Here at Ban the Bottle we get a lot of questions on how to implement a Ban the Bottle group at individual workplaces, schools or even just how to make a difference one person at a time. The idea that in 2007 Americans consumed 8.8 billion gallons of bottled can seem daunting when trying to curb bottled water use. BUT the good news is that in 2008 that number dropped to 8.7 billion, which means that people are becoming aware and every little bit helps.
So here is a list of ideas, suggestions, and tips on how to get the movement going in your area!
Buy a Reusable Water Bottle
Duh! Buy yourself, your mom, sister, boyfriend, teacher, neighbor, and/or boss a reusable water bottle. Little by little you can infiltrate their bottled water use by providing them with the tools to make the change! It doesn’t have to cost you a lot of money make a promise to buy one reusable bottle a week and give to someone else. If you are a student buy one from the bookstore and give it to your school President, at work give it to your boss. Include a note that says “Thanks for helping ban the bottle!”
Start a Facebook or MySpace Page
Get your friends and families involved and ask them to pass on the word. Find other groups and build your friend list. Start educating people with articles, facts, pictures, etc. Utilize all the free tools from the social media sites and invite people to events, tag them in photos, start discussions, etc.
Host a Ban the Bottle event
There are so many things that you can do to encourage and educate people about bottled water. Host a party at your house, lunch room, dorm room, park, etc. Invite people via email and Facebook/MySpace. At the party have multiple ‘tasks’ for guests to do.
- Sign a Declaration – www.tappedthemovie.com has a declaration page which will commit people to curbing bottled water consumption. When people sign their name to something they will generally read what they are signing.
- Write a letter/email to the government asking them to stop using your money for bottled water – www.congress.org. You can enter your zip code and the site will give you a list of people to send to and the issues you want to address.
- Tell celebrities to stop endorsing bottled water. www.tappedthemovie.com has two direct links to Tom Brady and Jennifer Aniston; both are spokespeople for Smart Water.
- Make the event day your official Ban the Bottle day! Start telling people today is Ban the Bottle Day and they will believe it! Changing their habit for one day will not only make a difference but will also make them aware of their impact.
Host or Organize a Viewing of “Tapped” the movie
Rent or purchase the documentary “Tapped” and host your own movie night. Tapped is a behind-the-scenes look into the unregulated and unseen world of an industry that aims to privatize and sell back the one resource that ought never to become a commodity: our water.
From the plastic production to the ocean in which so many of these bottles end up, Tapped trails the path of the bottled water industry and the communities which were the unwitting chips on the table. A powerful portrait of the lives affected by the bottled water industry, this revelatory film features those caught at the intersection of big business and the public’s right to water.
Talk to Administrators at Your School or Office
Getting the top people from your organization or school involved is key to any campaign. Request a meeting with your President, Vice President, Catering Manager, Student Body President, Human Resources Manager, anyone that will listen really! Present the facts, plead your case and ask for vocal support. More than likely they won’t be able to give you funding for anything but your goal is to have them aware, educated and active. You are going to do all the work, they just need to say “I agree!”.
Get Local Community Support
Approach companies that are like-minded and would have reusable water bottles for sale. A lot of companies are branding their reusable bottles with their logos and would be willing to support your efforts if it gets their company some free advertising. Call or send an email to a manager at a grocery store, construction office, sports team, Home Depot, Costco, etc and ask if they would like to support your cause by donating 5 reusable water bottles. If you get 10 companies involved you can start giving away their bottles as promotional or raffle items at your events.