Commuters get free drinking water to cut carbon

Getting to work in summer on the hot and dusty London Underground is thirsty work. It’s not uncommon for tube stations to display signs telling commuters to keep water on […]

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By Vicky Ellis

Getting to work in summer on the hot and dusty London Underground is thirsty work.

It’s not uncommon for tube stations to display signs telling commuters to keep water on them at all times in warmer months.

But bottled water can have a much higher carbon footprint than H2O from a tap – one of the reasons why a Transport for London and Thames Water have begun a new trial offering free chilled and filtered mains-water at Hammersmith.

If commuters don’t have a bottle, the refilling unit dispenses an empty 500ml reusable bottle (£2) which can be filled up.

The solution is provided by HydraChill and its founder Nick Davis said his firm was “born from frustration at lack of ‘on the go’ water availability”.

Hammersmith tube station.
Hammersmith tube station.

He said: “The focus on mains water as a healthier, more environmental option grows exponentially. What’s less optional is free available public access.”

Thames Water sustainability advisor, Pavan Badesha added: “Reducing the need to buy a new bottle every time we want a drink of water is a very positive step for our environment too at a time when we should all be thinking about how we can do our bit.”

According to the water firm, a litre of their mains tap water creates about 0.0003KG of CO2, believed to be around 600 times less CO2 than a litre of bottled water.