Chrissy Cooley
Sustainbility Manager
Pacific Lutheran University
Banning Bottled Water on Campus:
Beyond Excuses
Remembering our Connection
The Cuyahoga caught on fire in 1868, 1883, 1887, 1912, 1922, 1936, 1941, 1948, and
in 1952. The 1952 fire caused over 1.5 million dollars in damage. This is a picture
from the 1969 fire, the fire most often remembered.
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Remembering our Connection
Aftermath of the 1969 fire
Cleanup efforts continuing to this day
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Remembering our Connection
Bottled water is not safer, not tastier
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Environmental Impact
o Waste Stream – only about 30% of plastic bottles
end up in the recycling
o Virtual Waste - ie transportation, refrigeration,
water use in the manufacturing of temporary bottles
o Mining of the Water
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Social Injustice
o Privatization of drinking water
o Communities right here in the US are giving up their
free public water to be bottled at a cost
o Bottled Water plants bring very few, low -wage jobs
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The University Connection
As Sustainability Professionals an average day at the office
probably includes:
o Waking up early to bus/bike/carpool
o Entering utility bill data
o Managing all of the recycling, irrigation, natural gas &
electricity policies on campus
o Being available to anyone at all that pops in
o Saying the words “people, planet, prosperity” at least
500 times a day
Generally being too busy to take on a campaign that no one
is talking about anyways.
The Challenge
o The challenge is not banning bottled water!
o A Ban on Bottled Water meets a deeper need
o in finding ways to apply our efforts to real sustainability
goals
o The challenge is to really change systems, not prevent
the symptoms
o We found a way to not just be “less bad” but we were
able to do real good
o The challenge is really to work on a cause that will
simultaneously build bridges across your entire campus
o Float an idea that will open minds to the full definition of
sustainability
The Way to Do It
There are currently over 90 higher education institution in
the US that have limited bottled water on campus
Bishop's University::Brandon University::College of Saint
Benedict::Humboldt State University::Loyola
University::Macalester College::Oberlin College ::Phillips
Exeter Academy:: Seattle University ::Southern Oregon
University::St. Mary's University ::State University of New
York Upstate Medical University Vancouver Island
University Washington University in St. Louis
The Way to Do It
o Harvard
Citing fiscal responsibility and environmental concerns,
the Kennedy School Student Government voted this
week to halt funding for bottled water at events funded
by student activity fees. Instead of filling requests for
bottled water, Sodexho will provide pitchers of ice
water at student group events receiving funding from
KSSG. The measure, which passed by a 21-4 vote, will
stretch valuable student activity dollars and eliminate
waste.
The Way to Do It
University of Ottawa David Rousseau
University of Washington
St. Louis - Deborah Singer
Howard
Pacific Lutheran University
September 2010
Dining &Sustainability
January 2009
Chancellor& Sustainability
April 2011
Students &Sustainability
Food sales went up instead Changing image to be more Able to relate sustainability
of down
innovative
directly to social justice
Defining bottled water
apart from juice
Hostility in working from a
top-down model
Vending machine
contracts/image
Change Management
Unfreezing
1. Introduce Urgency
2. Assemble your guiding team
3. Create a common vision
4. Communicate for buy-in
5. Empower Action
Change
6. Create Short Term Wins
7. Do not let up!
Refreezing
8. Build into existing structures
- John Kotter
University Trends
o The Basics
o Getting reusable bottles in hands
o Filtered Water Stations
o Identify and empower your mavens
Empowering Student Leaders
o Allow them to be inspired – and get out of their way
o Provide resources where needed
o Student Green Fees
o Sample campaigns
o Film showings
oTown Hall Forums where all stakeholders can be heard
oFood and Water Watch
o TBTT National Forum Group
o Facebook
o Katy Kiefer, Activist Network Coordinator ([email protected])
When to Tap Out
oWhen to Tap Out
o Fringe users (vending machines, sports, etc)
o This is not a zero-sum game
oDon’t forget that even if a ban is not possible, work to
reduce the existing demand now will make it possible in the
future.
Inhibitors to Change
Fear
Hope
Apathy
Anger
Self-Doubt
You Can Make a
Difference
Inertia
Urgency
~ Marshal Ganz
Your University
What would stop you from
removing bottled water from
your campus?
Chrissy Cooley
[email protected]
253.538.6060
#beyondexcuses
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