I was delighted to read the article on reusable bottles becoming trendy on the UNH campus (Monday, Oct. 24). Using reusable bottles cuts down on plastic waste and saves on transportation energy use. It is a mystery how the public was sold the idea that we have to pay for bottles of water, when in most communities, certainly in Durham, clean free water is available to everyone. Choosing to save money by not buying water, and having that decision also be great for the environment, is a win/win. This trend on campus is a good example of a tipping point – once reusable bottles become the norm, water in plastic should disappear.
But the university can and should encourage this trend by making sure Hydration Stations are convenient everywhere on campus, not selling bottled water on campus as Choose 2 Reuse is hoping, and even subsidizing reusable bottles, perhaps by giving every freshman a bottle when they arrive. Finally, for all campus events and gatherings, consider not buying bottles of water to have with snacks or lunch, but instead buying and handing out reusable bottles to attendees. For a very small additional cost, this could spread the message and help wean us all off consuming purchased water.