Hydration stations sweep colleges to promote tap water
Ban the Bottle readers already know that many colleges have made the push to ban the bottle. But did you know many of these campuses have actually increased the availability of free, filtered drinking water on campus? A recent USA Today article pointed out the latest sustainability movement sweeping the country: Hydration Stations. See the article below for more info:
[ Source USA Today]
Filling stations are no longer just for gas. In an eco-friendly push, hundreds of U.S. colleges are installing water fountains known as hydration stations so students can refill water bottles rather than buy new ones. Some campuses are even banning the sale of bottled water.
The stations are also popping up in airports, parks, office buildings — and even on tours with bands, including the Black Eyed Peas — as efforts proliferate to reduce plastic waste by promoting tap water.
Adding to this push is a network of more than 800 restaurants and cafes nationwide that have agreed to give people with reusable bottles free water refills. New York-based TapIt, a non-profit group launched in 2009, has worked with city governments to sign up eateries in 22 states. Next month, Philadelphia is slated to join, says TapIt’s William Schwartz.
“It’s the right product at the right time,” says Rod Magnuson, which began selling several versions of the water stations last year.
“They’re so much easier than tipping bottles under the old water fountains,” says Mike Gallagher, a sophomore at Immaculata (Pa.) College, which has 20 stations. “You can fill them all the way to the top.”
What will this mean for bottled water? After a two-year dip, consumption rose 3.5% last year when it averaged 28.3 gallons per American, according to the International Bottled Water Association, an industry group.
“It has a following that’s strong,” especially as recycling of plastic bottles gets easier, says the group’s Tom Lauria. He doesn’t expect hydration stations to hurt sales, adding: “There’s probably enough room for both.”
[source USA Today]