Green Living

Eau De Genève

There are three carafe models, all of which have printed on them the words Eau de Genève meaning – Geneva (tap) water.

The classic model, illustrated here, incorporates the words into a minimalist, elegant graphic design that also uses the rest of the logotype: purement et simplement. The other two models leave the ‘’purely and simply’’ out, and feature water-themed images by two popular local cartoonists instead.

The shape of the carafe was specially created for SIG by a local design firm, Stojan & Voumard. Each carafe costs 20 Swiss francs (just over US $ 17).

Eau De Genève Carafes: Recyclable, Practical, Successful

The glass from which Eau de Genève carafes are made is, of course, recyclable as is the cardboard box the carafe is sold in.

 

The dimensions of the vessel have been thought through so the 1.1 liter bottle (just over 37 US fluid ounces) fits on the rack of a refrigerator door.

In view of the success of the carafe, which can be purchased at outlets in Geneva listed on SIG’s website, in April 2020 the water utility company brought out another 10,000 of them.

By the end of April 2020, SIG had sold nearly 12,000 carafes for a total of 58,500 Swiss francs (about US $ 50,550) profit – that included the entire first edition of 10,000 carafes launched in March 2019, and some from the 2020 series.

All of the 5 francs profit on each carafe sold is donated to a Swiss not-for-profit, H2O Energies. With it, the organization is building a water filtration and purification unit in rural Kenya.

Some Other Cities’ Tap Water Carafes

SIG is not the only water utility to feature the carafe idea – there is for example Eau de Paris and London On Tap.

‘’Paris was the first to do this, in 2006’’ says the initiator and manager of the Geneva project, SIG external communication manager Thierry Truchet. ‘’It too has specially-created designs, but they don’t contribute proceeds to a humanitarian cause. London came after us, and has both a special design and a contribution.’’ Part proceeds of the London carafes go to the international NGO WaterAid.

‘’I stay in touch with the people working these projects in both Paris and London; we’re not in competition. It’s valuable to share experiences, ’’ adds Truchet.

Geneva’s Drinking Water

The subject of health benefits (or not) derived from drinking tap water offers just as lively a topic for debate in Geneva as it does anywhere else in Switzerland and elsewhere, but this article is not the place to address the issue. Those with questions in Geneva can study SIG’s abundant technical information about its water, and should doubts persist are free to buy small home water purification units which are in any case easily affordable and available on the Swiss market.

According to SIG, just what makes Geneva’s tap water worth buying a carafe to serve it in?

Truchet highlights the following points: ‘’For one thing, it’s really well balanced as far as mineral salts go, and has a low level of nitrate. For another: we say ‘it tastes good’ and what that means is, it doesn’t have a taste – that’s what makes it good.’’

A third point, Truchet says, is that drinking tap water is more environmentally friendly. ‘’It’s 100 to 1000 times eco-friendlier than bottled waters depending on whether or not they are packaged in plastic and how far away [abroad] they’re being shipped from, not to mention the environmental impact of trucking them to national sales outlets.’’

‘’And finally, of course,’’ Truchet adds, ‘’the cost is just a fraction of what you pay for bottled water.’’…

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