Water Bottle Usage at Penn State

The theme for this blogging period got me thinking about water usage at PSU, and more specifically the water bottle usage.  I see a lot of people with reusable water bottles (metal, plastic, etc.), but at the same time there are a fair amount of people still using the disposable water bottles that you can buy in bulk at Walmart.  Using this site, I found out that every year Penn Staters recycle over 200 tons of plastic bottles (or 7.6 million).  In the U.S. though, only 24% of disposable plastic water bottles are recycled, with 600 tons going to landfills where they will remain for hundreds of years.  And worldwide, one billion people do not have access to safe drinking water, with 31 countries facing water shortages.  Penn State has implemented Water Bottle Refilling Stations to help with the distribution of water around campus.  Anyone can bring a water bottle to a station (found in many buildings on campus) and refill it with clean water for free.  The first of these was installed in 2009 and today around 20 can be found in University Park, with several at the Commonwealth Campuses as well.  These refilling stations are mainly located in areas of high traffic (the Hub, big lecture halls, etc.)  I think that if this trend continues, we can decrease the amount of waste in landfills from plastic water bottles.  This is because we are teaching kids to use these reusable water bottles instead of the disposable kind.  I feel that if the students at Penn State that come up with ideas like the refilling stations were to direct that energy further (like Third World Countries), we could really make a difference in the water shortages around the world.

5 thoughts on “Water Bottle Usage at Penn State

  1. Dylan Thomas Bott

    I find it very cool that you used Penn State for this blog. I was honestly surprised with the number of 200 tons of recycling. I really thought it’d be more. But nonetheless very interesting stuff.

  2. kic5367

    Seeing these numbers makes me think that all of us should be aware of the water shortage in near future. I personally carry a plastic bottle everywhere I go, and I will change a new bottle every week just so the water in my bottle won’t be contaminated.

  3. William Asbury Fitzgerald

    You bring up a good point. Too often do I see people with plastic water bottles and my first thought is usually the fact that they dropped close to $2 for the damn thing. Even a nice water bottle, i.e Nalgene, Klean Kanteen with a price of around $25, is so easily made up for in comparison to buying bottled water. Fill up your fancy Klean Kanteen 12 times and you’ve made up for the price so to speak. (Bit of a tangent)
    Anyway, It is an incredibly frustrating thing to see and perhaps an issue that stems from laziness. Perhaps encouraging Penn State to give out water bottles to incoming Freshman? And give them the fancy Klean Kanteen in Blue & White….In order for people to change, it has to be the easier option.

  4. Frank Quentin Esposito

    I’d love to use these stations but there is a problem. I use a glass kettle to make tea. Even after using the Penn State filtered water still leaves a disgusting amount of lime scale on my kettle’s walls. State Colleges’ poor water supply and filtering process need more than fountain stations to stop me from bringing imported water from home.

  5. Kevin James Brubaker

    It was very interesting to learn about Penn State is doing to help the environment. Thanks for sharing!

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