By Kaila Lee Gibbons
On a campus where facilities are rapidly evolving, it may be easy to overlook the new water bottle filling stations amidst the opening of a new residence hall and an updated nanotechnology lab. With a generous grant from the USGBC MA Chapter and the support of the institution’s Sustainability Engagement Committee, the Green Team student club set out to highlight this fountain upgrade for our Green Apple Day of Service project.
The event, entitled Tapped, addressed the importance of local water resources and the reduction of plastic waste from bottled water. A blind taste test comparing tap and bottled spring water was conducted to see if the Wentworth community could really tell the difference. Joshua Das, an expert from the Massachusetts Water Resource Authority (MWRA), joined in to help educate students on tap water and the quality control it undergoes before reaching your faucet.
Tapped also featured a 1,200 pound plastic bale from Casella Resource Solutions to illustrate the amount of waste created by bottled water. For every bale that reaches a recycling center, more than 2 of these monstrosities end up in a landfill, according statistics from the EPA. This spectacle drew attention to our event and helped spark conversations among the over 220 students, faculty, and staff who participated.
The results of the taste test determined that 53% preferred the taste of tap water, compared to 30% for bottled water! Another 17% could not tell the difference. Taste testers were rewarded with a reusable water bottle made of 100% recycled plastic and were directed to the new bottle filling stations.
For photos of Tapped and other Wentworth Green Team happenings, check us out on Facebook: