Monday, October 01, 2007

Bottled Water or Tap Water?

Middlebury College has been making some changes lately to reduce its carbon footprint and to save money. We have recycled paper in the printer rooms in the library and Dining Services has given the ax to trays and juice at dinner. I, for one, love Brian Swenson's '10 comment: "[The College] just spent a lot of money on tire art. They can give me my juice at dinner." Classic, Brian, classic.

And, so, in the spirit of reducing one's carbon footprint and saving money, I think that Old Chapel, et al., should give up its bottled water.

This summer, the mayor of San Francisco banned bottled water in city departments. Sure, if an employee wants to bring in bottled water, that's fine, but the city will no longer pay the tab. The San Francisco Chronicle reports that the city spends nearly $500,000 per year on bottled water. You could buy at least two logos from Chermayeff & Geismar for that amount of money!

It's not only the cost of bottled water that is outrageous, it's the amount of waste that it produces. "Gordon Bennett, a member of the executive committee of the San Francisco Bay chapter of the Sierra Club, said the plastic that bottled water comes in is not recyclable and takes up valuable landfill space." Imagine all of the gas required to ship bottled water all over the country, especially to places like Middlebury, whose tap water is just fine. And, if Old Chapel drinks Aquafina (this is a Pepsi College, after all), that's tap water anyway.

Give it up, Old Chapel, give it up.

7 comments:

MyStarbucks said...

I buy bottled water and I religiously recycle the plastic. We make darn sure that we do our part to justify drinking bottled water since our tap water is "considered" to be very good.

r.kellett said...

For reference, Regina Spektor, who appeared in concert this past weekend in Pepin Gymn, had no less than four cases of bottled water placed in her dressing room.

Sarah Franco said...

What does she need that much bottled water for? Drinking that much water could kill a person.

Anonymous said...

My sources tell me that, at least the third floor of Old Chapel --- the president's office --- is trading in the bottled stuff for the more environmentally friendly water cooler supply of H20. Has been in the works since the summer.

Sarah Franco said...

Anonymous at 11:38: Will the water cooler contain Middlebury municipal water, or will it have water distributed by a company?

Sarah Franco said...

P.S. Everyone: There's a Facebook group called "Think Outside the Bottle."

Anonymous said...

I requested recently that they include a pitcher of ice water in Redfield Proctor (the faculty dining room) in addition to the bottles of water that are provided. The staff has set out a pitcher every day since (thanks!), and I've noticed that about half of the water-drinking faculty will pick a glass and the pitcher of tap water over a bottle.

on the books...