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SEAC responds to “hug a Coke” with water bottles

By Kirsten McDonald, Contributing Writer

The Student Environmental Action Coalition (SEAC) organized a Bottled Water Education Event to inform students about disposable bottles and how they harm the earth.

The event was in response to The University of New Hampshire placing a Coca-Cola machine inside the Paul College of Business and Economics and doing a “hug a Coke” campaign. SEAC decided to have the bottled water education event in response to the student outrage of the Coke campaign. At the meeting, they had a petition that students could sign if they wanted to promise to not use disposable plastic water bottles.    

The Bottled Water Education Event took place on Thursday, Oct. 30, outside the Memorial Union Building circle where they gave out free reusable water bottles. The penguin, which is the club’s mascot, attended the meeting to promote how the use of how plastic bottles damage the earth and affects animals’ lives.

The event was so successful that they rapidly ran out of the reusable water bottles. They gave out four big boxes in total, each containing around 100 water bottles.

The club was also handing out flyers that had statistics on single use water bottles.

One of the flyers said, “Don’t be trashy. The average American dumps 80 percent of their single-serve water bottles in landfills each year.”

There were also flyers available for people to take that had tips on how to be more water efficient: The “Every Drop Counts!” flyer said, “Carry a refillable water container rather than buying bottled water. Production, transportation and disposal of bottled water consume large quantities of water (and energy), you can actually conserve water by switching from the bottle to tap.”

As a club, SEAC does many events throughout the year in order to bring awareness to sustainability. One big event they do during the year is Trash 2 Treasure. Thus, the club had a lot of support from students behind the idea of promoting reusable water bottles. UNH itself has a sustainability institute and a methane gas pipeline that powers a large portion of the campus.

SEAC club member Gianna Tempera said the overall goal of the event was to “quantify the student support of the ban of single use water bottles. We are trying to collect petition signatures to show that there is support for this campaign and also just educate people in general. Also, we want to give students more reusable bottles so that they have an alternative to buying plastic bottles.”

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