On April 18, 2012, the University of the District of Columbia’s Sustainability Initiative and the Environmental Laws Society (ELS) sponsored a blind taste of bottled spring water (Giant store brand) versus tap water filtered by Brita® Hydration Stations® on campus. Thirty three people took the blind taste, with an overwhelming majority (76%) preferring the taste of the filtered tap water over the bottled spring water.
Participants also took a short quiz to gauge their knowledge of the bottled water industry, with the following results:
- Only 36% knew that a plastic bottle does not start to decompose in a landfill for 700 years.
- Fifty-eight percent knew that a gallon of bottled water can cost 500 to 1,000 times as much as tap water to produce.
- A startling eighteen percent wrongfully believed that bottled water is tested on a daily basis when, in fact, 0% is tested on a daily basis across the country.
- Only 30% of people knew that only 20% of the plastic bottles produced in the United States get recycled.
“The quiz and the blind taste test are good opportunities to educate our students on issues regarding the environmental and economic effects of bottled water,” said Howard Ways, Director of Planning and Sustainability at the university.
The university has installed several Brita® Hydration Stations® throughout the campus (such as the A Level of Building 38) in an effort to reduce bottled water consumption on campus. At recent catered campus events, the filtered tap water has been provided as a substitute for the bottled water.
For more information about the benefits of tap water, visit the DC Water website.
For more information about UDC’s Sustainability Initiative, visit: www.udc.edu/sustainability.