The purpose of this program is to help eliminate single-use plastic water bottles on the UCSB campus, as well as alleviate the ever-rising costs for students by providing them with free, clean, and safe water to keep them hydrated and healthy.
With Coastal Fund’s support, hydration stations will provide filtered or reverse osmosis water so that students may fill up their reusable water bottles on campus free of charge. Free, filtered water stations reduce plastic waste, carbon emissions, water waste, save energy and promote wellness for students.
By installing the hydration stations, campus officials hope to reduce the amount of plastic bottle waste that is generated each academic year. These bottles often end up in local beaches and oceans and can harm thousands of animals each year. By eliminating the need for plastic water bottles on campus, the hydration stations will effectively help keep plastic waste off of our beaches and out of our oceans. The hydration stations will also decrease UCSB’s carbon emissions by over 32,000 pounds each year and reduce water waste. It takes 5 times the amount of water to produce the plastic bottle than is inside it. The production of single-use plastic bottles uses 1 kWh of energy per each unit produced. This amounts to 45,000 kWh of energy (which requires the burning of coal and oil that is detrimental to our environment and our health) that could be saved by our campus alone through the installation of these hydration stations.
The hydration stations chosen are also environmentally friendly. All cooling components of the fountain will be removed, which will save an average of 8.4 kWh per unit. In effect, the amount of energy, carbon and water saved as a consequence of the hydration stations is well worth its initial cost of approximately $1,000 each. Ultimately, the hydration stations will improve the environmental impact of the UCSB campus and its students.
Mo Lovegreen, Executive Officer of the geography department at UCSB, was enthusiastic about the stations, explaining, “UCSB is really excited about the implementation of these hydration stations. The impact this has on our waste reduction is significant, and the quality of free water is exceptional.”
UCSB Green Campus is a student-led initiative that educates the campus community on energy efficiency, achieves energy savings, and encourages the next generation of energy efficiency professionals. Green Campus is affiliated with the Alliance to Save Energy and is funded by California utility companies.
Coastal Fund is a student-funded, student-run organization that serves to preserve, protect, and enhance the terrestrial and marine habitats associated with the UCSB shoreline. Since the fall of 1999, Coastal Fund has granted $1.68 million to over 400 local projects and programs.
For more information on projects and funding opportunities visit coastalfund.as.ucsb.edu/index.php.