I wandered around the vast warehouse used by the charity at the fantastically named Water-Ma-Trout industrial estate. One of our party (a teacher, too) asked if the eponymous boxes could not be more 'environmentally friendly'. With gentle patience, our guide explained that the plastic containers had a vital use as water reservoirs for the recipients, once the contents had been unpacked and the shelter pitched. The idea was that they filled the box with water, threw in the water purification tablets (which cannot, for some unfathomable reason, clear US customs because they are classified as 'a food'!) and - survived. Clearly, the eco-friendly cardboard box would not serve such a vital aim. Clearly, and sadly, the eco option is often one that only cosseted westerners can afford to contemplate. When choice is limited to dying of thirst or staying alive, the plastic box comes into the fore.