Save the tap: it’s not that simple

Nov. 17, 2015

There are many bubblers with water bottle refill stations located across campus from Heide Hall to the University Center. These bubblers should be taken advantage of each day of the week by students with reusable water bottles. It’s important to continue using reusable water bottles so landfills are not overloaded by unnecessary plastic bottles which harm the environment.

Commentary by Signe Trewyn Staff Writer
Commentary by Signe Trewyn Staff Writer

Out of the 50 billion bottles of water bought each year, 80 percent end up in landfills regardless of recycling programs, according to New York’s MSLKs out of the Watershed Installation (Watershed is an exhibit touring New York during Climate Week). This should cause alarm because 50 billion water bottles are too many.

There is no need to throw single-use plastic bottles away after just one use. The better thing to do would be to rinse it out and use it again a couple more times.

Reusable water bottles are more cost efficient. These water bottles are larger and sturdier than disposable bottles, which is a great reason to switch to a reusable bottle of your own.

The University of Vermont banned the use of bottled water on its campus in 2013 after a student campaign convinced administrators, according to research published in the American Journal of Public Health. However, the number of plastic bottles being shipped to campus per student went up and led to students purchasing more single-use bottles of soda and juice.

There needs to be a significant lesson learned concerning the balance of sustainability and health.

A reusable bottle allows its owner to fill it up with anything, including water, which is much healthy than an energy drink or soda.

The University of Wisconsin-Whitewater has taken an initiative toward making a significant difference in the use of plastic bottles. Movements like “Take Back the Tap” aim to change the statistics and reduce the number of plastic water bottles on college campuses. This movement encourages universities to place bans on the sale of water in disposable plastic bottles. The water fountains across campus are a perfect example because they allow students to catch a quick drink without having to waste plastic.

The time to begin using reusable water bottles to save plastic and the planet is now. Purchasing reusable plastic bottles is also easier on the budget for college students because a refill does not cost a dime. This way everyone and everything can benefit from the use of reusable water bottles, even the squirrels.