Paris restaurants serve room temperature water, from carafes, almost exclusively. Did everyone know this except me? I drink tap water, so I never noticed, but recently friends visited from the US and were incensed by the lack of ice and straws (they asked for buttered bread, too). "Only Americans have an obsession with ice water," my husband sniffed. When our German relatives visited Paris, they had a different issue entirely. "We drink nothing but sparkling," they announced, with Teutonic brusqueness, before ordering me to tell the waiter.
The sparkling water industry generates a lot of waste, of course, which is why I was overjoyed to discover Eau de Paris. Six fountains distribute free, fresh sparkling water in the capital, using a clean, temperature-controlled carbonation system. I've visited the dispensers at Parc André Citroën and under Pont du Concorde. It's nice having unbottled bubbly for picnics and parties. Every few weeks or so, I take my panier over and fill four swing-top limonade bottles from the free fountains. Voilà, zero-waste eau pétillante! You can achieve the same effect at home with a vintage seltzer bottle.
In total, there are six carbonated water dispensers in Paris: Fontaine du Parc Martin Luther King (Batignolles, 17ème), Reuilly Garden in the 12ème, 19 Rue Neuve-Tolbiac in the 13ème, and 28 Rue d'Aubervilliers in the 18ème. For more information, click here. Let me know if you ever want to make zero-waste egg creams!