Texas State Students may feel more inclined to ditch plastic water bottles and drink from the tap after attending the latest Common Experience event.
Supporting Women In Geograpy hosted “Take Back the Tap” Wednesday as part of a national campaign by Food and Water Watch. The organization handed out water bottles in The Quad, distributing 1,000 maroon aluminum bottles stamped with this year’s Common Experience theme logo, organizers said.
The goal of “Take Back the Tap” is to encourage people to cease drinking from plastic bottles in exchange for consuming tap water for environmental and health benefits.
Melissa Rowell, “Take Back the Tap” campus coordinator, said some universities no longer sell bottled water on campus because of the movement.
The “Take Back the Tap” documentary, Tapped, was presented in the LBJ Teaching Theater Wednesday night as the second portion of the event. Organizers said the film is intended to inform students about the differences in tap and plastic bottled water.
Rowell said purchase of the water bottles was funded through the Environmental Service Committee.
“A dollar out of everyone’s tuition goes toward the Environmental Service Committee every year,” said Rowell, geography senior. “They use the funds for events like this, solar panels and they are also in charge of the Bobcat Blend in the dining halls.”
Other organizations, such as Gamma Theta Upsilon, National Association for Environmental Professions and the Accounting Honor Society participated in the event.
Chanell Goodright, Supporting Women in Geography president, said despite the free cost of the bottle, each student had to work in obtaining the gift promoting sustainable lifestyle.
“We would tell them a statistic about bottled water and tap water, then make them repeat what we told them before we gave them the red reusable water bottle,” Rowell said.
Sinclair Nagy, pre-international studies freshman, said he wanted to buy the water bottle and was thrilled it was free.
Rowell said all 1000 reusable bottles were handed out in less than two hours.
“I think this attracted a lot of people because it was free and they got the chance to learn from it,” Nagy said.
Nagy said he probably would not buy plastic bottled water anymore, opting reusable bottles instead.
Goodright said students were surprised by what they learned.
“When they were shocked about a particular piece of information, I knew it was a good thing because it will really stick in their head, so the next time they pick up a plastic bottle they will remember that information,” said Goodright, geography senior.
For example, plastic bottled water is required by the Food and Drug Administration to be tested once, whereas municipal waters are tested 400 times per month.
Rowell said students were skeptical about the taste of tap water. The municipal water meets standards making sure it is free of e-coli, and harmful toxic lead. The only factor related to the taste is the pipes where water rests, she said.
“I lived in Jackson last year and the water there tasted awful, so I got a Brita filter and that fixed the taste,” Rowell said. “Get a Brita filter for $20 at Target and that is how much you are going to spend on two months of bottled water.”
Hailey Westfall, biology freshman, said Tapped opened her eyes to issues she was unfamiliar about.
“I liked how it had the impact of the plastic water bottles on our health, the impact of the plastic water bottle industry itself and the amount of trash that the plastic water bottle industry creates,” Westfall said.