By Violet Wallerstein
I have seen many people around campus carrying around plastic water bottles. I am constantly confronting my friends, residents or acquaintances about their use of plastic and why they are not drinking from a reusable water bottle. The answer I get most of the time is that they think the water here doesn’t taste good and prefer the taste of bottled water. This argument holds absolutely no ground, and I will explain why EVERYONE, yes EVERYONE, here at Drew should be drinking out of a reusable container.
Your personal taste buds are not a good enough reason to kill the planet. You are not important enough to warrant tons of oil, CO2 and plastic production. Plastic at its core is made out of petroleum. By buying plastic, you are fueling our dependence on foreign oil. You can be as green as you like with driving, but as long as you are buying plastic, you are still contributing.
Not buying water will also save you money! We are all poor college students, so any money you can save is amazing. While water is not expensive, it is still an expense that can easily be cut out. If you invest in a 5 dollar reusable bottle, you won’t have to buy water for the rest of the year and overall save money.
“But I recycle the bottles!” doesn’t work. Plastic can only be recycled so many times (about 7-9) before it is no longer usable. It is more sustainable than throwing the bottle away, but it is still not completely sustainable. Not only that, but recycling itself takes energy to do and so you’re still wasting energy by recycling something you didn’t even need in the first place.
“It comes free with the meal swipe!” Nope. I do not want to hear it. You do not have to take everything that is offered to you. If people stop getting water bottles, the school will reduce their order, and that will reduce the amount of plastic the school goes through on a larger scale. By getting the free water, you are still asking for the school to buy more water, and so are still contributing to the purchase of plastic bottles. Also, YOU CAN GET WATER IN A PAPER CUP FROM THE FREESTYLE MACHINE.
We live in a place where the water is clean and drinkable. There are so many places on Earth and in the U.S. where the water is undrinkable, where they legitimately need the plastic water bottles to do anything. Here, you are able to drink the water, and that alone should be a good enough reason not to buy water. Not only that, but we have filtered water bottle filling stations all around campus! It is not difficult to find a place nearby where you can fill your bottle with clean water.
The slight difference in the taste of the water is not a viable reason to not drink it. Plastic water bottles are harmful on many different levels, and we as a society need to work to reduce our use of them in regions with clean water. Get a reusable bottle or a Brita Filter instead of contributing to the global use of plastic.
Violet is a sophomore Biology major.
Graphic courtesy of Caroline Polich