Take Back The Tap is a national campaign designed to spread awareness of the harmful effects of bottled water on the environment, as well as to reduce the use of bottled water in general. The program is ran through Food and Water Watch, a nonprofit that works to ensure that our consumables are healthy and safe. Take Back The Tap works to let people know that tap water is a more sustainable alternative to bottled water. Tap water is proven to be safe, healthy, and of course cheap. In fact, bottled water oftentimes simply comes from a tap!
Although it is a national campaign, Take Back The Tap has only recently come to UW-Whitewater. SAGE Vice President, Cam Barker, is currently leading the campaign here on campus. This Monday, September 16th, a group of motivated people with a passion for sustainability met and talked about goals for the program, and how the group will accomplish them.
Last year on campus, for example, over 18,000 disposable plastic water bottles were sold on campus. That’s not even including vending machines, or special events! The goal for UW-Whitewater Take Back The Tap is to reduce that number this year to only 10,000 water bottles, and eventually to ban the sale of bottled water on campus completely. Currently, a vending contract prevents the ban of bottled water sales until at least 2016, but Take Back The Tap is actively working to make sure that when the contract expires the new contract allows for the ban. They hope to accomplish this by building support from students and faculty alike.
Currently, they already have support from Deans of several of the different Colleges on campus, and they hope to gain support from all of them in the near future. However, student support is likely what will really make the difference.
Another goal they are pushing for is the installation of water bottle filling stations on campus that encourage the use of reusable water bottles. Currently, these filling stations are present in each of the residence halls, as well as several other buildings around campus. Take Back The Tap is trying to encourage the University to install them in more buildings, including high traffic areas like the Center of the Arts.
If this is a cause you support, keep an eye out for Take Back The Tap on campus. They believe that they can only accomplish the change that they hope for if they develop an obvious and visible following from the student body. If you would like to know more, feel free to visit their Facebook page to take a look at their future events, and learn when you can come pledge to stop using bottled water.
UW-Whitewater Take Back The Tap on Facebook-
UW-Whitewater Earth Initiative