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The Campaign for Lovely Carafes

Thankfully, many great campaigns are underway to get clean water to those who desperately need it.

But what about getting water to those who need it in a chic, well-designed container? Isn’t design-lifestyle snobbery one of the factors that’s spurred the rise of premium bottled waters?

Perhaps a good strategy is to “fight fire with fire.” The 2008 London On Tap competition teamed London’s mayor with Thames Water to draw designers into the tap water vs. bottled water struggle via a contest to create the ultimate water carafe. The winning design, “Tap Top,” (created by Islington industrial designer Neil Barron) went on sale last week for £10. (£1 of each sale will be donated to the charity WaterAid.) The goal is to get every London restaurant to serve tap water in this beautiful, chic carafe.

To kick the campaign off, at least 1,000 restaurants are receiving a carafe; the campaign hopes to ride the coat-tails of a previously successful campaign that convinced thousands of restaurants and bars to actively offer free tap water. (Did you notice that the Tap Top’s top mimics the shape of a old-school tap handle?)

Tap Top edged out some truly worthy entires, including these two shortlisted designs:

“Connected Pipe” by East End designer Nina Tolstrup

“Tap” by Adam White of London’s Factory Design Ltd.

In the Future, Business Leaders will be Closely Supervised

I rarely read or write fiction. Why bother, when the real world produces rich stories like this, my nomination for best punch line in a news story in 2009. From News 10 in Rochester, New York,

It was a school fundraiser that some parents say went to the extreme. Drinking fountains at Canandaigua Academy were turned off during a school dance and students were told they had to pay for bottled water.

About 300 students attended that dance on Saturday. It was sponsored by a school club, the Future Business Leaders of America. The district says they were selling tickets to the dance and water to raise money for club activities.

The group asked for and received permission through a building use request form to shut off the two water fountains where the dance was being held. Once they were turned off, signs were posted on them directing students to a table where the club was selling bottled water for one dollar each.

The rest of the story is here, proving we still need much education on the evils of bottled water AND ethics.