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The Daily Wildcat

The Daily Wildcat

 

    UA should ban bottled water sales

    Remember when you were in elementary or middle school and the only sources of water you had were the drinking fountains in the halls or outside by the playground? Imagine if the same thing was applied on the UA campus.

    Before the making and distribution of bottled water was popularized, there wasn’t much concern about how hydrated you were. People were OK with their glass of water or drinking fountains. However, when bottled water hit the shelves, the way Americans drink water was revolutionized.

    People couldn’t walk out their doors unless they had a water bottle in their hand. Cases of water bottles were sold at every grocery store for low prices. Vending machines started selling water bottles amongst the soda products. Different brands of bottled water appeared: Aquafina, Dasani, Fiji Water, Arrowhead and so many others. Everyone was actually concerned about getting their eight glasses — or four 16-ounce bottles — of water each day and the concern remains stronger than ever.

    The University of Vermont, however, is stopping the sale of bottled water by January of next year, joining a small list of universities that have done the same thing. In efforts to be more environmentally conscious, students spoke out about ending bottled water sales, and are now reaping the benefits in a campus-wide change in provided services.

    As an alternative, the university will install 75 water bottle refilling stations across campus to promote the use of reusable bottles and save on recycling plastic water bottles and reduce waste.

    The UA, as a desert campus, would benefit from a decision like UVM’s. Students need to stay hydrated in the high and dry temperatures Tucson provides, so why pay $1.25 for a bottle of water when you can bring your own bottle and use a water bottle refilling station?

    A ban on the sale of bottled water could be a step forward in continuing the UA’s involvement in the green movement while still providing alternatives to ensure students stay hydrated. The campus has drinking fountains at conveniently placed locations around campus, so if the UA were to install water bottle refilling stations at these drinking fountains, water bottles would be easier to fill up in locations students are already familiar with.

    Yes, there is the chance that some days there is so much to do that it would be easy to forget a water bottle in the car, or at home. During those times, you end up buying a water bottle, but it would cost less to spend the 52 cents or so to get water — with ice even — at Starbucks than the $1.25 at a vending machine, where you could possibly be tempted to buy soda instead. Or you could go old school and just use the drinking fountains.

    Reverting back to how it was done in middle school is not a bad idea. The environment benefits from less waste, the university can save money on recycling costs and you get to stay hydrated free of charge. Just go buy that school-spirited water bottle and enjoy your refills, free of charge.

    — Serena Valdez is a journalism junior. She can be reached at letters@wildcat.arizona.edu or on Twitter via @WildcatOpinions.

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