government abandons bottled water
To save money and protect the environment, the OU-COM
student government has presented the 120 members of the class of
2012 with their own personal, reusable water bottles emblazoned with
the college logo this fall.
the project “Tapped Out,” OU-COM Student Government President
Chad Keller and Vice-President Scott Yoho, both
second-year medical students, came up with this cost-effective,
eco-friendly welcome gift for new medical students, who arrived on
campus last week for orientation.
The OU-COM student government, in coordination with
the Office of Student Affairs, typically presents lunch
lectures—with food and bottled water provided—about twice a week.
Often, these lectures attract as many as 150 students.
Those recyclable water bottles often end up in the
trash, and ultimately the landfill operated by the Athens-Hocking
Solid Waste District, according to Keller. By not serving bottled
water, he estimates that the college will avoid adding 12,000 water
bottles to the landfill—in addition to saving the student government
$2,500 during the upcoming school year.
“We wanted to come up with something to do that would
help the school out,” Keller said. “(These bottles are) what all
students on campus are carrying; it’s kind of the ‘in’ thing. We
realized this would save money and help our campus be a littler
Using tap water to fill their personal water bottles
may even be a little healthier, Keller added. “Tap water may be of
higher quality than bottled water. It is safer and more highly
The 16-oz. Nalgene bottles distributed to the medical
students do not contain the chemical BPA, a possible carcinogenic
often found in plastic bottled water containers.
In their presentation, Keller and Yoho reported that
the number of plastic bottled water containers sold in the U.S.
increased from 3.3 billion in 1997 to 15 billion in 2002. Still,
only about 19 percent of bottles were recycled in 2003.