Sustainability Committee at Grays Harbor College Rotating Header Image

January, 2012:

January 9th Tip of the Week

Hello Campus Community,

Here is your January 9th Sustainability Tip of the Week. This week’s tip on reducing and even eliminating your use of bottled water is brought to you by me, Janel.

A chart of a few differences between tap water and bottled water:

Tap Water Bottled Water
Cost Less than $.01 for the same quantity in a typical bottle $1-$3/bottle
Environmental Effects No plastic ending up in landfills and areas of the environment Unless the bottle is recycled it will end up in landfills and our environment
Government Agency Responsible for Water U.S. EPA-cities and other water purveyors required to report issues immediately to the public U.S. FDA-companies do not have to report contamination issues to the public
Source of water You can easily find out from your city the source of your tap water Bottled water companies do not always disclose their source, as it could actually be from a city drinking water source
Safety of water Your tap water is treated by the city in which you live. They are required to meet healthy drinking water standards set by the EPA While the FDA oversees the safety of bottled water, not all companies report issues; Not to mention the safety of the plastic bottle itself, which could contain chemicals.

There is a time and place for bottled water, such as during an emergency or disaster, but in general tap water is just as good and even more cost effective than bottled water. I encourage you to start bringing a reusable water bottle and filling it up with our drinking fountains or filling it up at home before you come to work. If you are not satisfied with the taste of your drinking water at home there are filters you can by such as Brita, and others that help remove some of the different tastes in water. On a more fun note, at the annual Chehalis Watershed Festival held each September in Aberdeen we have a drinking water taste test where a few cities from around the Chehalis Watershed bring in a jug of their tap water. People get to vote for their best tasting water (not knowing which water sample is from which city) and this year we threw in bottled water to the mix. Believe it or not, participants preferred municipal tap water over the bottled water…all 3 cities received more votes than tap water! This just goes to show you that our cities are doing a good job of providing us with clean, safe, and good tasting drinking water so I encourage you to enjoy it too!

P.S. Check out the bookstore to see what they have available for reusable water bottles if you don’t have one at home.