The Orion

Students want to halt the waste of single-use water bottles

Molly+Marcussen+lowering+the+bottles+that+will+eventually+hang+from+the+third+floor+of+Butte+Hall.+Photo+credit%3A+George+Johnston
Molly Marcussen lowering the bottles that will eventually hang from the third floor of Butte Hall. Photo credit: George Johnston

Molly Marcussen lowering the bottles that will eventually hang from the third floor of Butte Hall. Photo credit: George Johnston

Molly Marcussen lowering the bottles that will eventually hang from the third floor of Butte Hall. Photo credit: George Johnston


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On April 13, Students for Sustainable Hydration passed the ballot to eliminate single-use bottled water on campus.

“We are a group of students who all have one thing in common: We strive to live a sustainable lifestyle,” said Molly Marcussen, leader of Students for Sustainable Hydration.

Bottled water costs 1,000 times more tap water and is environmentally damaging, according to Students for Sustainable Hydration.

“We want everyone to know that it’s not just the bottles, but it is the waste from the entire bottling project,” Marcussen said.

According to the group, for each bottle, one-fourth liter of oil is used to make it, and that doesn’t include the oil used to get these bottles to campus. Eliminating the bottle sales will also promote and maintain other ways of sustainable energy.

“We see the waste that comes from bottled water: the littered bottles on campus, the plastic trash island in the ocean and piles of water bottles that end up in foreign countries to be incinerated,” Marcussen said.

On April 8 and 11, the students strung 18 25-foot strands of bottled water from the third floor of Butte Hall. The amount of bottles equates one shift of recycling by the Associated Students.

Marcussen noticed a mostly positive reaction from students regarding the campaign. Many students have responded well and support the message Students for Sustainable Hydration is sending.

Other students found the measure to be frustrating.

Water is the healthiest drinking option, and halting the sale of plastic bottles could affect students who do not bring reusable ones.

“Being able to buy a bottled water on campus is really convenient, especially if you forget your reusable bottle at home. Buying a water is a choice; no one is required to spend their money on plastic bottles,” said Janelle Cardenas, junior business major.

There are recycling bins located all over campus for those who want to dispose of their plastic bottle.

“Even though I use a plastic bottle sometimes, I don’t only use it once. I refill it just as I would my reusable bottle,” Cardenas said.

This is not the first time a sustainable initiative has been put on the ballot. In past elections, there have been similar campaigns put on by Students for Sustainable Hydration.

“We shouldn’t be paying for water when we can get it for free, and we should not be supporting such a wasteful industry,” Marcussen said.

Many students already bring reusable bottles to school as Chico State is a sustainable campus, and this could be the next step to furthering the sustainability.

“I think it’s a great way to spread awareness to those who may not have been raised to be environmentally conscious or are not sure how to be sustainable,” said Josie Bruce, senior health science education major.

Halt the Waste Pictochart.png

Photo credit: Kayla Fitzgerald

Kayla Fitzgerald can be reached at [email protected] or @kaylafitz_20 on Twitter.

 

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2 Comments

2 Responses to “Students want to halt the waste of single-use water bottles”

  1. Jim Wayne on April 14th, 2016 11:42 am

    Dear Ms. Fitzgerald,
    Your efforts and articles on this very important initiative has paid off abundantly. My local Chico company, founded here, has grown and thrived because our advanced and affordable water filtration technology is a solution to our communities need for saving precious water and eliminating plastic bottles that harm our environment and waste our resources.
    I would like to meet with you at your convenience to help CSUC accomplish their ultimate goals and gain significant benefit from budget reductions overall.
    Sincerely,
    Jim Wayne
    Vice-President, Operations
    Neptune Water Solutions, Inc.
    [email protected]
    Direct: 530-521-1465

    [Reply]

  2. Mary on April 14th, 2016 1:43 pm

    I am disappointed this article was so one sided. You should have investigated the con side as well, seeing as there was a substantial vote for it despite losing. I’m all for sustainability, but this measure takes away options.

    1. If one should forget their reusable bottle then what? I’ve had it happen. I’m not going to spend $15 to purchase a new one, I’ll just buy a soda or go to 7-Eleven down the street. So either one won’t spend money on campus, or one will make an unhealthy choice of a soft drink.

    2. With so many recycling bins on campus, the one time use bottles are very frequently recycled.

    3. If Associated Students goes along with this then revenue will be lost, and that revenue goes towards furthering other sustainability projects such as compostable utensils.

    4. Nobody is forced to pay for water. If you bring your reusable bottle, you can re-fill it for free at the BMU Marketplace and the bookstore. The coffee shops will also kindly re-fill it for you.

    Finally, you mislead readers with the title. This meausure just makes a recommendation, it has absolutely no binding action or requirement. Associated Students still can, and will, do as they please.

    Please improve the quality of reporting for this newspaper.

    [Reply]

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Students want to halt the waste of single-use water bottles