mati cafe. Click a selfie with their menu and post it on Instagram & Twitter & Facebook and myriad other online places.
This will boost Chandi Mati’s business and make it wildly successful, maybe some other restaurants will follow suit. The use of plastic bottles will reduce, and you would have made the world a better place because of your responsible social media behaviour.
And yes, do buy and use a waterbottle.
* And if you know of any other restaurant with a conscience, please do share as a comment on this blog. Lets spread the word! You can check out Chandi Mati online at https://www.tripadvisor.in/Restaurant_Review-g1162527-d10438116-Reviews-Cafe_Chandi_mati-Mukteshwar_Nainital_District_Uttarakhand.html .