For Garvita Gulhati, the glass should never be more than half full.
The 22-year-old climate leader from the southern Indian city of Bengaluru (formerly Bangalore) is part of the United Nations’ We The Change campaign and is best known as the ‘Water Daughter of the United Nations’. India ”for its efforts to minimize water wastage.
In 2015, Garvita was on vacation with her parents when she was accosted by a beggar child who wanted her water bottle.
“His eyes lit up when I gave it to him. It made me realize that there are people who don’t have easy access to clean drinking water, so I started to think about ways I can help, ”she tells us.
“When I learned that every year 14 million liters of water are left in restaurant glasses around the world, it gave me a tangible starting point to launch this campaign. “
His idea was simple: ask customers if they want water, only pour half a glass if they say yes, and fill only if they ask for more. And if there is still water left, use it to water the plants and clean the soil.
Initially, restaurateurs “did not want to take advice from a teenager”, but it persisted and in early 2016, some restaurants adopted the campaign.
Its big breakthrough came in March 2019 when the National Restaurant Association of India – which represents over half a million restaurants – joined the ‘glass half full’ campaign. Since then, state governments, schools and charities have signed up.
His efforts saved 10 million liters of water, enough to fill four Olympic-size swimming pools or meet the daily drinking water needs of 250,000 people.