A group of Illinois Wesleyan students want to eliminate disposable water bottle use on campus. (Photo by Flickr user stevendepolo)
By Paul Morello
BLOOMINGTON - Illinois Wesleyan University students are trying to "take back the tap."
The Sierra Student Coalition, an IWU environmental group, is starting a movement to reduce the amount of plastic water bottle usage on campus. Joe Daniels, Student Senate Secretary, said freshmen this year were given 500 refillable water bottles, with a caveat.
"When we handed the water bottles out, we made the freshmen sign a pledge saying that they would not buy disposable plastic water bottles again," he said.
SSC has also secured funding for "hydration stations" in Illinois Wesleyan's new classroom building, the Center for Natural Science Learning and Research, and Presser Hall. The stations, which are modified drinking fountains, are designed to quickly fill up reusable water bottles.
"The water is filtered. I know a lot of students don't like the taste of water on campus, so it gets rid of that," Daniels said. "It's to encourage students to fill up their water bottles because it fills them up really fast."
According to SSC, one in seven water bottles is recycled and the rest end up in landfills.
"It just seems pointless to have to use countless numbers of disposable water bottles, when you could just buy one reusable water bottle and use it constantly," Daniels said.
SSC's ultimate goal is to end bottled water use on campus entirely.
Paul Morello can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.