Why so little water?

Why do restaurants provide under-sized cups when you ask for water with a meal?

Is the cost difference between this little clear plastic cup and the regular soda-pop cups so huge?

Are you trying to force me into ordering soda-pop by ensuring I can not quench my thirst with water?

Are you thinking I will be too lazy to get up and refill this cup as often as it would require and thus I will buy a larger soda-pop cup?

Have you never been thirsty for water in your life?

Pictured: A “water” cup next to a “small soda” cup at a well-known national restaurant chain. I bet you can recognize the chain from the decor – or at least find the name not too terribly hidden in the picture!

A watery opportunity

Atop the rocky fortress (or is it a temple?) at Sigiriya, Sri Lanka, there are rubbish bins overflowing with empty water bottles.

So many bottles are deposited at the top of this hill every single sunny day by visiting tourists.   This smacks of a business opportunity to me, ideally one that would be less environmentally damaging than these single use plastic bottles.

Making plates disposable

I came across this little concept in Sri Lanka, where many restaurants cut down the amount of effort required to clean dishes by first putting a plastic sheet atop a standard ceramic plate.

Take a clean plate.

Add single plastic sheet.

Put food on top of sheet.


And after the meal has been consumed, you simply wrap up the plastic around the food and pitch it out.

Of course, this is not a perfect solution, since it introduces additional waste plastic into the process. I am not sure if the added plastic waste is offset by the saved dishes soap and water.  It seems that this plastic sheet probably uses LESS plastic than if they simply used disposable plastic plates.

1 Scoop of Tender Coconut

Vendors abound where you can buy a fresh young coconut for about 15 rupees (approx $0.33). The vendor holds the coconut with one hand and deftly chops the top off with a machete in his other hand. The chopping itself is an art and perhaps subject for another post, but today I want to observe the brilliance that occurs AFTER you’ve finished drinking the coconut juice.

After he’s chopped a hole in the coconut and given you a straw to drink the coconut juice, you can ask him to chop the coconut in half, so you can eat the flesh. But what tool should you use?  Nature provides!

A neat slice from the outside of the coconut shell provides a nice scoop with a sharp edge to scrape and scoop out the coconut flesh. What a tasty treat!