Launched in March on World Water Day, the contest culminated on Earth Day, as college campuses across the United States competed with one another to reduce their bottled water consumption. With Dartmouth College’s pledges, over 150,000 bottles of water will be reduced from the waste stream.
“We’re incredibly proud of all of the students who helped make the Tap-a-palooza contest a success,” said Food & Water Watch Executive Director Wenonah Hauter. “When it comes to protecting our essential resources, every effort counts. We congratulate students at Dartmouth College for their victory, and applaud the accomplishments of all who participated.”
Participating students used Food & Water Watch’s Tap Buddy app, newly developed for iPhone and Android, and also available to the general public. Through the app, users can take the pledge, find and share public water sources and track which schools are leading the way in reducing bottled water consumption.
Throughout the month, students representing over three-dozen competing schools collected pledges from members of their campus communities to choose tap water over bottled. They held educational outreach events such as blind tap water taste tests, film screenings and panel discussions to raise awareness that tap water is the safe, clean, socially responsible hydration choice. Collectively, students gathered more than 4,000 pledges, amounting to over 900,000 bottles of water reduced from the waste stream.
As the winning campus, Dartmouth will receive $3,000 from Food & Water Watch to use toward public water improvements on campus, such as new hydration stations.
“As a community, Dartmouth is making strides to become more sustainable and use less bottled water,” said Dartmouth student Samantha Parker. “Over the last few years, many students have pledged to switch from bottled water to tap water, and several academic departments and a few Greek Houses have started using filling stations. The school has already made plans to install even more filling stations across campus, and the funds from Tap-a-Palooza will help us do just that! We are so excited to install the infrastructure that will help Dartmouth transition off of bottled water.”
Tap-a-palooza is an initiative of Food & Water Watch’s Take Back the Tap campus program, which supports public tap water resources by helping campuses reduce consumption of, and ultimately ban the sale of bottled water. Despite efforts by the bottled water industry to undermine trust in public water resources, tap water is more closely regulated than bottled water. Bottled water harms the environment, contributing to climate change through the production and transportation of plastic bottles, of which one in four end up in landfills, lakes, streams and oceans. Tap water has the lowest carbon footprint of any beverage and costs thousands of times less than bottled water. About half of all bottled water comes from municipal sources.
Contact: Katy Kiefer, Activist Network Coordinator, Food & Water Watch: (202) 683-4939, kkiefer(at)fwwatch(dot)org
Food & Water Watch works to ensure the food, water and fish we consume is safe, accessible and sustainable. So we can all enjoy and trust in what we eat and drink, we help people take charge of where their food comes from, keep clean, affordable, public tap water flowing freely to our homes, protect the environmental quality of oceans, force government to do its job protecting citizens, and educate about the importance of keeping shared resources under public control.