Hydration Stations: catchy name, and alternative to bottled water in colleges.

A graph

Here’s a good news story. Colleges are starting to ban throwaway plastic water bottles! The article is mainly about the College of Saint Benedict in Minnesota, but it mentions 14 other colleges in the U.S. and Canada that have complete bans, and several that have bans on some parts of the campus.

Instead of students bringing disposable water bottles, colleges have been installing stations where students can refill their own water bottles. They even call these water fountains “Hydration Stations,” which is an incredibly catchy name.

The bans have mostly been started by students, who say that they grab onto the opportunity as a “way to make a difference.” last weeks blog was more about the negative mindset of: “Oh, I don’t want that to change because it might inconvenience me in the short run, even if it’s better for the environment in the long term.” This week, we have students all over the country who are being proactive and making students like me look bad. Great, if this keeps up, I’ll have to find something around my own school I can change.

Of course, as is always the case, this upsets somebody. The “Minnesota College Republicans” have actually been handing out plastic water bottles to people passing by. Their argument is that by banning throwaway plastic water bottles, students’ free choice is being taken away. A man from the International Bottled Water Association who was there said that he was upset by the amount of false information circulating about bottled water during debates.

Now that might be true for all I know (See? I’m so unbiased!), but I can’t think of how a flimsy little throwaway plastic water bottle has any advantage over one that you can use again, especially if there’s an easy way to fill them up right on campus for free!

Also, after these kinds of articles, all sorts of unsavory characters come out of the woodwork of the internet to leave comments. If you want to know how tap water will give you cancer or how water is poisoning all the animals, go read those. Feel free to leave your own comments here though! Just don’t hurt my feelings too badly, I have terribly low self esteem and might skulk around for a while if some internet man mocks me again.

About bagitmovie

Bag It is a documentary film following the world wide use of plastic bags, plastic's impact on the environment and human health.
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1 Response to Hydration Stations: catchy name, and alternative to bottled water in colleges.

  1. Encouraging people to switch to reusable is a great way to go. I’m not sure that legislating bans on water bottles is the right thing to do. There are too many instances where bottled water is a necessity, not a luxury, and “hydration stations” aren’t going to be the answer 100% of the time. I live in a hurricane prone area; I store up bottled water for emergencies. I also have refillable containers for tap water, 5 gallon water bottles, and so forth, but there isn’t always warning. We had a recent contamination event, unrelated to hurricanes, where we couldn’t use our tap water for several days; I was so relieved to have my supply of bottled water on hand. I use glass and/or refillable containers for drinking on a day to day basis, but for emergencies it’s good to know that bottled water is readily available. Ask hurricane Katrina or Andrew survivors- bottled water meant the difference between life and death to a lot of people. Legislation should look at reducing the use of plastic packaging, perhaps, or bottling water in some other type of material. Cans, possibly? Something biodegradable? Go back to glass? Soda should not be left out- when you pick on water bottle users, look at soda bottles as well. They are also made of plastic and any plastic bottle bans should include soda as well as water. As far as comparing bottled to tap, I go by taste- I can taste the difference. There are some brands of bottled that taste like tap; I don’t buy those. I can taste a HUGE difference between my preferred brand and tap, however; I easily passed a “blind taste test” for a frugal relative once. (He felt I shouldn’t be wasting the money on bottled water.) I do not like tap water; I do not like brands of bottled water that taste like tap. There are even some pricey brands that taste of plastic; don’t like those either. (In case you were wondering, I used to drink regular bottled water but I currently drink seltzer water that comes in glass. I will pour some into a refillable bottle when I go out. I’m not using plastic, but there is the impact of shipping to consider, but then again the glass is recycled.) I exist, I matter, and I have a right to drink SOMETHING I like!

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