The Observer is a Student-run, daily print & online newspaper serving Notre Dame & Saint Mary's. Learn more about us.



I just can’t get enough

The GreenMan | Tuesday, September 4, 2012

I don’t know about you all, but every time I stick my water bottle in front of the sensor on a Hydration Station, I get this little rush, this feeling of excitement and anticipation. It’s like a Jack in the Box type thing, but less terrifying. I know it’s coming, but part of me still wonders if it will. Then, when the counter turns, the show’s over, and I drink the water. Geez oh man.

If you haven’t tried it yet, it’s delicious. You feel clean and refreshed after drinking it. It’s everything you ever wanted from your water and more. As one of my friends put it: “It’s so good, I want to shower in it.” Truth.

Now how could this situation get any better? Well, many of the dorms partnered with the Office of Sustainability to provide all residents a swanky, hall-specific reusable water bottle. Two major wins in just a few weeks time. What else makes this situation fantastic? You’re simultaneously helping save the environment and promoting social justice.

Some of you may not buy into this fact, but it’s true. To produce one liter of bottled water, it takes almost three liters of tap water. When you think about all the people around the world who don’t even have access to safe drinking water, it’s just sad. From an environmental standpoint, the waste of plastic is obvious. However, even if this argument is tired and unconvincing to you, there are multiples other ways that bottled water greatly harms the environment. Bottled water production uses about 2,000 times the energy of producing tap water.

The fact that people pay such bloated prices for bottled water is fairly silly. About half the time this water comes from the tap anyway. There’s also the fact that these companies devastate town residents by using up the available tap water for their bottling practices.

So, if you see a friend with a “disposable” water bottle, chide them. Carry your reusable water bottle around, silently encouraging others to get on your level and embrace the reusable as well. If you do end up purchasing a bottle of water, redeem yourself by refilling it a few times and then recycling it. You’re the best!

‘Til next time, drink a few bottles for me and enjoy!

Have a question about the environment or how to go green in your personal life? Wondering about the ethics of dating someone who drives a Hummer? Curious about eco-friendly purchasing options? The GreenMan will be here every other week to answer your questions: email askthegreenman@gmail.com

The views expressed in this column are those of the author and not necessarily those of The Observer.