Did you know that in 2015 Americans used almost 50 billion plastic water bottles? However, only 23 percent of those water bottles were recycled, meaning that 38 billion water bottles were wasted.
Every year, factories use more than 17 billion gallons of oil to produce plastic water bottles. This is enough to fuel 1.3 million cars and provide electricity for 190,000 homes.
In order to consume the recommended eight glasses of water a day, a person who prefers bottled water would have to drink 3,566 bottles a year. At $.29 a bottle, this would cost $1034.20 annually.
If buying plastic water bottles are so expensive, how are students at Cabrini College getting their water? Are they using tap? Are they buying bottled water? Do they use special devices such as a Brita?
“I don’t mind drinking the tap water in the Cabrini Apartments. Personally, I don’t find it to be that bad tasting. I prefer to use a reusable water bottle because it’s better for the environment,” senior political science major Alexis Cunningham said.
However, many students at Cabrini are in agreement that drinking the tap water on campus is simply not the way to go.
“My roommates and I use either a Brita or bottled water when we’re on campus. We think that drinking the tap water is pretty disgusting,” senior exercise science major Christine Ingargiola said.
According to a recent survey posted on Twitter, 76 percent of survey takers prefer to drink bottled water while only 24 percent drink tap.
“My opinion on the water at Cabrini is that I would never personally drink it and I’m thankful for my Brita!” junior education major Cortney Hanson said. “The Brita water filter my mom got me was only $30, which was a good investment.”
Many students choose to drink bottled water because they believe it is cleaner and better tasting. However, students such as Ingargiola have noticed how impractical this can be.
“It is fairly inconvenient to buy water filters and bottled water constantly, considering we have unlimited access to the tap water but refuse to drink it due to the bad taste,” Ingargiola said.
This raises several important questions. What can Cabrini College do, if anything, to make the tap water on campus better quality? How can we make recycling more accessible to students on campus? And better yet, how do we get students to care?
“I think this article and its topic are a great opportunity to bring up the need for more of the water stations, like the one on the third floor of Founders,” senior marketing major Colin Kilroy said. “There should be water stations in west, the apartments, east, Xavier, Woodcrest and if possible the houses. Those are great and the water is a lot cleaner and it would cut down on the consumption of plastic water bottles.”
If we are a social justice minded school like we claim to be, shouldn’t we as a community be doing something to counteract the 38 billion water bottles being wasted?
Students such as Danton Moyer have taken matters into their own hands by working with facilities to bring more water stations to campus.
“The Environmental Outreach Committee of Student Government was started to address concerns of waste across campus and to promote responsible use of resources. We recognized that using plastic water bottles and plastic water coolers was undesirable and the Facilities Department is committed to installing more water stations like the one in the third floor of Founder’s Hall over the next few years,” Moyer said.